On sale this month for kindle US.
Also several Marvel masterworks
The Terror is slow, but good.
This book is one of my favorite tales. The heroine is a woman named Harry Crewe, an orphan, that comes to live near her brother in the desert country of Damar. Her life is quiet and ordinary until she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hill King, who takes her deep into the desert to the land of his people. She is alone surrounded by people who do not speak her language and she has no idea why she was kidnapped being herself to be truly ordinary and dull. However, everything happens for a reason and Corlath has Harry trained in the arts of fighting and war until she can pass for any of the Hillfolk. Why have her trained? Why kidnap her at all? What is all this leading to? What is in store for Harry?
I won't give away the reasons or ending but I encourage you to read it for yourself if you have not already. Robin McKinley truly brings this wonderful world alive and you find yourself getting lost and never wanting to come back. This Newbery Honor book is perfect for older grades. It would be a good book to get the students curious and involved in heavier topics. This unit study would have to come with a twist though and I would make it more about diversity and what would they do about living in a foreign country where no one spoke their language.
Reading Level: 4th grade and up
This is going to be a tough one to rate. I still enjoyed the story (although I wonder how I'd feel about it if it didn't have 15+ years of nostalgia attached to it). However, the narration really didn't work for me. I wouldn't say it was awful, but it made me feel distinctly like an elementary student being read to by my teacher. And also, I disagreed with her pronunciation of the Damarian words.* Unfortunately, I can't find any sort of official pronunciation guide in order to confirm which of us is correct.
* - Me disagreeing with a narrator's pronunciations doesn't always result in me disliking their narration. See Adjoa Andoh's narration for the Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy audiobooks for an example. I somehow adjust to her pronunciation whenever I listen to the audiobooks and then slip right back into my own pronunciation when I read my paper copies.