The Hero and the Crown is a fantasy novel written by Robin McKinley and published by Greenwillow Books in 1984. It is the winner of the 1983 Newbery Medal award. The book is the prequel to The Blue Sword, written in 1982. This story focuses on "Aerin Dragon-Killer," also known as "Aerin Firehair," the heroine who is introduced as a legendary character in The Blue Sword. The book narrates Aerin's evolution from the shy, retiring daughter of the King of Damar to the heroic queen who protects her people from the demonic Northerners.
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