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Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)

Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: Song of the Lioness, Book One
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: Jan 1983
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 274
Buy: The Book Depository

Book Description: From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.

But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins — one that will leard to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land. 

This author has been recommended to me on several occasions and having heard so many great things about her I knew when I saw this book for $1.99 I had to get it. My first impression was that I loved how fast of a read this book was going to be. It took me just a day to read it and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The writing was smooth and simple, great for a young adult read, but it didn’t get bogged in trying to dumb down the information like many younger reads have. The story flowed so well and it was easy to just sink into the world of Tortall. I really enjoyed Alanna as a character. She was snarky, stubborn and determined and she reminds me a lot of Arya from A Song of Ice and Fire by George Martin. Myles was also a fun character with his stories and his years of knowledge, I look forward to seeing what else happens with this character. George, the King of Thieves, was delightful. His reaction to Alanna’s secret was hilarious.

I did, however, have a few qualms with this book. The first is that I felt Alanna didn’t grow much as a person over the years that take place in this novel. There is a least three years from the time she leaves home to the end of the novel and I don’t feel like she changed much or at all for that matter. Second, it felt a bit odd that everyone accepted her so quickly. It didn’t seem that realistic to me but it made sense for how short the story was. Mostly, I was a looking forward to a bigger climax. I felt that the big plot event wasn’t all that eventful. I feel like this book was more as a set up for what will happen in the rest of the series and there are many occasions that set up for what I think will be the big overall plot line to this quartet. It ended with “The Beginning” which I felt is rather appropriate for this first novel.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to see where the story goes. While I feel that this wasn’t all that elaborate adventure that I was expecting it to be, I do believe the rest of the quartet will supply the bigger plot events. I think this is just the beginning of Alanna’s adventures and I look forward to reading about them. It was such a fun and fast read and it was so easy to just fall into the world that Pierce had created for us to enjoy. I think this was a great introduction to Tamora Pierce as an author and I definitely plan to read her other quartets and series that she has written over the years.

My Rating: ★★★.5

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