Trickster's Choice


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A brand new hardback from Tamora Pierce. Alianne has an oppressive heritage. She is the daughter of Alanna, Lady Knight and King's Champion - the foremost warrior of Tortall. (See "Song of the Lioness".) Aly is not a fighter - she hates her mother's obsession, which constantly takes her away from her family and makes her children feel neglected and resentful - especially Aly. After a stormy argument with her mother, Aly runs away to make them sorry. But she gets more than she bargained for when she is kidnapped by ...

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Oct 19, 2008

Add one more good one to the rolls

With Alianne, or Aly, of Pirate's Swoop, Pierce adds another strong, capable heroine to her already quite full canon. Daughter of Alanna and George Cooper, Aly's story is about finding one's way in the shadow of parents who are known for greatness. One might expect the daughter of the Lioness to follow those footsteps into knighthood, but Aly's talents lie elsewhere.
I find the strength of this series to be in the over-arching plot, which is extremely high stakes and laced with intrigue. Whereas Alanna's books were all tied together by her preventing a usurpation of the throne by an ambitious Duke, Aly's are about the effects of colonialism and the attempt of an oppressed people to retake their ancestral homeland. This plot does not meander; it matters. This has been a consistent strength of Pierce's Tortallan books. Within this strong narrative frame, Pierce takes ample opportunity to develop her heroine into a snarky, capable, and likable character.


Apr 29, 2007

Long Live Tortallian Spies!

Pierce, Tamora

Ever since reading The Lioness Quartet when I was in middle-school, I've been a devoted fan of Tamora Pierce's books. I can read them again and again and never grow tired of them! They're marketed to younger readers, but even as an adult, I still thoroughly enjoy them. Trickster's Choice is no exception. Although it took a while to get adjusted to the idea of Alanna as an adult mother who isn't as perfect in that role as she is in so many others, the fact that the story leaves her mainly on the outskirts and focuses instead on her daughter, Aly. Like her mom, Aly is brave, stubborn and nearly fearless - a perfect addition to the wonderful heroines that grace Ms. Pierce's books. Unlike her mom, though, Aly is not a fighter. Her skills are much more similar to her da's: spying and seeing. This, too, is a refreshing change from the other Tortall books and makes this book much more enjoyable for readers who might not like all the fighting scenes in the other books. Aly is frustrated at home, for her parents refuse to allow her to pursue her dream: of becoming a spy for the realm. (Which is quite funny, considering that they would allow her to become a knight instead.) Luckily, though, the Trickster god Kyprioth intervenes and cons Aly into becoming a part of a growing but secret rebellion in the Copper Isles.

I also enjoyed the addition of the Copper Isles and its history to Tamora Pierce's imaginary world. I found its racial-based turmoil and unrest very similar to much of what America and other countries have had to deal with and I think that many of Aly's outsider perceptions are things that we ourselves need to see: our value lies not in being luarin (white) or raka (black) but rather in being a good person on the inside. Our skin color is only a mask hiding our true selves - it should never be used to judge us or to determine our worth!

All in all, another EXCELLENT book from Tamora Pierce!

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