I’d wanted to re-read Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword back when I was looking for anti-sexist fiction, but none of the libraries nearby had a copy (shock! horror!). (I reviewed it a couple of years ago.) This time I was struck by how easily the plot elements could have fallen into cliché; they’re saved as much by the understatedly wry narration, as by the carefully-built world and characters. I really like this, and hope that its repackaging as a YA novel doesn’t cause readers to overlook it.