An outcast princess must earn her birthright as a hero of the realm—in this “utterly engrossing” Newbery Medal–winning fantasy (The New York Times). Aerin is. The hero and the crown by Robin McKinley; 1 edition; First published in ; Subjects: Fantasy, Juvenile literature, Newbery Medal. On November 18th, Robin McKinley's Newbery Medal-winning novel The Hero and the Crown will be available for the first time as an ebook.
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Robin McKinley's, The Hero and the Crown, beautifully interweaves legend, myth and farie-tale into a fantasy that quickly draws the reader into the kingdom of. Download E-books The Hero and the Crown PDF. A Newbery Medal Winner. Although she is the daughter of Damar's king, Aerin hasn't ever. Robin McKinley's mesmerizing history of Damar is the stuff that legends are made of. The Hero and the Crown is a dazzling "prequel" to The Blue Sword. Aerin i.
This occupation takes her on a path of discovering and awakening her dormant powers First of all, I admire McKinley's writing style.
There is no doubt she has a great command of English language. Her writing is sophisticated to such a degree that I can hardly imagine young children and The Hero and the Crown is in fact classified as a children's book being able to properly comprehend it. The world of Damar is described in rich detail. I couldn't help myself thinking that McKinley has much more story left to tell about this country.
I am also quite fond of the way the author portrays animals in her books. She definitely has a lot of love for horses and knows them well. What I do not appreciate about this book, and maybe it's just a personal pet peeve of mine, is the romantic story line. I-love-two-men-at-the-same-time theme just doesn't jive well with me.
I guess I am old-fashioned that way, but I do not approve of a heroine who is in love with an immortal guy and has sex! I have absolutely no idea why Luthe was even placed as a love interest in this book. Another thing, I agree with those reviewers who have said that the story loses some ground in Part 2.
This is where a lot of magical stuff happens that is not always fully explained. The magic and the heroine's "destiny" take away from her personal development. Nevertheless, The Hero and the Crown is a worthy contribution to YA fantasy literature and is one of a few books that portray strong heroines whose lives are not directed and defined by their hot brooding boyfriends but motivated by love for their country and loyalty to their people. What a relief!
View all 3 comments. Feb 17, Althea Ann rated it it was amazing. I got this book when it was first published, in hardcover. At the time, 'The Blue Sword' to which this is a prequel was one of my most-beloved books - and, I have to admit, that at the time, I didn't feel the 'The Hero and the Crown' quite measured up. I liked it - but just not quite as much. It's not like I didn't read it several times, though. Re-reading, years later, I understand why I felt the way I did - but I also kind of disagree with my youthful opinion.
This is a wonderful book. It's I got this book when it was first published, in hardcover. In 'The Blue Sword,' Aerin is a legend of history, a dragon slayer and wielder of a sword of magical powers. In 'The Hero and the Crown' we meet Aerin and discover how she became a hero. The first half of the book is very self-contained.
It introduces the half-foreign, distrusted and ill-used but still quite privileged and royal Aerin, a tomboy who insists on practicing swordplay.
I very much enjoyed how, in her country, dragons are small creatures, certainly pestilent, but just vermin to be exterminated. Killing them brings no prestige - it's just something that has to be done.
Aerin's doggedness and use of the scientific method in figuring out how to eliminate them more efficiently is a rare and appreciated example of the value of methodical persistence in order to accomplish anything. I also very much liked how, for all her efforts, she is consistently underappreciated - but the value of her accomplishments stands on its own.
The big showdown with the dragon Maur is at once utterly realistic in detail and gloriously emotional - it brought me to tears. The second half of the book is where, when I was younger, it lost my attention a bit.
It addresses: It takes someone completely outside Aerin's social circle to recognize her true value. The mage Luthe calls her, and thus begins the classic 'magical studies' part of the plot. Aerin grows and matures, but at the same time begins to feel a little bit more elevated and less accessible to the reader.
However, the ending was rich and deeply satisfying. It's rare that a story so successfully depicts how one person can love different people in different ways, with each love enhancing one's life in a deep and meaningful way.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Open Road Media for the opportunity to read the ebook version of this title. Robin McKinley no es una autora para todo el mundo. Apr 02, Cait rated it it was amazing Shelves: I loved this book as a kid and I love it still as an adult.
It's one of those books that's so much a part of my life that it's hard for me to believe that not everyone has read it. Maur still creeps me out, Talat still makes me teary, and Aerin's surka rash as she climbs the tower remains the best thing ever. Aug 26, Eh? I remember reading this and wanting to fight dragons.
View all 37 comments. Dec 06, Mayim de Vries rated it it was ok. Like its predecessor, The Hero and the Crown is a novel about a girl with a special horse and a magic sword. After the horrors I already endured, I expected the worst. As it is, the book is not that bad. Once again, we have a typical YA setting: The book is divided into two parts; the first one being a retrospection giving the background on important events in Aerin life, whereas in the second the proper story unfolds.
Consequently, the former entails a lot of sulking and brooding and angsting over being the only redhead curly at that! It is so very tedious.
Also, a little bit boring. Obviously the reader is meant to root for Aerin. But the way it has been written is beyond lazy and into the realm of propaganda. I mean, the girl is nice, but the only other female figure Aerin could be pitched against is vain and slightly malicious.
Juxtaposed with somebody like that, Aerin shines like a pearl in the gutter. But what would have happened should another decent female protagonist appeared? We will never know because the book is solely focused on Aerin and other people exist only to give her a proper background. This is again achieved by having her distanced from everybody else. The mistrust of the people, so frequently repeated, is not credible in fact, it does not make sense at all and full of contradictions. Her father supports her and does not merit the mixture of fear and mental withdrawal he receives in return.
Her best friend and mentor is always there for her something that cannot be said about Aerin who is a rather selfish or at least self-centred creature and all that earns is an instrumental payback at the end. Even the way Aerin proceeds to save the world is self-centred. She needs to do this alone, you see. It is all about her, and the rest be damned. She is the hero after all. Upon finishing the book, I have debated whether I am simply not 20 years too old to read it.
I guess my main problem is with the unhappy heroine herself. She is pretty, healthy and wealthy. Her life is devoid of hardships and problems; many exceptions have been made to accommodate her whims and, whether she acknowledged it or not, she was treated like a special case with the allowances like swordplay and her other more eccentric pastimes there are many of those.
She has a good father whom she treats in a way that he never deserved and a good friend whom she treats abominably. In all this, duplicity is her worst trait , which is particularly visible in the anti romance she indulges in. Dec 27, H. A reader might well leave this Damar prequel feeling dazed and uncertain of what to make of the jumble of rises and falls and meandering sidestories and climaxes, but a vigorous shake of the head will allow the book to be seen as two distinct halves: Part 1 The fantastic set-up.
Until the story's first climax, McKinley gives us everything: And then she throws it all away and in our faces. Our heroine trades scrappy for serene, mystery and adversity find their basis in random coincidence and are explained away as "it's magic! It's so disappointing! The messages I left with were 1 Gee it's nice that the heroine was so gung-ho and hard-working even though she was just a vessel for Fate and the Force of Good and 2 The nice thing about being immortal is you can wait for your mortal husband to die and then go enjoy your immortal one.
I was not swept off my feet by this one. Oct 22, Chris rated it it was amazing Shelves: I got a copy of this in 6th or 7th grade. I've read it so many times that it is being held together by a rubber band. I enjoyed it because it was the first real fantasy book I read where the hero is a young woman. She's not just the sidekick, but the hero. She's also flawed and not supergirl or ravishing beautiful. It's a wonderful book because of that. In many ways, it is the perfect book for any quiet girl simply because a loner, an outcast proves herself needed.
Perhaps the success of the boo I got a copy of this in 6th or 7th grade. Perhaps the success of the book among girls is tied to that facet of the story. Nov 22, Nikki rated it really liked it Shelves: It's full of all the kinds of things I love: And the last sentences -- ach!
It's not some straightforward children's sto Wow, I don't know why I didn't really like The Hero and the Crown very much on the first go round. It's not some straightforward children's story in which a heroine goes forth and slays a dragon. That happens, but it happens as part of a longer journey: It doesn't solve all her issues and let her go home unscathed, unchanged, to a court that's suddenly ready to accept her.
Aerin's story is harder than that. The surka, the crown, old heroes, Luthe's background, why the animals follow Aerin: McKinley doesn't give you all the answers about her world in one go, and I doubt that The Blue Sword will answer all of it either. Maybe you have to do a little more work to really appreciate the history of the world, because McKinley does nothing so clumsy as sit you in a history lesson with Aerin to learn about it. Overall, given the subtlety of parts of this and the wistfulness of the love stories, I'm not entirely sure how I'd have taken this as a child.
It may be a prime example of a story that works on two levels: Aerin waving her sword around for younger readers, winning the day with her prowess, while the older readers might taste more of the bittersweetness of her immortality and her twin-nature.
Oct 25, Jessica rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is the book that made me love fantasy, dragons, everything. Jul 15, Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it Shelves: This is the first time I've read this book as an adult—mostly because I love, love, love The Blue Sword and this book kind of goes out of its way to undermine expectations set by that book for Damar's past.
I didn't remember much of this book—mostly just a vague sense of this not being my expected Damar, really because my memory really sucks, not because the book isn't memorable. So I was gratified that the book holds up so well. Better, really, because I came away from it not only renewing my This is the first time I've read this book as an adult—mostly because I love, love, love The Blue Sword and this book kind of goes out of its way to undermine expectations set by that book for Damar's past.
Better, really, because I came away from it not only renewing my love for Aerin, but also feeling better about her fate than my previous vague unease.
McKinley goes way out of her way to play against expectations raised by The Blue Sword , even starting out with a warning up front that even the climate is different than you might expect it to be.
Aerin's Damar is courtly and well settled with a traditional structure of royalty and fealty that is very different than in Harry and Corlath's day.
Even more surprisingly, Aerin is a social outcast. Daughter of the king, true, but the offspring of a suspect, foreign, mother and held in polite aversion when not actively hated. I have a hard time with this part of the novel, though the disconnect between my expectations and the story is only part of the reason why. In addition, Aerin is kind of passive for this first part.
She has no aspiration, is withdrawn, and spends as much of her time alone as she possibly can—even avoiding those who love her and wish to help if only they could think of how. And the pacing is slow to start, almost pastoral, really. This isn't helped by the narrative taking a really large time jump so early in the novel. We see Aerin steeling herself to request to accompany her father on his campaign against a rebel baron and then take a jump back three or was it six?
We don't get back to that request for most of the rest of that section I didn't count, but it was a goodly chunk—60 pages? Sizeable at any rate. I'm not sure what McKinley wanted to accomplish with such a large interval, but I don't think it really worked—at least not for me. Anyway, Once Aerin starts taking charge of her own destiny, the book really picks up.
I already liked her for her quiet good sense and determination. As she begins forging her own path, she clinches my sympathy and desire for her to succeed. It's here that we begin to see that there is more to her than we have suspected. What in the later part of the book is flagged as her dual nature both of-Damar and not-of-Damar becomes more visible even as her solitude becomes more pronounced solitude despite Tor's obvious desire to be more a part of her life.
And here's where the spoilers begin. I'll still flag it, though, because even though practically everybody I know has read the book, it's just plain courtesy to do so. This is McKinley's biggest play against expectation because anybody who read The Blue Sword knows that she is destined to marry Tor—who we already have seen loves her dearly and suspect that she loves him back. The romantic in me lapped up this relationship as it built during Aerin's convalescence and culminated after defeating Agsded—even as my heart broke knowing it to be a temporary idyll.
This is also where McKinley's careful groundwork paid off because it is even possible for the reader to allow Aerin to love both Luthe and Tor, more or less simultaneously.
That I only just now realized there might be an Arthurian parallel is tribute to how adroitly McKinley pulls this off though I expect treading so very lightly over Luthe's emotions as they part was something of a cheat. I love her dearly and very much enjoyed seeing the beginning of many of the traditions that play such vivid roles in The Blue Sword.
And I have to accede McKinley's point in illustrating a character who overcomes by bridging her dual nature and synthesizing a whole that has to be acknowledged successful even by her strictest critics. Mar 28, Priscilla rated it it was ok Shelves: Then, it started to drag and I had a hard time finishing it.
Aerin is a princess in the city of Damar. Her father is a good, righteous king and her mother died shortly after giving birth to Aerin. The people love her father, but they believe her mother was a witch and they don't trust her daughter. As a result, Aerin becomes a bit of a loner, her only real friend is Tor, the boy who will inherit the throne.
All members of the royal family should develop magical powers at a young age. As Aerin gets older, she doesn't develop these powers and decides to start hunting dragons in order to make herself useful.
This leads to an adventure to find the mystical Hero Crown in order to save her family and kingdom. I'm not a big fantasy-genre person, which is why I liked the first portion but not the second. The first part of the book up until she kills her first major dragon is fun. It's a perfect blend on real life elements cousins who fight a lot, a girl who feels alone, a bit of romance with some interesting fantasy twists look at their magical powers, when will she develop hers, dragons are nearby.
But then it becomes too fantasy-genre and suddenly, it's not Earth with a blend of magic. It's some other world where there are multiple moons and weird songs and hybrid creatures and it's not relatable at all. By the end, I just wanted the story to be over. Aug 27, Kogiopsis rated it it was amazing Shelves: I cannot be impartial.
There are many reasons why I love this book, not least among them being the fact that it was actually the first Robin McKinley book I ever read, back in the days when I browsed library shelves at random and begged my parents into downloading books for me, before I knew much about what I was really doing, and I count myself eternally lucky to have stumbled upon this book because it is, it really is, writing as art.
It is not writing for money, as some books targeted at my age gro I cannot be impartial.
It is not writing for money, as some books targeted at my age group are these days; nor is it writing for thrills, or for fame. It is not even a particularly engrossing story but for the fact that it is beautiful, both in content and in style. Reading this story evokes that wide-eyed feeling of being a child and listening to some adult who possessed the magical power of turning books into words, back before you could do it yourself, and it combines that feeling with one of sitting around a camp fire in the long-ago past and listening to an old man or woman recite legends in the oral tradition, sing-song things they memorized to share.
Aerin is so painfully isolated that any quiet child, I think, will see themselves in her, although magnified a hundredfold. She is the epitome of loneliness, to the point that it is self-reinforcing, and no doubt many an adult reading this book finds it difficult to relate. I personally have no such problem, because I was young and shy and awkward just a few years ago, and so I sympathize with Aerin and wish fervently for her success.
Succeed she does, of course, because she's the Hero of the title, but it takes a lot of hard work and pain and suffering for her to get that far. I love it when heroes have to actually sweat and bleed and weep before they achieve their goals. I love seeing them suffer as ordinary human beings would, because then they become celebrations of the strength of real people, instead of caricatures of all the good qualities of humanity in quantities which are wholly unrealistic.
The best and worst part of this book, for me, is how well it illuminates the richness of Damar. I fell in love with this land and its people the first time I read it, which is what led me to The Blue Sword , and I still consider it a tragedy that only those two books and a short story in the Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits collection are set in it. It is a place of wild beauty and one that I wish it was possible to explore further, because clearly there are more stories here to tell.
McKinley, if you ever read this, please write another Damar book - about anything at all. Though if you're taking suggestions, maybe something about Luthe's backstory? As this was published after The Blue Sword, it is easy to imagine that these legends of Aerin are the ones Corlath told Harry over and over and over again, and it's hard to fault her for wanting to hear them so many times.
Jul 30, Jennifer rated it liked it. I really enjoyed the first half. Someone had recommended it in part because the heroine gets the prince and the wizard as lovers. Though the wizard isn't in the first half, the world created in this coming-of-age tale and the characters who people it are interesting and likeable.
There's a bit much girl-and-her-pony stuff for my interest, but I wanted to know what would become of these characters. The growing love that Tor feels for Aerin is infused with the right amounts of sweetness and forbid I really enjoyed the first half. The growing love that Tor feels for Aerin is infused with the right amounts of sweetness and forbidden love torment. Aerin's dragon-slaying is interesting and exciting.
Then, the story started going off the rails a bit. Places, problems, and enemies are introduced that seemed to be wholly disconnected with the first half. Luthe and their love are half-realized even by YA standards. It was as if the author felt the conflicts introduced in the first half weren't enough they were , and created a second story to resolve it. I got bored and even the YA pace seemed too plodding, so I skimmed the last. The ending had the right amount of bittersweet sadness and I am curious what the first book, for which this serves as the prequel, might have to say.
View all 4 comments. Aug 05, Audrey rated it it was ok Shelves: This is a confusing story, many times I didn't know what was going on. There were other occasions when it was unclear whose POV Point of View I was hearing, it chopped and changed suddenly.
There could have been more character development and also more relationship development between characters. For me this story had no sparkle, and it could have been really great. Mind you this is only my opinion and from other reviews I see I am not in the majority about this story.
Aerin may be the king's daughter, but you wouldn't know it from the looks, the stares, the snickers, the pranks, or the court gossip. Her father loved and married Aerin's mother after his first wife died childless. But being from the North, of unknown heritage and lineage, suspicions of witchcraft at worst and being a commoner at best, followed Aerin like a fog of misery.
Her royal Gift failed to manifest as she entered and traversed adolescence, which further fueled the rumors of her inadequate Aerin may be the king's daughter, but you wouldn't know it from the looks, the stares, the snickers, the pranks, or the court gossip.
Her royal Gift failed to manifest as she entered and traversed adolescence, which further fueled the rumors of her inadequate or inappropriate breeding.
Aerin wrestled with the trappings of her princess-hood, losing the battle with gentility and sought solace in the royal library and her father's retired lame warhorse, Talat. Nothing says quest and adventure like a dissatisfied frustrated teenage princess and a well-trained loyal equine collaborator. For starters, and against all odds and her father's wildest nightmares, Aerin and Talat master the art of dragon slaying. Aerin proved to be an inspiring character, one I could have warmed up to and appreciated in my own adolescence.
But Talat stole the show for me.
More than once, his actions and courage brought tears to my eyes. Oct 26, Melody rated it really liked it. I never doubted for a moment where this book was going, but McKinley's hand at the wheel was so sure I didn't mind going along for the ride. Her characters were multi-faceted and enjoyable to read about. I especially liked the realistic portrait of love and the choices that sometimes come with it towards the end. The derring-do was great fun, and the plotting brisk.
It felt like a fairy tale, an old tale many times told, with a certain underlying gravitas. Well-written doesn't exactly cover it. Well-written on many levels perhaps describes it better. There were inconsistencies which almost nagged, until I realized that I was probably looking through Aerin's eyes, and she couldn't be a reliable witness, given all she's got to deal with. Once I got that straightened out in my head, I settled back and enjoyed the journey.
Before she went crazy, Robin McKinley wrote some of the most awesome young adult fantasy out there. Her heroines were smart and plucky, with a bit of tasty pathos to keep things interesting. Aerin, the main character of HATC, is a dragon-slayer in training, while remaining decidedly introverted and bookish and not quite the most coordinated chick in town.
She also has a love triangle with SEX! Needless to say, she was quite the hero for m Before she went crazy, Robin McKinley wrote some of the most awesome young adult fantasy out there.
Needless to say, she was quite the hero for me in grammar school. I still hold out hope that a film will be made of this book. View 1 comment. I have such a hard time reviewing fantasy books saying what I really mean, but I'll give it a try.
This book didn't knock my socks off but I didn't not dislike it. It was good a few times I had a hard time understanding what was going on because it seemed like the author skipped around without explaining in detail. Other than that - this was a good YA Fantasy book that read quickly.
Apr 07, Kat rated it it was amazing Shelves: Basic Plot: Aerin is the mostly-left-to-her-own-devices, unconventional daughter of the king. After discovering a secret formula that can make her fireproof, she begins hunting dragons, which takes her on a journey to save the kingdom.
It is now so battered and worn that I have actually been thinking about Basic Plot: It is now so battered and worn that I have actually been thinking about downloading a new hardcover of it. I seriously think I've read it at least 50 times.
The world of Damar is developed very well, and I positively loved the main character. I can't say I identify with her completely, as I'm a very different person, but there are aspects of her personality read: I have to say that Aerin probably inspired most of my tom-boyish activities as a child, and certainly helped to spawn my life-long love of fantasy, magic, and swords. Every time I go to the bookstore I search for new McKinley books first, and it's all because of this novel. It's theoretically a pre-quel to The Blue Sword , and it reads like a dreamy fable.
There's a haunting, dream-like quality to a lot of the events of the book. The writing is excellent probably why the book is an award-winner. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone, young or old as an epic high fantasy novel. I downloaded this book to my Nook, as I had been wanting to reread it for awhile.
It still holds the same magic for me at near 40 as it did when I was small. I miss these old fantasy narratives; even though they break the axiom of "show, don't tell," everything feels so purposeful and beautiful and controlled in a way that's kind of rare to read nowadays.
I also love getting to see the main character age in the same book, as she grows to overcome the trials presented. Mar 01, Debbie rated it really liked it Shelves: She grows up in her father's castle surrounded by those who hold her and her ancestry in suspicion and must find her place among them. McKinley has a gift for creating heroines who do great, heroic things in a completely human way.
Aerin and Harry don't defeat wizards and destroy armies because of their skills or physical abilities. They succeed because they work hard and allow themselves to be guided by Fate, or whatever force it is that has placed them in critical positions. I love how Aerin, approaching what she knows is a great evil that she by herself cannot defeat, is distracted from her doom by an allergic itch at her throat.
You can't be completely affected by the evil around you if your skin is irritated. So much love. Reread my fancy new copy. Just love so much. The book that changed my life, essentially, and made me want to be an author!
Thomas A. MckewenNot a great fan of the writing style used for this book. It is written in a way that makes you feel like someone is reading a story to you so I found it hard to engage with the characters.
It has a few large plot turns and just when you think you know where the book is going it steps you in a new direction altogether. The action scenes are well written but the romance is just dull to say the least. The most interesting character in the book turns out to be a horse. Towards the end of the book the author introduces beasts to aid the heroine but never explains why the came to her or why they stayed. I gave it three stars but it is more like two and a half.
Would make a good bedtime story for children as the writing style suits reading it out loud. Brilliant--YA in name onlyBy monesqueMagnificent. With some trepidation, I bought this although I have nothing to do with a YA demographic. It is listed for ages That's hilarious.
What makes this YA? There isn't sex, vulgarity or innuendo. It is well written, however, not simplistic at all, in either prose or plot.
The plot is developed. The characters are fleshed out. The truth is that this doesn't seem so much like YA, but rather something that can appeal to many on many levels. That is what the best of YA always did. This is YA in name only. Both in and out of the royal court, people whisper the story of her mother, the witchwoman, who was said to have enspelled the king into marrying her to get an heir to rule Damar-then died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son.
But none of them, not even Aerin herself, can predict her future-for she is to be the true hero who will wield the power of the Blue Sword Lewis, J. Tolkien, Ursula K.
Le Guin. The Washington PostAn utterly engrossing fantasy. She lives with her husband, the English writer Peter Dickinson. All pages:.