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The Hero and the Crown (1984)

by Robin McKinley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Damar (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,0171171,420 (4.23)381
Aerin, with the guidance of the wizard Luthe and the help of the Blue Sword, wins the birthright due her as the daughter of the Damarian king and a witchwoman of the mysterious, demon-haunted North.
  1. 131
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: Aerin and Katsa are both gifted women who struggle to find the line between respect and fear. Also, they kick butt.
  2. 40
    Chalice by Robin McKinley (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: Outside of the author, both books also share a similar feel and feature an interesting and strongly-written female character struggling to deal with her given role.
  3. 41
    The Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey (Nikkles)
  4. 20
    When the King Comes Home by Caroline Stevermer (atimco)
    atimco: Both stories are well written and feature an unconventional heroine who works hard in her chosen field of study and is instrumental in saving a kingdom.
  5. 00
    Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana (bibliovermis)
    bibliovermis: Very similar themes unite the stories and the romances in these books. Also read The Blue Sword.
  6. 00
    Uprooted by Naomi Novik (beyondthefourthwall)
  7. 01
    Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey (SunnySD)
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» See also 381 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
Aerin is an outcast in her own father’s court, daughter of the foreign woman who, it was rumored, was a witch, and enchanted the king to marry her.

She makes friends with her father’s lame, retired warhorse, Talat, and discovers an old, overlooked, and dangerously imprecise recipe for dragon-fire-proof ointment in a dusty corner of her father’s library. Two years, many canter circles to the left to strengthen Talat’s weak leg, and many burnt twigs (and a few fingers) secretly experimenting with the ointment recipe later, Aerin is present when someone comes from an outlying village to report a marauding dragon to the king. Aerin slips off alone to fetch her horse, her sword, and her fireproof ointment . . .

But modern dragons, while formidable opponents fully capable of killing a human being, are small and accounted vermin. There is no honor in killing dragons. The great dragons are a tale out of ancient history.

That is, until the day that the king is riding out at the head of an army. A weary man on an exhausted horse staggers into the courtyard where the king’s troop is assembled: “The Black Dragon has come . . . Maur, who has not been seen for generations, the last of the great dragons, great as a mountain. Maur has awakened.”

Robin McKinley's mesmerizing history of Damar is the stuff that legends are made of.

Aerin is the only child of the king of Damar, and should be his rightful heir. But she is also the daughter of a witchwoman of the North, who died when she was born, and the Damarians cannot trust her.

But Aerin's destiny is greater than her father's people know, for it leads her to battle with Maur, the Black Dragon, and into the wilder Damarian Hills, where she meets the wizard Luthe. It is he who at last tells her the truth about her mother, and he also gives over to her hand the Blue Sword, Gonturan. But such gifts as these bear a great price, a price Aerin only begins to realize when she faces the evil mage, Agsded, who has seized the Hero's Crown, greatest treasure and secret strength of Damar. ( )
  Gmomaj | Aug 22, 2022 |
sequel to "The Blue Sword"; not quite as good as the prequel, but good ( )
  MarkLacy | May 29, 2022 |
Good as ever. ( )
  fuzzipueo | Apr 24, 2022 |
This was #98 on NPR's list of YA novels...I'm working through this list, which means I'll be reading Fantasy lit, which I really don't care for. At all.

What was good about this one--female protagonist, not driven into decision by a love triangle. I appreciated that much. And the fact that even when the men in her life disapproved of her choices, she didn't seem to care and did what she saw as necessary anyway.

The main character was fine, and I liked the dialogue. But--and this is my problem with Fantasty lit in general--there's just not enough dialogue, and I get lost in the pages upon pages of describing a world or a monster or the traditions of the people.

I'd definitely recommend this book to any fan of Fantasy lit, though--especially girls. Nice to see a female protagonist.

But my next book is going to be a Gallagher Girls book. Much more my speed of female heroes. ( )
  ms_rowse | Jan 1, 2022 |
Aerin is the only child of the king of Damar, and should be his rightful heir. But she is also the daughter of a witch woman of the North, who died when she was born, and the Damarians cannot trust her. But Aerin's destiny is greater than her father's people know, for it leads her to battle with Maur, the Black Dragon, and into the wilder Damarian. ( )
  Christian1997 | Dec 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
Miss McKinley, the author of ''The Blue Sword,'' a 1983 Newbery honor selection, has in this suspenseful prequel, which is the 1985 Newbery Award winner, created an utterly engrossing fantasy, replete with a fairly mature romantic subplot as well as adventure. She transports the reader into a beguiling realm of pseudomedieval pageantry and ritual where the supernatural is never far below the surface of the ordinary. For those who like fantasy fiction, as I do, ''The Hero and the Crown'' succeeds.
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin McKinleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craig, DanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnston, David McCallCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorn, LoriCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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She could not remember a time when she had not known the story; she had grown up knowing it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Aerin, with the guidance of the wizard Luthe and the help of the Blue Sword, wins the birthright due her as the daughter of the Damarian king and a witchwoman of the mysterious, demon-haunted North.

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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 is the only child of the king of Damar, and should be his rightful heir. But she is also the daughter of a witchwoman of the North, who died when she was born, and the Damarians cannot trust her.

But Aerin's destiny is greater than her father's people know, for it leads her to battle with Maur, the Black Dragon, and into the wilder Damarian Hills, where she meets the wizard Luthe. It is he who at last tells her the truth about her mother, and he also gives over to her hand the Blue Sword, Gonturan. But such gifts as these bear a great price, a price Aerin only begins to realize when she faces the evil mage, Agsded, who has seized the Hero's Crown, greatest treasure and secret strength of Damar
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Average: (4.23)
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1 9
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