The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley a pleasure to read.

wonderful heroine. reminded me a bit of Brienne from ASOIF although quite a different character overall. I loved her nonchalant displays of bravery and independence, her easy acceptance of her own difference from others, her drama-free perspective on the world(s) around her, her quiet and her calm.

opening chapters felt distinctly like an alternate version of colonial era Britain. interesting path into a high fantasy novel.

best kidnapping ever! I never feared for her safety and I liked that.

McKinley is less of a stylist than I imagined but her prose is still liquid and lovely.

there were some minor disturbing undercurrents for me but it was hard to put a finger on. something about the 'blood is blood' and the idea that a person can only truly be accepted in a culture when they have the blood of that culture... that sorta bothered me, especially when combined with taboos around miscegenation with the Northerners. happily, in the end, McKinley makes it clear with the acceptance of some Outlanders that this is not actually her perspective.

short book. just read it this morning!

the last 20 pages or so tied up all of the romantic elements so I kinda breezed through them... the climax that happens before the tying up was pretty awesome. this is not an action-filled book but that brief clash between heroine and villain was really thrilling. Narknon to the rescue!

speaking of Narknon, that cat and the horse Sungold were really wonderful characters. strong personalities. and so surprising to see a cat as a companion in a fantasy adventure. yay! animals are great!