When I was an early teen, two of my favorite books were [b:The Blue Sword|407813|The Blue Sword (Damar, #1)|Robin McKinley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1286927812s/407813.jpg|2321296]and [b:The Hero and the Crown|77366|The Hero and the Crown (Damar, #2)|Robin McKinley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348790397s/77366.jpg|2321243]. I must have read them several times a year. I recently showed them to my fantasy obsessed 3rd grader. And while he didn't find them anything special (they are about a GIRL after all and there aren't a lot of battles), I've had a hankering to revisit the land of Damar ever since.
While there are parts of [b:The Hero and the Crown|77366|The Hero and the Crown (Damar, #2)|Robin McKinley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348790397s/77366.jpg|2321243] that move a bit too slowly, it's still a good story, and Robin McKinley just has a way with words I find appealing.