As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

January 27, 2011

ALANNA: SONG OF THE LIONESS by Tamora Pierce, 1989

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness)
"From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight." And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins -- one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land. (Amazon product description)

Reviewed by Kelly McCreery, avid reader and book collector

I discovered Tamora Pierce by accident. I often raid resale shops for old books in the hopes of finding a "treasure" or two, and when I came across her book Wild Magic, I just had to have it! The cover art spoke to me and drew me in and I ended up completing the series in a week. When I googled Tamora, I found that by far her most popular work was the 'Song of the Lioness' Quartet, which begins with Alanna.

Alanna is a story of a girl who wishes to do more with her life than other girls her age. She longs to be knight, and so she switches places with her brother and ends up having the adventure of a lifetime. The characters are numerous and colorful: from the young prince Jonathan, to the handsome thief George, to the bullying, evil ,Ralon- there is no shortage of excitement. The story is fast-paced and page turning. It has just the right balance of humor, action, romance and mystery. The entire series is defenitely worth a read. Or 2 or 3 reads, if you're like me.

The beauty of Tamora Pierce's books is how real they are. Even though they are fantasy books, I feel like the events in them really could have happened.  I find myself becoming so engrossed in the story that I don't want it to end. The beauty of Mrs. Pierce's books is that you get to follow Alanna's journey  through out some of her other novels. She pops up every now and then, and it's like catching up with an old friend that you haven't talked to in a while.

Now, I am one of Tamora Pierce's loyal fans. One whole shelf of one of my many bookcases houses her books. Her books span decades, but one thing is clear- her writing is terrific and just gets better with each book. Now, it is a real thrill for me to find a new Tamora Pierce at the book store.

Her books are a must have for any fantasy fan - or anyone who just likes a good story!!

Market: Young Adult
Language: None - Mild, depending on the book
Sensuality: None - Mild, there is a bit in later books
Violence: Mild - Moderate
Mature Themes: puberty, death, spells and magic (some may call them mature)

Book fomats:
Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness) (paperback)
Alanna: The First Adventure (e-book)
The Song of the Lioness Quartet: Alanna: The First Adventure / In the Hand of the Goddess / The Woman Who Rides Like a Man / Lioness Rampant (the entire 4-book Alanna series)

To learn more about the author, visit: Tamora Pierce


Kim said...

Oh, I LOVE Tamora Pierce's book, TERRIER. I just "discovered" it last summer! I've got three more of her newer books on my bookshelf, waiting for me to read them, and now that you've recommended this series, it looks like I'll be reading Tamora Pierce for the rest of this winter!

Thanks for this great review!

Rebecca said...

oh. MY. GOD. I POSITIVELY ADORE Tammy Pierce!! She is absolutely one of my favorite writers in EXISTENCE. I discovered this book by accident too and I've been stuck in Tortall Ever since.

Amy Finnegan {} said...

I'll admit it: I've never read a book by Tamora Pierce - isn't that a shame? What am I thinking? I've heard my friends gush and gush about them for years!

(Note to self: seriously, Amy, stop being an idiot and read one of her books!)