Fantasy novel by Robin McKinley

From the back:

"Aerin could not remember a time when she had not known the story; she had grown up knowing it."

"It was the story of her mother, the witchwoman who enspelled the king into marrying her, to get an heir that would rule Damar; and it was told that she turned her face to the wall and died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son."

"Aerin was that daughter."

"But there was more of the story yet to be told; Aerin's destiny was greater than even she had ever dreamed - for she was to be the true hero who would weild the power of the Blue Sword..."

Winner of the Newbery Medal, this book was included in my elementary school library, where I first found escape within its pages. First published in 1984, this book was a prequel to McKinley's first book, The Blue Sword. Set in the mythical kingdom of Damar, this is the story of an ugly duckling princess who was to grow up to do great things. This is supposed to be a children's book, but, like the rest of her work, it strikes a strong chord with mature audiences well and above how it speaks to children. This is a marvelous book and I would recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy and even to those who don't.

Other Books by Robin McKinley: