Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alanna: The First Adventure { Song of the Lioness #1 }

Title: Alanna: The First Adventure
 {Book 1 of the Song of the Lioness Quartet}
Author: Tamora Pierce
Ideal Age Range: 9-12 years
Mass Market Paperback: 216 pages
Synopsis: A set of fraternal twins in a fictional world called Tortall switch places so that they can fulfill their dreams of becoming a famous Knight of the Realm for the sister and to become one of the most powerful sorcerers for the brother, Thom.  The book follows Alan, as she is now known, through her first four years at the Palace as a Page on the first part of her path to becoming a Knight. It tells of how she meets the Prince's group of friends and they become her own, and how she overcomes her disadvantages of being small and her fear of her magic, along with fighting a mage borne illness and some ancient, powerful creatures that are bent on doing her and her Prince harm.
My Rating:(★★★★★) ( I may be biased ) Okay, here's the thing. I read these first when I was in middle school. Basically they were only a few years old then. I still have the paperback copies that I begged my Mom to get me. I've read this whole series of books at least a dozen times. They are, in fact, my favorite books.  Yes, I am a 28 year old whose favorite books are written for the demographic now known as Tweens.
My.  Favorite.  Of. All. Time.

I may be a little ridiculous, but in all seriousness, I even reread them recently just to see if I still really really loved them, and I found out that I do!  I find Tamora Pierce ultimately entertaining and the fact that a lot of her books have strong female characters that happen to be the kind of characters that I love to imagine myself as doesn’t hurt.
Plus, her books are fantasies, which equals AWESOME to me. Throw any mixture of magic, horses, and swordsmanship into the pot and you've got me! Hook, line and sinker!
Her books happen to be pretty short because they are from the time before Harry Potter where publishers found that Young Adults/Teens/Tweens CAN read books longer than 300 pages! So, obviously with a smaller amount of pages there is going to be less description, but I don't need everything described to me, that's why I have an imagination!
I love that these books set up the foundation of why Alanna is the way she is, there is great character development throughout the four books and you see the characters grow as you read.  That’s rare in Young Adult books I’ve found.  These books are not stereotypical and they are phenomenal at teaching or at least instilling the desire to be “Knightly”, in my experience.  They definitely encouraged me to look outside the normal adventures of a pre-teen.  So, instead of only playing softball and learning dance, I was also interested in reading about/learning about castles and medieval life, jousting, and what chivalry really meant.
These books opened the doors for me.  Into my love of fantasy books and highflying sword bearing adventure tales.  I’ll always love them for that!
Happy reading!
Quotes: Coram (to Alanna): Watch your saddlebags. There are some here as would steal their own mother's teeth!
George: Who, me?

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

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