Pierce's sequel to Trickster's Choice continues the saga of the Tortellan Aly in disguise as spymaster to the raka of the Copper Isles. Returning from winter exile in the farthest island of the chain, Aly arrives with her Balitang family in the capital city of Rajmuatdirectly into a growing revolt against the ruling luarin nobility. Naturally, nineteen-year-old Aly has it all well in hand. With the help of her well-trained operatives, her erstwhile crow-man lover, Nawat, and the reappearance of Pierce's clever little darkings, the return of the throne to Aly's princess in waiting would appear to be a sure thing. That is, until Sarai decides to elope, and Nawat makes himself scarce, and . . . Once again Tamora Pierce has stretched her medieval fantasy world into a place of high intrigue, adventure, and battle. It is fun to have the spunky Aly back again, but she is not having as much fun here as in her previous adventures. Perhaps it is because she has already been accepted and there are few new surprises to her character. The book is still a good, rousing read. 2004, Random House, Ages 12 up.
In writing this sequel to Trickster's Choice (Random House, 2003/VOYA October 2003), Pierce successfully presents the events of the previous book in the opening pages, allowing this volume to stand well on its own merit. Infused with spirited action and intrigue, this fantasy moves with lightening speed toward a war for power in the Copper Isles, home to two races of peoples, the native raka and the usurping luarin from the Eastern lands. The heroine is Aly Homewood, a spymaster from another kingdom sent by the Trickster god to win back the throne for the raka, and in so doing, to help him regain his dominion over the Isles. Many months of recruiting rebels and spies precede the opening pages. The novel begins as Aly accompanies the half-raka future queen and her family as they come home to the capital city from exile. What ensues is a power struggle involving humans, gods, immortals, and fantastic beings, all of whom must choose a side and fight from their hearts. The most interesting new creatures are the darkings, charming little shape-shifting globs who hide and spy for Aly all over the city. There are so many characters that Pierce thankfully includes an extensive cast in the back as well as a glossary of her imaginative place names, gods, and dynasties. Boys and girls alike will enjoy this fantasy-the boys for its nonstop adventure and the girls for its strong female characters. VOYA CODES: 4Q 5P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2004, Random House, 240p.; Glossary., and PLB Ages 11 to 15.
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, September 2004: Pierce continues the story of brave and clever Aly, daughter of Alanna (from Pierce's The Story of the Lioness quartet) and heroine of Trickster's Choice (an ALA Best Book for YAs; reviewed in KLIATT in November 2003), in this feminist fantasy about conspiracies in an exotic land. Aly, age 17, is bodyguard to Dove, the potential queen of the Copper Isles, and her siblings, as well as spymaster for a rebel group hoping to put Dove on the throne. Aly must use her magic to protect her charges and to help the rebel group, as dangers lurk everywhere. She is aided--and courted--by Nawat, a young man who had once been a crow, who provides training in the fighting arts, as well as by crows, mages, and helpful little shape-shifting "darklings." Meanwhile, only the trickster god Kyprioth knows Aly's true identity as part of a famous family from the rival kingdom of Tortall. The Prologue briefly summarizes the events of the first book, but this complex and rewarding tale, with its admirable protagonist, will be best appreciated by those who have already read that one. A cast of characters and a glossary are appended. (Sequel to Trickster's Choice). KLIATT Codes: JSA--Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Random House, 467p. map., Ages 12 to adult.
Gr 7-10-In this sequel to the well-received Trickster's Choice (Random, 2003), Pierce deftly weaves an unforgettable story about Alianne (Aly) of Pirate's Swoop. As the novel opens, the wife and children of the late Duke Mequen Balitang return to the capital city of Rajmuat from their exile on their distant estate. Aly has become a maid to Lady Dovasary, daughter of the late duke, and, more importantly, she is now the spymaster of the raka rebellion that is determined to put Dovasary's sister on the throne in place of the four-year-old luarin king. The light-skinned luarin have oppressed the dark-skinned raka for centuries, and the luarin co-regents now in charge of the Copper Isles are losing their grip on reality as well as on their kingdom. With Aly in control, the raka rebellion is able to stir up enough unrest to cause the uprising to begin. Aly, who is the daughter of Alanna the Lioness of Tortall (from the "Lioness Quartet" series), is delightful in her deviousness. The teen is exceptionally brave, sassy, and diplomatic. She is surrounded by a large supporting cast, which is well developed and necessary to the story. The plot sweeps readers along in a whirlwind of court intrigue, deception, murder, and romance. The humor is wicked, and the plot twists will keep the pages turning to the supremely satisfying end. Teens will be inspired by Aly's determination, her resourcefulness, and her heart.-Anna M. Nelson, Seabrook Library, NH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
A mix of best and worst in this exciting but oddly paced conclusion to the Trickster duet. Several months have passed since the conclusion of Trickster's Choice (2003) and Alanna's daughter Aly has been training her network of raka rebels against their colonial luarin overlords. Now the Balitang family-Aly's former owners, current unwitting hosts to the rebellion's leaders, and home of two half-raka daughters prophesied to rule post-rebellion-has returned to the capital city. Aly must hold her simmering rebels in readiness, keep her identity secret, succeed at romance, and prevent an all-out bloodbath. Along the way, she plays nursemaid to Balitang daughters Dove and Sarai and a tense and dangerous city. Aly's cleverness and a god's help bring an idealized conclusion to the realistically complex colonial setting-if only it were so easy in the real world. Too rushed for satisfying depth (another volume would have helped develop the fascinating but shallow web of secondary characters), but Aly is easily among the most interesting of Pierce's heroines. Thrilling fun, despite its flaws. (Fantasy. 12-16)
“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
“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
“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
“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