Have Sword, Will Travel
by Garth Nix and Sean Williams
Have sword, has attitude …
Loved the story and characters so much! Eleanor has wanted to be a knight her entire life, while Odo… well, Odo knows he doesn’t want to be a baker like his mother, but he’s pretty sure he doesn’t want to be a knight. He especially doesn’t want to be a knight with a magical talkative conveniently-amnesia-ridden sword with an attitude. This sword could get you killed. Or worse. Knight you. Compel you on a life-long journey of quests, monsters, and danger. Drive you to search out and fight the greatest dragon in the land. Maybe going back home to be a baker wouldn’t be that bad.
Eleanor would do anything to have a magical sword, to be a knight. She desires nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of her mother, who bravely died on the battlefield where she was knighted. She is driven to fight for justice, to defend hapless villagers, fend off beasts and dragons, to be the best. But Odo was chosen by the sword, and Eleanor must be content with mirroring his training, doing the best she can to become the knight she knew she’d be. If only Biter had picked her… If only she had her own magical sword.
Have Sword, Will Travel (Have Sword, Will Travel #1) is a wonderfully magical mythical coming of age tale where Odo and Eleanor discover that adventurous knightly living isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but sometimes it’s so much more. Monsters turn out to be everyday thieves and mythical dragons turn out to be sleight of hands, a little technology, and misplaced fairytales… perhaps. Sometimes dragons are bigger than myth, bigger than the biggest stories, and perhaps not as monstrous as the real monsters.
Have Sword, Will Travel has sly humor, strong teens growing through trials and adversities, life lessons on trusting blindly in authority and tradition, and putting others before first. While some adults support them and help them on their way, others would hinder their journey and place them in harm’s way – if not harm them outright. Odo and Eleanor will discover the true meaning of being a knight and the strength of standing for what is right, and they just might live through it.
Garth Nix is one of my all-time favorite writers. His collaboration with Sean Williams results in another favorite read, albeit somewhat lighter than his other books. Middle-school students will also enjoy Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series. Now I’m pining for more and will read the Abhorsen/Old Kingdom novels yet again while waiting for Let Sleeping Dragons Lie (Have Sword, Will Travel #2). Highly recommended.
It is strange enough that Odo and Eleanor have stumbled upon a sword in a dried-up river outside their village. It is even stranger that Odo is able to remove it from where it’s buried. And it’s REMARKABLY strange when the sword starts to talk.
Odo and Eleanor have unearthed Biter, a famous fighter from earlier times. By finding Biter, Odo instantly becomes a knight — a role he is exquisitely unsuited for. Eleanor, however, would make a PERFECT knight — but she’s not the one with the sword.
Finding Biter is only the start — boy, girl, and sword must soon go on a quest to save their kingdom from threats in both human and dragon form, in this new fantasy triumph from Garth Nix and Sean Williams.