~posted by Ruth

How did I miss this series–and this author, Tamora Pierce–for so long?  Luckily, my friend Lisa Winters to the rescue!  She gave me the four-book series for my birthday and I soon as I started Alanna the First Adventure, I was swept up in the story, the realistic fantasy world of knights and ladies, thieves and healers, romance and magic.

Ten-year-old Alanna and her twin brother Thom are as different in personality as they are nearly identical in looks, with the same red hair and slight build.  Not to mention their brilliant purple eyes, which show their strong potential for magic and healing.  Thom embraces this gift and hopes to be a great sorcerer–but as their eleventh birthday approaches, he is being sent off to be a page and train for knighthood.  Alanna, on the other hand, wants nothing of her magical powers and wishes she could be a knight-in-training, rather than being sent to the convent to learn skills for a lady of the court.  So they decide to switch places–with clever forged letters and a bit of conspiracy.  Alanna, pretending to be Alan begins her training as a page at the court of King Raoul.

Through this book and the three that follow, we read Alanna’s–and to a lesser extent Thom’s–adventures, filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, and not a little romance, as Alanna grows to become a young woman, a woman knight who becomes a legend.  There are strong woman characters besides Alanna, as well as original personalities like Liam, a fierce warrior and George, the Rogue ( or king of the the thieves).

Luckily for readers, Tamora Pierce has written a couple of other series, and I can’t wait to dig in–and share them with my sixth-grade friends this fall.


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