The Hero and the Crown | Robin McKinley

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The Book

Despite being the only daughter of a king, Aerin has been pushed aside and barely been accepted as Royalty all her life. As rebellious as YA heroines typically are, even Aerin cannot predict where her path shall take her. Featuring high fantasy staples such as: Princesses, swords, Dragons, and Magic, The Hero and the Crown provides us with an undaunted, Strong Female leave who steps up to the plate.

The Good Bits

Aerin is a strong female character, not just because she’s rebellious, but because she is strong willed and literally caused herself years of illness to prove a point. She’s determined to prove her family wrong about her and is motivated, not by a passing cousin, but by her people and a need to do what’s right.

Dragons – honestly Dragons are the bomb-diggity. Need I say more?

As we all know, fighting dragons is not as simple as Shrek or any other Prince Charming make it seem. Aerin’s struggle with her Dragons cause her pain and it’s not glossed over. After fight with Maur, she’s not left barely standing Hollywood style. She’s left half dead, most of her hair burnt off and burns covering most of one side. It takes her actual magic to get rid of it all.

The Not-So-Good Bits

Robin McKinley has an obsession with hella long hair??

Galanna could have been cooler than just a bitchy enemy for Aerin. She could have had more motivation than she liked someone who liked Aerin. Come on people!

It was a surprise to me at the end that Aerin loved Tor (particularly after loving Luthe) instead of getting a bit of angst about leaving him we have less than a sudden realisation. It would have been better to have a greater build up.

Thoughts from the Back Cover | Just because a boy likes you it doesn’t mean you have to like him back.

We see this is Aerin and Tor, Harry and Corlath (see The Blue Sword) and about a billion other stories. A boy loves a girl, so of course she ends up loving him back. Be it the best friend, the love interest, or variations thereof. Because otherwise he’s been Friendzoned! and God forbid she doesn’t like her Friend in a romantic way!

Just because a boy/man/anyone really, likes you, it doesn’t mean that you have to give them the romantic time of day. You don’t owe them anything, regardless of what Hollywood would have you believe. “Friendzone” a million guys if you don’t like them. If they don’t stay, then they have the problem, not you.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

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