The Hero and the Crown


Online Discussion

Newbery Medal (1985)
Horn Book honor list citation (1985)


"A work of considerable imaginative power"
Philadelphia Inquirer

"Refreshing... hauting... an utterly engrossing fantasy!"
The New York Times

"McKinly knows her geography of fantasy, the nuances of language, the atmosphere of magic..."
The Washington Post

"McKinley has created an epic herione in Aerin ... a powerful fantasy."
Fantasy Review

"Beautifully rendered ... McKinley's battle scenes are galvanizing and her romantic ones stirring."

"Extraordinarily fine fantasy ... spellbinding ... a spectacular read!"
News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.

"As richly detailed and elegant as a medieval tapestry ... vibrant, witty, compelling, the story is the stuff of which true dreams are made."
Horn Book

"McKinley has created a world and a character that the reader is not likely to forget."
English Journal

"Splendid high fantasy ... filled with tender moments, good characters, satisfying action and sparkling dialogue ... superb!"
School Library Journal

"Robin McKinley's Damar books are among the finest sword and sorcery being written today."

Other sites' mentions of this book as winner of the Newbery Medal:
Abstract and picture of cover
Information about the author, and an audio clip of her acceptance speech


This novel was inspired by a scene in Tolkien's The Return of the King.


(From the back of the Ace paperback edition)

Aerin could not remember a time when she had not known the story: she has grown up knowing it.

It was the story of her mother, the witchwoman who enspelled the king into marrying her, to get an heir that would rule Damar; and it was told that she turned her face to the wall and died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son.

Aerin was that daughter.

But there was more of the story yet to be told: Aerin's destiny was greater than even she had dreamed -- for she was to be the true hero who would wield the power of the Blue Sword...


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