The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Category: Award Winners and Honors
When Harry Crewe's (don't ask her real first name) parents die, she has to move closer to her brother Richard and become the ward of Lady Amelia and Sir Charles. She falls in love with this wild Hill country and becomes embroiled in the political climate when Corlath, king of the Damarians, comes to parley with Sir Charles. Corlath's magic won't let him forget her, so he kidnaps her knowing only that she has some sort of part to play in the coming war with the Northerners.
I have no real complaints about this story: the characters were interesting (I especially enjoyed reading when Corlath was on-scene), the story well told. But I never felt fully invested in the story, nor did I feel compelled to read if the book were not already in my hands. Really more a case of mood than of any failing of the book, I give it 4 stars.
Cross-posted at Born Reader.