The Hero and the Crown

Book review by
Jessica Pierce, Common Sense Media
The Hero and the Crown Book Poster Image
Teens love this mature, Newbery-winning fantasy.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Several incidental characters disapprove of the main character's actions simply because she is female.


Several life-or-death battles.


Aerin spends the night with Luthe.


Infrequent and mild.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the heroine defies convention to remain true to herself.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDJgirl April 9, 2008

A Long Time Favorite

I first read this book as a teen and have returned to it many times. Each reading is as rewarding as the first. Robin McKinley writes beautifully, and the world... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMeow314159 May 31, 2010


I read this when I was 13 and I thought it was the most boring book. I mean it dragged on and on and wasn't that exciting either
Kid, 11 years old January 13, 2010

A Great Book; Sometimes Difficult to Understand

This is a very good book telling the story of a young out casted girl Aerin. McKinley writes in an interesting manner which can sometimes be difficult to unders... Continue reading

What's the story?

Fighting dragons. Wielding a magic sword. Not proper behavior for a young princess. But Aerin, through sheer stubbornness, teaches herself to do both, never dreaming that she is destined to become her country's savior. Vivid descriptions of a fantastic world, along with a powerfully written main character, make this book a favorite for young-adult readers.


Is it any good?

Robin McKinley has given readers a surprisingly realistic female role model, one that will quickly capture their imagination and attention. She is by no means invincible -- she is an imperfect human being, and makes numerous mistakes, often putting herself in great danger. However, even in her darkest moments, Aerin remains true to herself and to her goals.

As a princess, Aerin-sol is generally expected to keep to her castle. She meets with a great deal of disapproval, from the king and from everyone else, when she teaches herself to slay dragons and embarks on a quest to save her city.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the expectations for Aerin. What kind of life is she expected to lead? Why is she discouraged from learning to slay dragons? Do you think she would be as successful -- both in terms of her tasks and her personal growth -- if she had been encouraged to follow that path?

Book details

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