April 18, 2011

A Warrior's Heart • Alanna: The First Adventure

Alanna: The First Adventure Tamora Pierce book cover
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Series: Song of the Lioness #1
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 6, 2005
Source/Format: Borrowed from Macky || e-book

Alanna knows she isn't meant to become some proper lady cloistered in a convent. Instead, she wants to be a great warrior maiden--a female knight. But in the land of Tortall, women aren't allowed to train as warriors. So Alanna finds a way to switch places with her twin, Thom, and take his place as a knight in training at the palace of King Roald. Soon, she is garnering the admiration of all around her, including the crown prince, with her strong work ethic and her thirst for knowledge. But all the while, she is haunted by the recurring vision of a black stone city that emanates evil... somehow she knows it is her fate to purge that place of its wickedness. 

I absolutely ADORE Tamora Pierce's books.

The first time I read through all of her series, I tore through them so quickly, eagerly anticipating the next adventure, the next character I'd fall in love with, the next twisted plot or evil villain. Her books are a stellar example of good writing and beautiful storytelling that engage readers instantly.

That having been said, this is probably the third time I've read through the Song of the Lioness quartet... and it still felt like the first time. I found myself immersed completely in the world of Alanna of Trebond and all her friends and enemies.

Alanna is an admirable protagonist. Despite her own failings and flaws, there's so much about her that I love - her strength, her sense of what the right thing is, her courage, her determination and her intelligence. She's just so cool.

And plus, I got a chance to reacquaint myself with George and Prince Jonathan, both of whom hold a very special place in my heart. I always swoon at the thought of Prince Jon, but George, oh George, worms his way into my attentions too.

That having been said, I think that this first installment is a nice introductory story into the world of Tortall. It's a nicely paced, adventure filled story of how Alanna disguises herself as a boy in order to train for knighthood. I feel for Alanna in a lot of the situations she faces, although there are times when I want to smack her in the upside of the head too.

Alanna: The First Adventure, on a whole, is an enjoyable read, and a great introduction to the series.


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