Saturday, November 24, 2012
The Blue Sword
Originally published 1982
Source: Received as gift.
I have read and loved several McKinley novels (most notably Deerskin, a very intense read not suitable for all audiences-read about it before deciding to actually pick it up!) and as I embarked on a mini-spree of reading my own books, I decided to finally give this one a try.
It ended up being a great example of how the way you're reading affects your overall reading experience. What do I mean by that? Well, this is a mass market paperback whereas I've been mostly reading books on my nook, in hardback or in ARC format. I found this kind of paperback very unwieldy and that it was impossible to read while eating unless I wanted to completely crack the spine (I didn't). Thus it took me much longer to read than it might have otherwise.
As for the story itself, I did not find it particularly gripping. Maybe it was because of the format. Maybe it is because I've read a lot of fantasy stories with similar elements over the years. That is not to deny the originality of this story as surely some were inspired by it. But since I read them first, they made more of an impression.
I did really like main character Harry and her journey in learning to wield the blue sword. Most of the other characters weren't very strong to me. I'm already forgetting them. I do remember liking the hint of romance; it is definitely not overpowering if you're someone who might like a break in that regard.
Overall: I feel like this was really a case of wrong place, wrong time for me and this book. If I had read it, say, 10 years ago, it probably would have completely captured my imagination and sent me diving into other fantastical worlds. Instead I retreated into contemporary for more pleasant reads.