Tamora Pierce has written many books for young adults over the years, usually with strong, independent female characters. I have been reading Tamora Pierce since middle school, when a friend recommended I read Alanna: The First Adventure. It was the start of a love to rival that of Harry Potter!
I decided to write about Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen instead of any of the others because they are the two Tamora Pierce books that I pick up over and over again–my copy of Trickster’s Choice has a few pages that are falling out and my copy of Trickster’s Queen has a ding on the cover where I dropped it on the street on my way home from the bus stop. These two books and I have been through a lot together!
The Trickster’s series follows Alianne, or Aly, of Pirate’s Swoop as she becomes involved with a country seeped in racism and poverty and the family that could change it all. After foolishly leaving her home, Aly is kidnapped by pirates and taken to the Copper Isles as a slave, where she begins to work for the Balitang family. She soon learns that the Balitangs are not a typical Kyprian family, and something about the two Balitang daughters seems to be of vital importance to the downtrodden raka people of the Isles. A story of intrigue, queens, magic, gods, revenge, and finding a place and a passion, the Trickster’s series could be called the Game of Thrones for teens.
This is Tamora Pierce at her best! Give Tamora Pierce a try–I hope you love her as much as I do!
Pierce, Tamora. Trickster’s Choice. New York: Random House, 2003. Cover art by Joyce Tenneson. Image from BN.com.
Pierce, Tamora. Trickster’s Queen. New York: Random House, 2004. Cover art by Joyce Tenneson. Image from BN.com.
Castles, knights in shining armor, honor, glory, betrayal, love, sex, dragons, a haunted forest—George R. R. Martin’s fantasy A Game of Thrones truly has all the requirements of the genre! Told from the points of view of almost ten different characters, the reader experiences the complicated game that is plotting to take, winning, and keeping a throne from every angle, which can sometimes leave the reader wondering exactly which side they’re on! Martin has filled the pages of A Game of Thrones with rich and memorable characters, like witty Tyrion, headstrong Arya, and confident Daenerys, and has done a good job spinning a new tale around the timeless “game of thrones.”
Although this book is quite long (about 800 pages!), I found it to be a pretty easy read. Martin certainly knows how to draw a reader in and how to leave them hanging at the end of a chapter, therefore keeping her attention! Although I really liked the book, and am keen to read the rest of the series, I didn’t think it was a page turner, and the middle third was even a bit tedious as I waited for tensions and events to really heat up. I was however very impressed by the amount of detail that Martin has included about the world of A Game of Thrones. Such detail really made the setting and characters come alive for me!
I know that A Game of Thrones has been made into an HBO TV show as well. I’ve never watched it, but I’ve heard good things and after looking up the cast I’m very happy with the actors chosen to portray the characters—now that I’ve read the book, I think a trip to the store to buy the first season is in order!
Martin, George R. R. A Game of Thrones. New York: Bantam, 1996.
Cover design by David Stevenson. Cover art copyright by Larry Rostant. Image from amazon.com.