Cover image for
Title:
Have sword, will travel
Author(s):
Nix, Garth,
ISBN/ISSN:
9780545259026 (hardcover)

0545259029 (hardcover)
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
pages cm
Abstract:
Odo is the seventh son of the village miller and he just wants to get away from work for awhile, Eleanor's mother was a soldier, and she yearns for adventure, but it is Odo who finds the magic talking sword named Biter, and thereby instantly becomes a knight--and together they set out on a quest (somewhat reluctantly on Odo's part) to save their kingdom from threats both human and dragon.
Added Author:
Pub Date:
Scholastic Press, [2017]
Holds:

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Summary

Summary

From New York Times bestselling authors Garth Nix and Sean Williams, a chivalrous adventure featuring a very unlikely knight, an admirably stubborn girl, and a talking sword.

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.


Author Notes

Garth Nix was born in Melbourne, Australia on July 19, 1963. He graduated from the University of Canberra in 1986 and worked various jobs within the publishing industry until 1994. After a stint in public relations, he returned to books and took up writing as a career. He is the author of Blood Ties, Clariel, Newt's Emerald, the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom series. In 1999, he received a Golden Duck Award for Australian Contribution to Children's Science Fiction. To Hold the Bridge was named Best Collection by the 2015 Aurealis Awards. His novella, By Frogsled and Lizardback to Outcast Venusian Lepers, was named Best Science Fiction Novella by the 2015 Aurealis Awards. In 2018, he won the 2017 Aurealis Award for the Best science-fiction short story.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Eleanor: bold, sharp, filled with dreams of adventure and knighthood. Odo: a little timid, a little unsure, not particularly fond of thinking about the future. But alas, when the two tweens stumble upon an enchanted sword, it's Odo who cuts himself on it and is granted instant knighthood by the sword itself. The sword, whose name happens to be Biter, has no problem talking and fighting, although he does seem to be having a little trouble remembering his clearly illustrious past. At any rate, domineering Biter, reluctant knight Odo, and sullen squire Eleanor have a quest to complete if they want to save their kingdom if they can figure out who they're fighting. This first series installment is a true-blue errant-knight tale, complete with dragons, sassy enchanted objects, and a destiny that comes before anyone is ready. In this world, knighthood is given regardless of gender; it eludes Eleanor not because she's a girl but because of bad timing. Hand to just about any middle-grader looking for a swashbuckling adventure.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

The discovery of an intelligent enchanted sword offers unexpected adventure for two children. When friends Odo and Eleanor find the sword called Biter, awakening it from a centuries-long slumber in the river, they're not prepared for what comes next: Biter "claims" Odo as his new owner and dubs him a knight, despite Odo's reservations and Eleanor's desire to become a hero. Nevertheless, all three set out to discover why their village's river threatens to run dry, an adventure that offers ample opportunities to confront evil and hone their skills. Nix and Williams (the Troubletwisters series) offer a fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek adventure featuring memorable heroes, an entertaining premise, and not one but two magical swords with way too much personality. "Fine steel such as myself must be cared for and protected," Biter informs the children. "As well as a scabbard, I will require sandpaper and tung oil, and a sharpening block, and..." (Biter's dialogue appears in an Old English font, making it read all the more portentously.) It's a enjoyable spin on the age-old hero's journey, filled with action and humor. Ages 8-12. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Nix and Williams twist the standard "quest set in a medievallike European-ish magical world" formula by adding a talking sword and a culture of gender parity. While the talking sword, whose dialogue is rendered in a fancy faux-illuminated font, plays the comic foil (pun intended), it's the female knights that makes this otherwise average adventure stand out. The two protagonists, Odo and Eleanor, a boy and a girl, are merited equal verbiage and heroism throughout. Eleanor wants to be a knight like her mother was. Overall, predictability reigns, as there be dragons, dwarf/elf-like silver-blooded "urthkins," magic stones, wattle-and-daub villages populated with peasants, a wise blind old lady, a creepy forest, and plenty of swordplay. Nix and Williams keep the action going with a good balance between introspection and adventure. Happily, they utterly avoid the cliche of romantic feelings between the two friends. The ending leaves ample room for a sequel. VERDICT This otherwise typical middle grade quest adventure is light, accessible, and, refreshingly, challenges the gender norms of the genre. Lovers of classic fantasy should enjoy this.-Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

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. Excerpted from Have Sword, Will Travel by Garth Nix, Sean Williams All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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