The Blue Sword

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The Blue Sword Author: The Blue Sword was written by Robin McKinley, the author of other books, such as The Hero and the Crown. Both of these books chronicle the continent of Daria. Setting: Most of the book takes place in the small nation of Damar. There are also scenes in an outpost in the Damarian desert, in race's, known as the Homelanders, outpost. One or two chapters also take place in the far north. Note: Harry Crewe is female in case you don't pick that up. Plot: An orphan young women, 'Harry' Crewe (Harry is what she preferred to be called) is sent to a remote outpost of the Homelander empire. The Homelanders are a very British-like race of humans with about the technological ability of the mid 1800s. The fort surrounds the town of Istan. At the residency Harry is adopted by Sir Charles, and Lady Amelia, there the story begins. Harry is discontented with life in Istan, she finds it boring and mundane, any chance for excitement quickly catches her attention. Damar, a medieval country that has been partly overrun by the Homelanders, is threatened by the Northerners, a race of human, and almost-human warriors. Corlath, king of Damar, comes Istan to ask for the Homelander's help in closing his mountain passes against the threat. With his small population, his army is not large enough to beat off a concentrated Northern assault. Sir Charles, and Colonel Jack Dedham, leader of the Homelander forces at the fort, receive Corlath and offer him an insulting treaty. If he gives his country up, his population will not be slaughtered. The Damarian king does not take this lightly, he storms out as the Homelanders rush after him to try to save the meeting. As Corlath mounts his horse, he sees Harry Crewe and his kelar, a type of sorcery that some Damarians are blessed with. The Gift, as it is known, sometimes grants it's users powers, and sometimes doesn't. Corlath's kelar tells him that he must bring Harry back to his city, it doesn't explain why. That night Corlath sneaks into Istan and steals Harry away. He rides for many hours to a camp set up by his riders. At the feast that night, he passes around the meeldtar, also known as the water of sigh. This induces visions on all of those who have kelar. When Harry tastes it, she collapses and sees scenes of a great battle, she also uses an ancient language still spoken by few and one of which she would have no way on learning. After several nights in the camp she is formally introduced to Mathin, one of Corlath's riders. He teaches her the language of Damar and they begin to forge a strong friendship. After about two weeks of training in the camp, Mathin takes her away from the camp to train her in the ways of swordsmanship and horsemanship. Now a powerful warrior Harry is take to Corlath's city, lying on some of the only remaining plains of Damar. When she arrives on the fields, she is entered in the Laprun Trials, a contest to tell the most powerful warrior in Damar and the winning of a sash sliced by Corlath. The sash in Damar is a signal that the person wearing it may handle a sword. Harry wins at the trials and is hailed throughout Damar as the Laprun-Minta. In her battle with Corlath at the end, she cuts his sash at the same he cuts hers, this is the first time it has ever happened. The next day, Corlath begins to muster his army, with no help from the Homelanders, he hopes only to slow down the Northern advance so, when the Homelanders realize the problem, they will be able to destroy the Northerners. During the mustering period, Harry rested and prepared for the coming battle. With her horse, Tsornin, and the Blue Sword, which was given to her after the trials, she trains. When Corlath's army departs from the city, Harry rides with them. She and the other riders march hard until they reach the pass. At this stop, in a briefing, Harry realizes that a pass to their west could allow the Northerners through the pass and outflank their army. Corlath will not acknowledge this and Harry leaves the camp, intending to block the pass herself. On her way, she runs into two friends from her camp who have been following her. They decide to go to the Homelander station to seek help from her old friends. In the end of a few days of recruiting, their force contains a few dozes cav

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