Are you looking for a fantasy story that has a strong heroine who is not necessarily beautiful, adventure, magic, amazing horses, gorgeous prose and just the perfect amount of romance (not romance that gets shoved down your throat so hard that you want to gag romance)? Then Robin McKinley is the author for you! The Blue Sword is a great place to start. It begins with our heroine, Harry, who must move far from her lush, verdant Homeland to the bleak desert of a distant continent, Damar. She finds herself falling in love with the harsh beauty of the desert, as if something is awakened in her blood. When she is kidnapped by the magically-powerful king of the desert little does she know what's in store for her. Thus begins Harry's adventure as she learns about her magical heritage and becomes a desert warrior in whom the fate of her world resides.
This sweet novel follows a Chinese teenager's recovery from tuberculosis in a remote Japanese village on the eve of the Second World War. Tsukiyama's straightforward, elegant style belies the complexity of characters and emotions that her well-crafted story unfolds. A tender and easy read that will unexpectedly remind you of life's simple gifts.