The Hero and the Crown

The Hero and the Crown

Book - 1985
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Baker & Taylor
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.


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.

& Taylor

With the aid of the wizard Luthe and the Blue Sword, Aerin wins the birthright due her as the daughter of the Damarian king and a witchwoman of the mysterious, demon-haunted North

Publisher: New York : Greenwillow Books, c1985
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780688025939
Characteristics: 246 p. ; 24 cm


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Dec 19, 2017

The first half is significantly better than the second, though it's still a pretty great book overall. Aerin is a fantastic protagonist, but there are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many mediocre dudes wasting space in her world.

Nov 07, 2017

Aerin Firehair is a hero anyone could love, and it's all the better when you see her humble roots and awkward teenage years. This book probably has had a noticably large impact on YA literature.

May 27, 2015

Its a classic. But, I did not like this high fantasy story of a underdog shepherd who defeats the dragon...Thats Old fantasy. To old for me. I like very gritty thick epic political fantasies (this sub genre I like is Grimdark) Grimdark fantasy is the best (Game of Thrones) is an epic example. This was to happy for me. Nothing exciting or intense happened and I knew exactly what was going to happen...

Mar 02, 2015

This beautifully written book is near perfect and I only gave it a 4.5 stars is because I don't know what a perfect book is but The Hero and the Crown is up there.

Dec 04, 2014

I own this book, and it is a well loved copy. Aerin is a great character and I wish there would have been more to the Damar series then this one and The Blue Sword.

Oct 21, 2013

Robin McKinley is fantastic. I loved the character of Aerin and her writing style is also really amazing. I did like The Blue Sword more than this one, though, but I liked having a prequel to it as well. I wish she had written more books in the Chronicles of Damar series.

Aug 24, 2012

I definitely like the first half of the book better than the second half, but that said, this is one of my favorite books. I don't usually buy books, but this is one I own, because I know I'll want to re-read it many times.

Jul 23, 2012

I've read this book a couple of times, and while it starts out great, it always disappoints in the end. It's a prequel of sorts to "The Blue Sword" and has none of that book's great storytelling. Aerin works hard to find a place in her father's court, but after she develops her initial skills, magical accidents and coincidences save the day. She's a Mary Sue character who is progressed through the story by outside forces. This would have been a much better story if it had not tried so hard to match the world of "The Blue Sword", but it is still worth a read if you are a McKinley fan.

Yavril Jul 13, 2012

A rich bold story that gets to the core of "The Hero's" feelings.

Wonderful, slightly challenging read. The description is a bit off, but I'll let it go. Aerin is one of my favorite characters ever, and I'm sure she'll be yours too, she's charming, realistic, and fearless. Great book!

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Oct 21, 2013

julia_sedai thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Yavril Jul 13, 2012

Yavril thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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Yavril Jul 13, 2012

Aerin is the daughter of the king of Damar, King Arlbeth. But even though she is the king's daughter, Aerin was never fully accepted. Most of the common folk, and many others, believe her mother was a witchwoman, who cast a spell on the king to marry him, and have a child, who would rule Damar after Arlbeth. They beleive she died from her grief of bearing a girl not a boy, as a girl could not rule. Aerin always questioned herself, even though those closest to her tried to make her believe that her mother was very frail, and could not live through childbirth. But Aerin just went on questioning.
In this story, Aerin finds meaning.


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