I read The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley on a summer vacation a while ago, and my social media friends told me that McKinley had written a prequel to that wonderful book.
I kept my eyes open for it, and discovered a copy at a thrift shop while on vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I was so excited to read The Hero and the Crown!
This book tells the story Aerin, the girl who feels alone and rejected because of her mother. Aerin is told that her mother, the witchwoman, who put a spell on the king and married him in order to get an heir who would rule Damar.
Aerin is told that her mother, when told that her firstborn was a daughter, turned her face to the wall and died of despair that she had not born a son.
So Aerin grows up, treated kindly yet distantly by her father, ridiculed and mocked by other royal family members – except Tor. And she hones her fighting skills – not for revenge, but to be of use to her father.
Damar is plagued with dragons – dangerous foes, yet not ones the king is willing to spend his army on. Aerin willingly goes to the countryside to battle these beasts – and learns the truth about herself, her parentage and the kingdom’s enemies.
Aerin was destined to wield the power of the Blue Sword – and do much more than slay dragons.
Highly recommended for ages 12 and up.
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