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Editor’s Note

“Inspiring fantasy...”

Thirty years after its initial publication, this fantasy quartet continues to inspire young women. Strong-willed Alanna won't let her fears or her gender deter her from becoming a knight.
Ashley M.
Scribd Editor
From Tamora Pierce, the first book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, honored with the Margaret A. Edwards Award.

“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. 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; 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 lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.

Topics: Knights, Twins, Female Protagonist, Adventurous, Magic, Mistaken Identity, Siblings, Disguises, Series, First in a Series, Coming of Age, Friendship, Alternate Universe, Princes, Nobility, Women Pushing Boundaries, Rebellion, Supernatural Powers, Exciting, and Mystical

Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers on Dec 8, 2009
ISBN: 9781439120293
List price: $7.99
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Read straight through! Can't wait for the second book!read more
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love this auther loved this seriesread more
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A warm, strong adventure with great characters and an exciting plot. It reads a little "younger" than some of the other Pierce novels I've read, but I really enjoyed it.read more
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I was delighted to see that this series had been reissued and once again sits on many retail shelves. This book is perfect for teenage girls. Alanna the heroine is on one hand, vivacious, headstrong and empathetic, a wonderful role model, and on the other hand she has to deal with the insecurities of a changing body and feelings whilst disguised as a boy. It is a wonderful adventure series that to this day hasn't grown old with all the mix or magic, boarding school and friendship that we have all grown to love no matter what generation. This book will not miss the target if bought as a gift, it is fast pace, witty and you are bound to fall in love with its characters. A delightful read and one I hope that will linger for generations to come.read more
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I like it. i think it's well written, complicated enough to keep you interested but not so complicated that you lose the plot. The characters are likeable and interesting.read more
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I loved the "Song of the Lioness" series in general, especially the first and third ones. However, I was extremely disappointed by this final addition to the quartet. It did not live up to my expectations whatsoever. None of the characters really made me sympathize or feel for them. The author had two chances for an amazing, page-turning climax (when Alanna fights for the Dominion Jewel and when she fights Duke Roger toward the end) but both of them are over within a few pages.Also, an extremely aggravating aspect of this book was the romance. First of all, it wasn't all that romantic; it was all written entirely too factually and quickly to seem as if it had any feeling behind it. Secondly, there are three guys who fall for Alanna and she goes back and forth between them within single paragraphs... the least talked about one is the one she ends up being with in the end, which came as a surprise to me because she hadn't seemed to have feelings for him at all through the rest of the book.I would say that if you liked the rest of this series, read this just so that you can see how everything turns out in the end. But honestly, I was very disappointed and didn't like this book very much.A less than average end to an excellent series. Too bad!read more
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I read one book of this series as a young girl from the public library, and liked it enough, but the library never had the others; so when I saw a chance to snap of the whole series, I jumped at it.This really quite good YA fantasy! It's formulaic, especially in the evil-magician A-plot, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, nad the unusual vividness of the characters & their relationships make up for it. I like Alanna, and I like all the secondary characters, and the way her training and growing up is given the attention it deserves, and her relationships with the boys in her life are much more realistic than one comes to expect.What I really didn't like is the resolution of this book, in which Alanna & her boy-prince are the destined saviors of the mystical desert people. Really? The Bazhir, & Alanna & Jon's relationships with them get more complicated as the series continues, but I still feel like, too often, they're just a vehicle for teaching Our Heroes things rather than getting to have their own stories.read more
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This was my introduction to Pierce, as an adult--but I still found it a compelling read despite being well over the age of the targeted market. It doesn't quite make it up there as a favorite book--she has lots of competition in heroic fantasy, including her own. I do think Pierce is one of those authors that grows from book to book, and my favorites are her later series: the books centered on Alanna's daughter Aly, on Beka Cooper, an ancestress of a character in this quartet of books, and her other "lady knight," Keladry. The style isn't what I'd consider graceful either in this novel, but there are quotable and striking lines even in the early books and it's a simple enough style for younger readers. But I do love Pierce's characters, and the feisty page Alanna, so determined to become a knight she passes herself off as a boy, is the anti-Bella of heroines.read more
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I enjoyed reading this book. George is one of my favorite characters, even if he is a rogue.Very easy reading and entertaining.read more
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The first book in the first quartet of Tamora Pierce's Tortall canon, perhaps my absolute most-read, most-loved, most-memorized set of books as a child. The absolute cream of the crop of girls' adventure fiction, this book covers Alanna's time as a page in the palace of Tortall, disguised as a boy--girl's aren't allowed to become knights. A well-characterized, empowering, adventurous beginning to a series -every- ten-year-old girl should read.read more
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Alanna: The First Adventure is the first story in Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet. The story begins with Alanna trading places with her twin brother, Thom, so that she can go to the palace to train as a knight while Thom goes to the City of the Gods to train as a sorcerer. Because girls are not allowed to train as knights, Alanna disguises herself as a boy and calls herself Alan. The only person who knows the truth is Coram, her caregiver who is a former soldier. Alanna works hard and keeps most people fooled about her identity until a magical sickness threatens her friend, Prince Jonathan. Alanna's healing gift works in saving Jonathan's life, but reveals her identity to Sir Myles. However, her secret is safe with him. Alanna's friend George, the King of Thieves, also learns the truth when Alanna sees his mother for guidance after getting her period. Alanna continues to work and train and fight (both in training and outside of it) until she accompanies Jonathan to the Black City where the two fight and destroy the Ysandir. In the fight, Alanna's identity is revealed to Jonathan. Although initially unsettled, Jonathan chooses to keep Alanna's secret and selects her as his sqire. Truth be told, I am a sucker for stories where girls take on roles that are not traditionally allowed to them. What I truly valued about this story was how the author, Tamora Pierce, addressed the issues of growing up, puberty, and the difficulties they present when trying to hide your true gender. She didn't ignore Alanna's changing body, but addressed it and found ways for Alanna to cope with it. Although the book had its share of villains trying to get the best of Alanna (Ralon of Malven and Duke Roger), Alanna had many men on her side as well (Coram, Sir Myles, George, and Jonathan). I loved every minute of this story (despite its typos) and can't wait to continue the series.This book would appeal to 7th and 8th grade girls the most. Girls of this age will appreciate Alanna's having to deal with puberty in the face of fulfilling her dreams and the idea of a strong, young woman working hard to make it in a man's world.read more
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Due to be sent to a convent for training as a sorceror, Alanna trades places with twin brother Alan and finds that learning the art of warfare, and working as a page, is tough, especially for the smallest and weakest page. As she earns the respect of her peers and accepts her own abilities, she finds herself on an unauthorized adventure with John, the king's son.read more
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A young girl disguises herself as a boy so she can train as a knight.I guess the third time's the charm. I'd read two of Pierce's books prior to this one, and I can't say as I was very impressed. This one has changed my opinion. I had a lot of fun with it! It's most definitely a children's book, so far as style goes, but this never detracted from my enjoyment of it.I really liked how Pierce drew out Alanna's training. I'd heard that these books were hardcore Mary Sue territory, and expected Alanna to be instantly amazing at everything she tried. This is far from the case. While she does do very well, Piece makes it clear that her accomplishments are the result of hard work and dedication. I really appreciate heroes who rise to the top by labour rather than luck.The plot is somewhat episodic, and there are a few areas that I would have liked to have seen fleshed out a bit more. Alanna's instant hatred of Roger could've done with a little more detail; perhaps that's coming in later books? Her friendships were nicely delineated, but I still felt Pierce could've gone a bit deeper with them by providing a few more telling moments. All in all, though, the book was a fun, quick read. I'll certainly be getting the rest of the series from the library.read more
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An absolutely wonderful start to a fantastic series. Highly recommended. Tamora Pierce has never managed to surpass her first series.read more
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Alanna is a strong-willed young girl who dreams of being a knight and having adventures, and not some simpering maiden. To this end, she disguises herself as a boy and switches places with her twin brother, going to the palace to be a page and receive training. The training is very tough, but Alanna sticks with it, working hard and working extra in secret to prove to everyone - and herself - that she is just as good as any boy. She comes to know the young Prince Jonathon, and joins his circle of friends, although there's one man she doesn't trust - and that's the prince's cousin, a duke and a powerful sorcerer.This is one of those books where, having read it for the first time as an adult I really wish I had read it when I was younger. As a child I would have absolutely adored this book - it has a strong, brave female lead, magic, fantasy, adventure, an enchanted sword, a beautiful horse, immortal gods fighting battles, etc. etc. It's not hard to see why this series is a constant favourite with the elementary and junior-high aged girls who visit the public library where I work. I also definitely appreciate that Alanna is a heroine who is tough and working hard towards her goals for her own fullfillment, and not as a means to get together with some cute guy. She makes a terrific role model for the young girls who read this series. As an adult, the writing comes across as a bit juvenile, the plot a bit basic and straight-forward, the characters a bit one-dimensional - but if one is looking for a book to put in the hands of a 9-13 year old girl, it's hard to imagine a better one than Alanna.read more
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This is an interesting read if you're looking for something to divert you for a little while. It's not the sort of thing I normally read, but I seem tobe on a fantasy kick at the moment. However, it does have some things that I seriously dislike. First off, the ending. I despise most authors who don'twrite books that stand alone. If you are writing your serieses, your books should have endings that bring closure and stand for themselves. This book doesn't.The last page, instead of reading "the end" as in most books, reads "the beginning". This just served to draw my attention to a practice that I alreadyhate, and colored the rest of my perceptions of the book. Second, the culture. This is a girl-pretends-to-be-boy book (hey, at least the plot has the advantageof being steeped in tradition), but it doesn't seem to want to go through with all the required cultural baggage of a plot like this. The people who discoverAlanna's real gender do not react with a nearly appropriate level of prejudice, at least not in the first book. Any culture that is so male driven thatit requires a girl to act as a man should be much more prejudiced than this one seems to be. If you feel the need for a girl-as-boy plot, there are betterreasons for the required change, and other books that have done a better job: see [[Piers Anthony]]'s [Refugee], and [[Terry Pratchett]]'s[monstrous regiment].read more
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I discovered Tamora Pierce when I was in college and haven't been able to stop reading her books since then. I've read this one several times, but this time I listened to the audio. Trini Alvarado does a decent job with the narration but she seems a little girly for the story overall. Great to hear it though.read more
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I read these in middle school and haven’t read them since. I thought I might as well give them another try. Major eh. I think it’s really Pierce’s writing style which tends to consist of short little scenes that aren’t very well connected. Also, I get tired of Young Girl Overcoming Oppressive Society by Proving She’s Just As Good as the Men (although Tortall is strangely enabling for an Oppressive Society). [Dec. 2008]read more
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I love this serious. Lots of magic and adventure and a lil bit of romance - nothing cheesy.read more
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What a fun book! This series is perfect for young adults and has everything in it: magic, knights, and morals. I would put it in the hands of every child if I could and can't recommend the series highly enough.read more
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I do believe that this is the first book Pierce published, and I've finally gotten around to reading it! I discovered her with the Immortals series, and the Circle of Magic series, and I fell in love with her. After reading through ten books, I forgot her. And then I found this series in a used bookstore, and discovered her again.I had fun reading this first book in the Alanna series (I guess the title makes that apparent), and was reminded of why I was enamored with her years ago. The writing is fluid, the action is fast and frequent, and she always uses strong female characters. Alanna is a girl, with the misfortune of being born into a world where women study courting, not knighthood. Being resourceful, with an absent-minded father, she decides to dress as a boy and go to the school for pages, anyway. Once there, she proves that a girl can be just as brave a knight as a boy, even if no one else knows it.As I read, I realized something else. I've changed - well, grown - over those intervening years, because the book didn't have the same hold on me that its predecessors had. A lot of fun, certainly, and a fast read. I still love reading about strong heroines who beat the odds. It just wasn't as earth-shattering as my earlier experiences. That said, I'll definitely finish this quartet.read more
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Alanna: The First Adventure is a fantastic introduction to the wonderfully immersive world of Tortall, where knights protect the realm and magic abounds. While the story itself is lively and compelling, the true power of Alanna: The First Adventure comes from the colorful, yet surprisingly relatable characters that inhabit Alanna's life. From would-be lady knight Alanna herself to the charmingly wicked rogue George, stoic Prince Jonathan, and loyal friends Gary and Raoul, Pierce paints a vibrant cast of characters that make Tortall all the more welcoming. It is a place I would gladly return to again and again.read more
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A little bit of a sidetrack in this review, but on it will go.This book I bought for $0.10 at a library sale about 10 years ago. I read it over and over. I actually read it 3 times in one day once (which might seem a little strange). It drove me crazy that I couldn't find the rest of the books (my mom didn't allow me in book stores for the obvious reason, even now that I'm 20 she still tries to stop me). Finally about 4 years ago, my mom finally gave in and ordered the rest of the series off of amazon. They are just as good as the first one.Anyways, after that backstory, here's my opinions:This is by far one of my most favorite novels of all time. It's a quick read, but very beautifully written. Very captivating and you just end up falling in love with the character of Alanna.This book will appeal to anyone who loves a good fantasy, and even though the main character is a female (which tends to put the idiotic males off) anybody would love this story, guys and girls. It's absolutely amazing and spellbinding!I highly, highly, highly recommend this book. It's a must-read.read more
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My all time favorite book since Middle School. Girls kick butt, and Alanna leaves no doubt about that. Very real, very smart, must read.read more
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The "Song of the Lioness Quartet" is one of my enduring favorites. I found the series through a friend when I was in fifth grade and read them voraciously as they became available to me. I have read pretty much everything Ms. Pierce has written and love all her works. Alanna holds a special place in my heart since it is one of the first fantasy books that I read with a strong shero. I am totally psyched about the new Beka Cooper series!read more
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While Alanna (like all of Pierce's characters) is slightly Mary Sue-ish, her story is enjoyable, she and her friends are endearing, and the world Pierce created for them to inhabit is believeable. Strong female characters are Pierce's speciality and Alanna is the roughest of the bunch.read more
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The first in the Song of the Lioness quartet, and the starting point for subsequent Tortallan series by the author (The Immortals, Protector of the Small, the Trickster series). There hasn’t been a female knight in Tortall in over a century, but Alanna is determined to become one, no matter the sweat and pain and deception it takes. I don’t like the Alanna series or character that much (but I really like the other ones!), but if you want to know what’s behind some of the events in the latter series, ya’ gotta read the first. That being said, this first book is the most enjoyable of the Song of the Lioness quartet and gives a good introduction to a lot of what unfolds in the many books to follow.read more
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The Tortall books by Tamora Pierce are a young adult fantasy series; if you've never read a Tortall book, this is the best one to start with because it's the very first in the series. I wish I had found these when I was a teen, but they're very enjoyable to read if you're an adult, too. :) Oddly enough, even though this is the first of the Tortall books and I've read almost all of them, I don't think I've ever read this particular story arc."Alanna: The First Adventure" is no exception to the enjoyable read rule; it's a fun, fast read and definitely leaves you wanting to get onto the next one. The story involves the heroine Alanna disguising herself as a boy in order to become a page while her twin brother goes off to become a sorcerer; her goal is to become a female knight, but women aren't allowed to be knights. Fortunately this plan (mostly) works out, but I won't give away what happens. I love all the character development and growth Alanna goes through as the book goes on, as she becomes more comfortable in her own skin and begins to see that she's just as good as the male pages. (What can I say, I'm a sucker for strong female characters.) Like all the books in the series, the characters are wonderfully written; I always grow attached to Pierce's characters, and this time was no different.The only slightly bad thing I can say about the book is that it reads a lot more like a children's book than the later Tortall books; maybe this wouldn't have been so obvious, but I read one of the later books recently. This isn't bad, really, but it's just something I noticed as I was reading. It seemed the most obvious at the start of the book where everything works out a little too pat and perfect when things could have gone wrong at any point. Still, I guess it's not too hard to pass as a boy when you're an eleven year old tomboy (as someone who was a tomboy teen, I can relate), so the fact that Alanna's plan fooled people isn't too strange.I also noticed a lot of typos in my copy of the book (mostly quotation marks that were missing), but this is more something an editor should have caught or something messed up as it was being printed than a writing or story problem. I'm probably overly nitpicky about this kind of thing, though.Overall, this was a fun read and I really like Alanna. I think I'll give this book 4 stars out of 5; if the next book in the story arc is as good as the second part of this book, then I have a feeling that one will get at least a 4 1/2. :)read more
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This story is called Alanna The First Adventure, which is the first book of the Song of the Lioness quartet written by Tamora Pierce. This is about two twins named Thom and Alanna switching places, Thom went to the cloisters to learn how to be a sorcerer, and Alanna, since she was a girl, she was supposed to go to the convent, instead went to the palace, to learn to be a knight. Before they switched places, they asked their magic teacher, Maude, forsaw different things about the future of the twins, but Alanna also saw something else, which was not supposed to happen. Alanna forsaw a black city, with the sun shining brightly, and then it ended when Maude's fire was ended. Maude allowed them to switch places, but decided not to tell Coram the story... yet.Thom then forged his father's handwriting telling the cloisters that Thom would go there, and "Alan" (aka: Alanna) would go to the palace. Alanna then let Maude cut her hair right up to Thom's hair length. Then Alanna went with Coram, the twins' manservant. They rode, and eventually, they got hungry and thristy, and Alanna offered Lord Alan's best brandy to soften Coram up so he allows Alanna to be a knight. He drank the brandy and then after yelling at Alanna, Alanna compromised that they should ride for a few hours, and if Coram still felt the same way, they could go back. This is a lie, and threatened Coram that if he tells anybody that she and Thom switched, he would hallucinate Coram for a long time.They then went to a inn-like place and Coram finally agreed taht Alanna would go and become a knight. They travel to Corus where they meet an unknown man.read more
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Alanna really wants to be a knight. But, there's one problem - she's a girl. Can she keep her secret and prove that she is as strong and clever as the boys? This was an enjoyable story with a tough and interesting main character. I recommend reading this one only if you've got the next three books in the series on standby. Once you finish The First Adventure, you'll want to get the rest of the story.read more
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Read straight through! Can't wait for the second book!
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love this auther loved this series
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A warm, strong adventure with great characters and an exciting plot. It reads a little "younger" than some of the other Pierce novels I've read, but I really enjoyed it.
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I was delighted to see that this series had been reissued and once again sits on many retail shelves. This book is perfect for teenage girls. Alanna the heroine is on one hand, vivacious, headstrong and empathetic, a wonderful role model, and on the other hand she has to deal with the insecurities of a changing body and feelings whilst disguised as a boy. It is a wonderful adventure series that to this day hasn't grown old with all the mix or magic, boarding school and friendship that we have all grown to love no matter what generation. This book will not miss the target if bought as a gift, it is fast pace, witty and you are bound to fall in love with its characters. A delightful read and one I hope that will linger for generations to come.
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I like it. i think it's well written, complicated enough to keep you interested but not so complicated that you lose the plot. The characters are likeable and interesting.
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I loved the "Song of the Lioness" series in general, especially the first and third ones. However, I was extremely disappointed by this final addition to the quartet. It did not live up to my expectations whatsoever. None of the characters really made me sympathize or feel for them. The author had two chances for an amazing, page-turning climax (when Alanna fights for the Dominion Jewel and when she fights Duke Roger toward the end) but both of them are over within a few pages.Also, an extremely aggravating aspect of this book was the romance. First of all, it wasn't all that romantic; it was all written entirely too factually and quickly to seem as if it had any feeling behind it. Secondly, there are three guys who fall for Alanna and she goes back and forth between them within single paragraphs... the least talked about one is the one she ends up being with in the end, which came as a surprise to me because she hadn't seemed to have feelings for him at all through the rest of the book.I would say that if you liked the rest of this series, read this just so that you can see how everything turns out in the end. But honestly, I was very disappointed and didn't like this book very much.A less than average end to an excellent series. Too bad!
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I read one book of this series as a young girl from the public library, and liked it enough, but the library never had the others; so when I saw a chance to snap of the whole series, I jumped at it.This really quite good YA fantasy! It's formulaic, especially in the evil-magician A-plot, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, nad the unusual vividness of the characters & their relationships make up for it. I like Alanna, and I like all the secondary characters, and the way her training and growing up is given the attention it deserves, and her relationships with the boys in her life are much more realistic than one comes to expect.What I really didn't like is the resolution of this book, in which Alanna & her boy-prince are the destined saviors of the mystical desert people. Really? The Bazhir, & Alanna & Jon's relationships with them get more complicated as the series continues, but I still feel like, too often, they're just a vehicle for teaching Our Heroes things rather than getting to have their own stories.
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This was my introduction to Pierce, as an adult--but I still found it a compelling read despite being well over the age of the targeted market. It doesn't quite make it up there as a favorite book--she has lots of competition in heroic fantasy, including her own. I do think Pierce is one of those authors that grows from book to book, and my favorites are her later series: the books centered on Alanna's daughter Aly, on Beka Cooper, an ancestress of a character in this quartet of books, and her other "lady knight," Keladry. The style isn't what I'd consider graceful either in this novel, but there are quotable and striking lines even in the early books and it's a simple enough style for younger readers. But I do love Pierce's characters, and the feisty page Alanna, so determined to become a knight she passes herself off as a boy, is the anti-Bella of heroines.
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I enjoyed reading this book. George is one of my favorite characters, even if he is a rogue.Very easy reading and entertaining.
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The first book in the first quartet of Tamora Pierce's Tortall canon, perhaps my absolute most-read, most-loved, most-memorized set of books as a child. The absolute cream of the crop of girls' adventure fiction, this book covers Alanna's time as a page in the palace of Tortall, disguised as a boy--girl's aren't allowed to become knights. A well-characterized, empowering, adventurous beginning to a series -every- ten-year-old girl should read.
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Alanna: The First Adventure is the first story in Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet. The story begins with Alanna trading places with her twin brother, Thom, so that she can go to the palace to train as a knight while Thom goes to the City of the Gods to train as a sorcerer. Because girls are not allowed to train as knights, Alanna disguises herself as a boy and calls herself Alan. The only person who knows the truth is Coram, her caregiver who is a former soldier. Alanna works hard and keeps most people fooled about her identity until a magical sickness threatens her friend, Prince Jonathan. Alanna's healing gift works in saving Jonathan's life, but reveals her identity to Sir Myles. However, her secret is safe with him. Alanna's friend George, the King of Thieves, also learns the truth when Alanna sees his mother for guidance after getting her period. Alanna continues to work and train and fight (both in training and outside of it) until she accompanies Jonathan to the Black City where the two fight and destroy the Ysandir. In the fight, Alanna's identity is revealed to Jonathan. Although initially unsettled, Jonathan chooses to keep Alanna's secret and selects her as his sqire. Truth be told, I am a sucker for stories where girls take on roles that are not traditionally allowed to them. What I truly valued about this story was how the author, Tamora Pierce, addressed the issues of growing up, puberty, and the difficulties they present when trying to hide your true gender. She didn't ignore Alanna's changing body, but addressed it and found ways for Alanna to cope with it. Although the book had its share of villains trying to get the best of Alanna (Ralon of Malven and Duke Roger), Alanna had many men on her side as well (Coram, Sir Myles, George, and Jonathan). I loved every minute of this story (despite its typos) and can't wait to continue the series.This book would appeal to 7th and 8th grade girls the most. Girls of this age will appreciate Alanna's having to deal with puberty in the face of fulfilling her dreams and the idea of a strong, young woman working hard to make it in a man's world.
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Due to be sent to a convent for training as a sorceror, Alanna trades places with twin brother Alan and finds that learning the art of warfare, and working as a page, is tough, especially for the smallest and weakest page. As she earns the respect of her peers and accepts her own abilities, she finds herself on an unauthorized adventure with John, the king's son.
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A young girl disguises herself as a boy so she can train as a knight.I guess the third time's the charm. I'd read two of Pierce's books prior to this one, and I can't say as I was very impressed. This one has changed my opinion. I had a lot of fun with it! It's most definitely a children's book, so far as style goes, but this never detracted from my enjoyment of it.I really liked how Pierce drew out Alanna's training. I'd heard that these books were hardcore Mary Sue territory, and expected Alanna to be instantly amazing at everything she tried. This is far from the case. While she does do very well, Piece makes it clear that her accomplishments are the result of hard work and dedication. I really appreciate heroes who rise to the top by labour rather than luck.The plot is somewhat episodic, and there are a few areas that I would have liked to have seen fleshed out a bit more. Alanna's instant hatred of Roger could've done with a little more detail; perhaps that's coming in later books? Her friendships were nicely delineated, but I still felt Pierce could've gone a bit deeper with them by providing a few more telling moments. All in all, though, the book was a fun, quick read. I'll certainly be getting the rest of the series from the library.
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An absolutely wonderful start to a fantastic series. Highly recommended. Tamora Pierce has never managed to surpass her first series.
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Alanna is a strong-willed young girl who dreams of being a knight and having adventures, and not some simpering maiden. To this end, she disguises herself as a boy and switches places with her twin brother, going to the palace to be a page and receive training. The training is very tough, but Alanna sticks with it, working hard and working extra in secret to prove to everyone - and herself - that she is just as good as any boy. She comes to know the young Prince Jonathon, and joins his circle of friends, although there's one man she doesn't trust - and that's the prince's cousin, a duke and a powerful sorcerer.This is one of those books where, having read it for the first time as an adult I really wish I had read it when I was younger. As a child I would have absolutely adored this book - it has a strong, brave female lead, magic, fantasy, adventure, an enchanted sword, a beautiful horse, immortal gods fighting battles, etc. etc. It's not hard to see why this series is a constant favourite with the elementary and junior-high aged girls who visit the public library where I work. I also definitely appreciate that Alanna is a heroine who is tough and working hard towards her goals for her own fullfillment, and not as a means to get together with some cute guy. She makes a terrific role model for the young girls who read this series. As an adult, the writing comes across as a bit juvenile, the plot a bit basic and straight-forward, the characters a bit one-dimensional - but if one is looking for a book to put in the hands of a 9-13 year old girl, it's hard to imagine a better one than Alanna.
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This is an interesting read if you're looking for something to divert you for a little while. It's not the sort of thing I normally read, but I seem tobe on a fantasy kick at the moment. However, it does have some things that I seriously dislike. First off, the ending. I despise most authors who don'twrite books that stand alone. If you are writing your serieses, your books should have endings that bring closure and stand for themselves. This book doesn't.The last page, instead of reading "the end" as in most books, reads "the beginning". This just served to draw my attention to a practice that I alreadyhate, and colored the rest of my perceptions of the book. Second, the culture. This is a girl-pretends-to-be-boy book (hey, at least the plot has the advantageof being steeped in tradition), but it doesn't seem to want to go through with all the required cultural baggage of a plot like this. The people who discoverAlanna's real gender do not react with a nearly appropriate level of prejudice, at least not in the first book. Any culture that is so male driven thatit requires a girl to act as a man should be much more prejudiced than this one seems to be. If you feel the need for a girl-as-boy plot, there are betterreasons for the required change, and other books that have done a better job: see [[Piers Anthony]]'s [Refugee], and [[Terry Pratchett]]'s[monstrous regiment].
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I discovered Tamora Pierce when I was in college and haven't been able to stop reading her books since then. I've read this one several times, but this time I listened to the audio. Trini Alvarado does a decent job with the narration but she seems a little girly for the story overall. Great to hear it though.
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I read these in middle school and haven’t read them since. I thought I might as well give them another try. Major eh. I think it’s really Pierce’s writing style which tends to consist of short little scenes that aren’t very well connected. Also, I get tired of Young Girl Overcoming Oppressive Society by Proving She’s Just As Good as the Men (although Tortall is strangely enabling for an Oppressive Society). [Dec. 2008]
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I love this serious. Lots of magic and adventure and a lil bit of romance - nothing cheesy.
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What a fun book! This series is perfect for young adults and has everything in it: magic, knights, and morals. I would put it in the hands of every child if I could and can't recommend the series highly enough.
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I do believe that this is the first book Pierce published, and I've finally gotten around to reading it! I discovered her with the Immortals series, and the Circle of Magic series, and I fell in love with her. After reading through ten books, I forgot her. And then I found this series in a used bookstore, and discovered her again.I had fun reading this first book in the Alanna series (I guess the title makes that apparent), and was reminded of why I was enamored with her years ago. The writing is fluid, the action is fast and frequent, and she always uses strong female characters. Alanna is a girl, with the misfortune of being born into a world where women study courting, not knighthood. Being resourceful, with an absent-minded father, she decides to dress as a boy and go to the school for pages, anyway. Once there, she proves that a girl can be just as brave a knight as a boy, even if no one else knows it.As I read, I realized something else. I've changed - well, grown - over those intervening years, because the book didn't have the same hold on me that its predecessors had. A lot of fun, certainly, and a fast read. I still love reading about strong heroines who beat the odds. It just wasn't as earth-shattering as my earlier experiences. That said, I'll definitely finish this quartet.
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Alanna: The First Adventure is a fantastic introduction to the wonderfully immersive world of Tortall, where knights protect the realm and magic abounds. While the story itself is lively and compelling, the true power of Alanna: The First Adventure comes from the colorful, yet surprisingly relatable characters that inhabit Alanna's life. From would-be lady knight Alanna herself to the charmingly wicked rogue George, stoic Prince Jonathan, and loyal friends Gary and Raoul, Pierce paints a vibrant cast of characters that make Tortall all the more welcoming. It is a place I would gladly return to again and again.
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A little bit of a sidetrack in this review, but on it will go.This book I bought for $0.10 at a library sale about 10 years ago. I read it over and over. I actually read it 3 times in one day once (which might seem a little strange). It drove me crazy that I couldn't find the rest of the books (my mom didn't allow me in book stores for the obvious reason, even now that I'm 20 she still tries to stop me). Finally about 4 years ago, my mom finally gave in and ordered the rest of the series off of amazon. They are just as good as the first one.Anyways, after that backstory, here's my opinions:This is by far one of my most favorite novels of all time. It's a quick read, but very beautifully written. Very captivating and you just end up falling in love with the character of Alanna.This book will appeal to anyone who loves a good fantasy, and even though the main character is a female (which tends to put the idiotic males off) anybody would love this story, guys and girls. It's absolutely amazing and spellbinding!I highly, highly, highly recommend this book. It's a must-read.
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My all time favorite book since Middle School. Girls kick butt, and Alanna leaves no doubt about that. Very real, very smart, must read.
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The "Song of the Lioness Quartet" is one of my enduring favorites. I found the series through a friend when I was in fifth grade and read them voraciously as they became available to me. I have read pretty much everything Ms. Pierce has written and love all her works. Alanna holds a special place in my heart since it is one of the first fantasy books that I read with a strong shero. I am totally psyched about the new Beka Cooper series!
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While Alanna (like all of Pierce's characters) is slightly Mary Sue-ish, her story is enjoyable, she and her friends are endearing, and the world Pierce created for them to inhabit is believeable. Strong female characters are Pierce's speciality and Alanna is the roughest of the bunch.
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The first in the Song of the Lioness quartet, and the starting point for subsequent Tortallan series by the author (The Immortals, Protector of the Small, the Trickster series). There hasn’t been a female knight in Tortall in over a century, but Alanna is determined to become one, no matter the sweat and pain and deception it takes. I don’t like the Alanna series or character that much (but I really like the other ones!), but if you want to know what’s behind some of the events in the latter series, ya’ gotta read the first. That being said, this first book is the most enjoyable of the Song of the Lioness quartet and gives a good introduction to a lot of what unfolds in the many books to follow.
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The Tortall books by Tamora Pierce are a young adult fantasy series; if you've never read a Tortall book, this is the best one to start with because it's the very first in the series. I wish I had found these when I was a teen, but they're very enjoyable to read if you're an adult, too. :) Oddly enough, even though this is the first of the Tortall books and I've read almost all of them, I don't think I've ever read this particular story arc."Alanna: The First Adventure" is no exception to the enjoyable read rule; it's a fun, fast read and definitely leaves you wanting to get onto the next one. The story involves the heroine Alanna disguising herself as a boy in order to become a page while her twin brother goes off to become a sorcerer; her goal is to become a female knight, but women aren't allowed to be knights. Fortunately this plan (mostly) works out, but I won't give away what happens. I love all the character development and growth Alanna goes through as the book goes on, as she becomes more comfortable in her own skin and begins to see that she's just as good as the male pages. (What can I say, I'm a sucker for strong female characters.) Like all the books in the series, the characters are wonderfully written; I always grow attached to Pierce's characters, and this time was no different.The only slightly bad thing I can say about the book is that it reads a lot more like a children's book than the later Tortall books; maybe this wouldn't have been so obvious, but I read one of the later books recently. This isn't bad, really, but it's just something I noticed as I was reading. It seemed the most obvious at the start of the book where everything works out a little too pat and perfect when things could have gone wrong at any point. Still, I guess it's not too hard to pass as a boy when you're an eleven year old tomboy (as someone who was a tomboy teen, I can relate), so the fact that Alanna's plan fooled people isn't too strange.I also noticed a lot of typos in my copy of the book (mostly quotation marks that were missing), but this is more something an editor should have caught or something messed up as it was being printed than a writing or story problem. I'm probably overly nitpicky about this kind of thing, though.Overall, this was a fun read and I really like Alanna. I think I'll give this book 4 stars out of 5; if the next book in the story arc is as good as the second part of this book, then I have a feeling that one will get at least a 4 1/2. :)
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This story is called Alanna The First Adventure, which is the first book of the Song of the Lioness quartet written by Tamora Pierce. This is about two twins named Thom and Alanna switching places, Thom went to the cloisters to learn how to be a sorcerer, and Alanna, since she was a girl, she was supposed to go to the convent, instead went to the palace, to learn to be a knight. Before they switched places, they asked their magic teacher, Maude, forsaw different things about the future of the twins, but Alanna also saw something else, which was not supposed to happen. Alanna forsaw a black city, with the sun shining brightly, and then it ended when Maude's fire was ended. Maude allowed them to switch places, but decided not to tell Coram the story... yet.Thom then forged his father's handwriting telling the cloisters that Thom would go there, and "Alan" (aka: Alanna) would go to the palace. Alanna then let Maude cut her hair right up to Thom's hair length. Then Alanna went with Coram, the twins' manservant. They rode, and eventually, they got hungry and thristy, and Alanna offered Lord Alan's best brandy to soften Coram up so he allows Alanna to be a knight. He drank the brandy and then after yelling at Alanna, Alanna compromised that they should ride for a few hours, and if Coram still felt the same way, they could go back. This is a lie, and threatened Coram that if he tells anybody that she and Thom switched, he would hallucinate Coram for a long time.They then went to a inn-like place and Coram finally agreed taht Alanna would go and become a knight. They travel to Corus where they meet an unknown man.
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Alanna really wants to be a knight. But, there's one problem - she's a girl. Can she keep her secret and prove that she is as strong and clever as the boys? This was an enjoyable story with a tough and interesting main character. I recommend reading this one only if you've got the next three books in the series on standby. Once you finish The First Adventure, you'll want to get the rest of the story.
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