This launch novel in a new series stars the 16-year-old daughter of Pierce's first novel, Alanna. According to PW, "The climax is worth the wait, and ably sets up a framework for future adventures of this very likable new heroine." Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
With this novel, Pierce begins a series featuring Alianne Cooper, daughter of Alanna, the heroine in the Song of the Lioness Quartet. Sixteen-year-old Alianne, or Aly, wishes to become a spy like her father, but neither parent supports her dangerous aspirations. When Aly is captured by slave traders in the Copper Isles, she fulfills her desire in unexpected ways. Making a wager with the Trickster god, Kyprioth, Aly contracts to safeguard two girls who are related to the current luarin royal dynasty as well as the dispossessed raka rulers. Aly must create a secret spy network and fighting force to defend her charges from royal assassins, bringing hopeful raka slaves and haughty luarin nobles under her command. Expect teens to snatch this book the very second it hits the shelves. Pierce delivers not only the continuation of her beloved Alanna series but also creates a smart, sassy heroine whose struggles to escape her parents' expectations and find her own niche will resonate with teens. Furthermore, no reader will forget Aly's love interest. Transformed from a crow, Nawat's devotion consists of offers to "mob" Aly's enemies and feed her fresh bugs. Pierce melds political intrigue, interfering gods, and memorable mortals to fashion a powerful story line with humorous undertones, marred occasionally by plot contrivances inserted to prevent Aly's family from intervening. Nevertheless, this series opener is packed with Pierce's alluring mix of fantasy, adventure, romance, and humor, making the book an essential purchase for school and public libraries. VOYA Codes: 4Q 5P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday; MiddleSchool, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Random House, 446p,
To quote from the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, November 2003: It's not easy being the daughter of a legend. Aly's mother is the bold and brave Alanna (heroine of Pierce's The Song of the Lioness quartet), but Aly doesn't aspire to be a knight like her. Instead the 16-year-old dreams of helping her country, the magical kingdom of Tortall, by serving as a spy, though her parents worry that it is too dangerous. Aly gets a chance to prove her worth as an undercover agent when she is captured by pirates and sold as a slave in another land. A trickster god named Kyprioth intervenes in her fate, promising to return her to her home and to convince her parents to let her become a spy if she will safeguard her master's children through the summer. The master and his family are out of favor with the king, and they have been exiled to a remote tropical island. Aly accompanies them there, and gets involved in politics, murderous plots, the machinations of the gods, and racial issues, too. A raven-turned-boy comes to her aid, and offers some romantic interest as well in this adventure-filled, well-plotted tale. Pierce is particularly good at creating strong female characters, and fantasy fans both young and old will enjoy her imaginative and engrossing tales. Readers will eagerly await the next volume in this exciting new series. (An ALA Best Book for YAs.) KLIATT Codes: JSA*Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Random House, 422p. maps., Ages 12 to adult.
Pierce is back, with a handsome upscale cover, for the continuation of her Kingdom of Tortall fantasy saga. This entry smoothly segues into the story of Aly, the sixteen-year-old dilettante daughter of Alanna the Lioness, the King's Champion. After an adolescent spat with her formidable mother, Aly sails off for some breathing time—to be promptly seized by pirates and sold into slavery in the Copper Isles. Aly, being her parents' daughter (her father is spymaster to the king) accepts this as an opportunity and promptly insinuates herself into a royal family and their political problems, with a little nudge from the local trickster god, Kyprioth. Following Aly and her new masters into exile, Pierce overcomes her former over-emphasis on magic and allows the non-gifted Aly to solve each challenge through sheer intelligence alone (mostly). This refreshing change turns the story into a non-stop adventure that could be taking place in any medieval empire . . . well, any medieval empire that contains a cast including a charming man-crow who adds a new touch to romance scenes by preening the heroine's hair! Pierce's dedicatory offer of thanks for editorial advice to "read aloud" is well given. Her writing style has improved by degrees. The result is the usual Tamora Pierce page-turner that's also a pleasure to read. Aly herself grows from merely trying to win a wager with an unprincipled god akin to the Navajos' Coyote—into a young woman of mission who cares deeply for her charges. Bring on the sequel! 2003, Random House, Ages 10 to 14.
Gr 7-10-Alianne, daughter of Alanna (Alanna: The First Adventure [Random, 1989]), is ready to create her own legend. As the book opens, Aly, 16, longs to follow in her father's footsteps as a spy, but her parents refuse to allow it. Annoyed, she sails off in her boat, only to be captured by pirates and sold into slavery, fortunately to kindly Duke Balitang. She meets Kyprioth, the Trickster, and strikes a bargain: if Aly keeps the Duke and his family safe for the summer, Kyprioth will return her to her family and persuade her parents to let her be a spy. With magic, spells, winged horses that are part human and part metal, crows that take human form (and provide a romance for Aly), brutal fighting, treason, and attempted kidnapping, this fantasy has plenty to hold readers' attention. It also offers an interesting examination of race, as well as a look at an adolescent's finding her independence, an especially difficult task with such a powerful mother. Aly is a strong, intelligent, and resilient feminist who stretches this fantasy to a parable of girl-power. The book at times bogs down in the sheer number of characters and relationships, and in the author's zealous attention to descriptive details, but Pierce's fans will enjoy it.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
The new Tortall page-turner will delight existing fans and create many more. Alanna’s daughter, Aly, is a rogue like her father, the former thief who’s made legions of Pierce’s girl fans swoon. At 16, Aly’s an accomplished flirt--and brilliant at the intelligence work learned from her spymaster father. Her parents demand she pick any career but her beloved spying. After a fight with her mother--"try being the daughter of a legend"--Aly sails off in a snit, is captured by pirates, and sold as a slave in the Copper Isles. A bet with a local trickster god plunges her into a simmering race war, court intrigue surrounding a mad king, and a centuries-old conflict between gods. Winning will take all her diplomatic and spying talents. Unlike Pierce’s earlier protagonists, Aly arrives fully formed, a snarky, talented uber-heroine. Cameos of old favorites complement a rich cast of new characters. Aly’s difficulty with the complexity of colonialism adds surprising, welcome depth. A ripping good yarn that introduces a new series. (glossary, cast of characters) (Fiction. 10-15)
“Tamora Pierce didn’t just blaze a trail. Her heroines cut a swath through the fantasy world with wit, strength, and savvy. Her stories still lead the vanguard today. Pierce is the real lioness, and we’re all just running to keep pace.”
—LEIGH BARDUGO, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Tamora Pierce creates epic worlds populated by girls and women of bravery, heart, and strength. Her work inspired a generation of writers and continues to inspire us.”
—HOLLY BLACK, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Few authors can slay so effectively with a single sentence—I mean fist-in-the-air, shouting-at-my-book slay—as Tamora Pierce. All these years later, I still draw strength from her words.”
—MARIE LU, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Tamora Pierce’s books shaped me not only as a young writer but also as a young woman. Her complex, unforgettable heroines and vibrant, intricate worlds blazed a trail for young adult fantasy—and I get to write what I love today because of the path she forged throughout her career. She is a pillar, an icon, and an inspiration. Cracking open one of her marvelous novels always feels like coming home.”
—SARAH J. MAAS, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“In the world of YA fantasy, there’s before Tamora Pierce, and then after her female heroes started kicking down the doors (and walls, and other barriers)!”
—BRUCE COVILLE, New York Times bestselling author
“It’s impossible to overstate Tamora Pierce’s impact on children’s literature. Her tough, wise, and wonderful heroines have inspired generations of readers. Her encouragement of up-and-coming authors is unparalleled. Thank you, Tammy, for Alanna and Beka and more, for your generosity of spirit, for your incredible legacy.”
—RAE CARSON, New York Times bestselling author
“Tamora Pierce is a trailblazer for so many fantasy writers, hacking through the old tropes with her narrative machete and showing us that girl-centered adventures are not just possible but amazing. Many of us might have peered at the impenetrable thicket of traditional fantasy and given up before we even began, if not for her.”
—RACHEL HARTMAN, New York Times bestselling author
“Tamora Pierce’s writing is like water from the swiftest, most refreshingly clear, invigorating, and revitalizing river. I return to her books time and time again.”
—GARTH NIX, New York Times bestselling author
“Tamora Pierce’s novels gave me a different way of seeing the world. They were like nothing I’d encountered before. Alanna stormed her way into my thirteen-year-old heart and told me that I could write gorgeous, complicated novels about vibrantly real people in fantastic situations, and, to be honest, she’s never left.”
—ALAYA DAWN JOHNSON, award-winning author of Love Is the Drug
“Tamora Pierce is the queen of YA fantasy, and we are all happy subjects in her court.”
—JESSICA CLUESS, author of A Shadow Bright and Burning