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Trickster's Choice (Daughter of the Lioness Book 1) Hardcover – September 23, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 274 customer reviews

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To All the Boys I've Loved Before
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them - all at once? Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. Until the one day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control. Paperback | Kindle book

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

To the great joy of her many fans, Tamora Pierce with this book begins a new saga of Tortall to add to The Song of the Lioness Quartet, the Immortals Quartet, and The Protector of the Small tetralogy. At the center of each of these books is always a strong and resourceful young woman who masters the arts of swordplay and knightly warfare in the magical medieval country of Tortall. Alianne, or Aly, daughter of the warrior queen Alanna the Lioness, has all these skills, but also a delicious sense of humor, which serves her well when she is chosen by the trickster god Kyprioth to serve as his secret agent and a slave for a year in the embattled Copper Isles. There the dark-skinned natives, or raka, have been conquered and crushed by the laurin, light-skinned people from the mainland. The burning raka resentment is fueled by prophecies of a twice royal queen who will free them, aided by the "wise one, the cunning one, the strong one, the warrior, and the crows." Just how each of the colorful characters and Aly herself fit into this prophecy and Kyprioth’s tricky plan keeps readers guessing. Aly plots to show her skill at spying as she flirts with the god and is courted by Nawat, a crow transformed into a handsome young man, who is puzzled when she rejects his attempts to mate-feed her with grubs and ants.

The pages of this long but fast-paced adventure zip by, enlivened by intrigue, skirmishes, comedy, romance, and lots of dramatic clothes. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10-Alianne, daughter of Alanna (Alanna: The First Adventure [Random, 1989]), is ready to create her own legend. As the book opens, Aly, 16, longs to follow in her father's footsteps as a spy, but her parents refuse to allow it. Annoyed, she sails off in her boat, only to be captured by pirates and sold into slavery, fortunately to kindly Duke Balitang. She meets Kyprioth, the Trickster, and strikes a bargain: if Aly keeps the Duke and his family safe for the summer, Kyprioth will return her to her family and persuade her parents to let her be a spy. With magic, spells, winged horses, crows that take human form (and provide a romance for Aly), brutal fighting, treason, and attempted kidnapping, this fantasy has plenty to hold readers' attention. It also offers an interesting examination of race, as well as a look at an adolescent's finding her independence, an especially difficult task with such a powerful mother. Aly is a strong, intelligent, and resilient feminist who stretches this fantasy to a parable of girl-power. The book at times bogs down in the sheer number of characters and relationships, and in the author's zealous attention to descriptive details, but Pierce's fans will enjoy it.
Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Series: Aliane
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375814663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375814662
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of fantasy books for teenagers. Her books, known for their teenaged girl warriors and wizards, have received critical acclaim and a strong fanbase.


Tamora Pierce was drawn to books from a young age. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, the child of a "long, proud line of hillbillies," her family never had much. "We were poor, but I didn't know it then. We had a garden where my folks grew fruit and vegetables and our water came from a well," she explains. But one thing they did have was plenty of books. So Tamora read.

A self-proclaimed "geek," she devoured fantasy and science fiction novels, and by the age of 12 was mimicking her literary idols and writing her own action-packed stories. It was thanks to her father that Tamora began writing. "He heard me telling myself stories as I did dishes, and he suggested that I try to write some of them down," Pierce says.

But Tamora's novels had one major difference: unlike the books she was reading, her stories featured teenaged girl warriors. "I couldn't understand this lapse of attention on the part of the writers I loved, so until I could talk them into correcting this small problem, I wrote about those girls, the fearless, bold, athletic creatures that I was not, but wanted so badly to be."

Seventeen years later, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, a brief career in teen social work and some time spent writing for radio, Tamora Pierce held true to her childhood crusade, and published Alanna: The First Adventure, the first in a quartet about a valiant, young, female warrior. Pierce's heroine struck a chord with readers across the country and quickly earned her a loyal following.

Pierce is now a #1 New York Times bestselling author and has written twenty-five books, including her newest, BEKA COOPER #2: Bloodhound. "It's a pretty good life, if I do say so myself. Struggling along as a kid and even through my twenties, it's the kind of life I dreamed of but never believed I would get. Yet here I am, after a lot of work, a lot of worry, a lot of care for details, and a massive chunk of luck, the kind that brought me such strong friends and readers. Pretty good for a hillbilly, yes? And I never take it for granted," she says.

Pierce lives in upstate New York with her husband Tim and their three cats and two birds.


"[Tamora Pierce's heroines] faithfully reiterate an ideal of feminine power that relies on brains, not beauty; of feminine attractiveness that relies on competence, not helplessness; and of feminine alliances that grow stronger, not weaker, in the face of conflicts." -The New York Times


"With its rollicking adventures [and] appealing characters . . . Terrier will be in strong demand by Pierce's fans. It will keep readers on the edge of their seats." -School Library Journal, Starred

"Memorable characters and well-drawn settings. . . . This timely and appealing anthology will surely help swell the ranks of teenage fantasy readers." -School Library Journal

"The plot sweeps readers along in a whirlwind of court intrigue, deception, murder, and romance. The humor is wicked, and the plot twists will keep the pages turning to the supremely satisfying end. Teens will be inspired by Aly's determination, her resourcefulness, and her heart." -School Library Journal

"Aly arrives fully formed, a snarky, talented uber-heroine. Cameos of old favorites complement a rich cast of new characters. Aly's difficulty with the complexity of colonialism adds surprising, welcome depth." -Kirkus Reviews

"Unrelentingly realistic in its depiction of the horrors of war, this novel draws the reader into a complete and believable fantasy world. Pierce provides exquisite details of the weaponry, topography, and culture of her world, and her control of a voluminous cast of characters is masterful." -Voice of Youth Advocates

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#95 in Books > Teens
#95 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
First of all, I'd like to offer my congratulations to Ms. Pierce. After years and years of simply awful covers that publishers have slapped onto her books, she has finally been given a decent one. I mean, have you see some of her other covers? I'm not talking about these incredibly cool ones like the one for "Trickster's Choice". I'm talking about the ones created for such classic tales as "Wild Magic" or "Alanna: The First Adventure". Ms. Pierce has paid her bad-cover dues. Now she has truly earned a couple beautiful ones. I admit that much of my attraction to this tale was due to its alluring cover illustration. It was just my own good luck that the story inside was wonderfully gripping and well written as well.

This book follows Pierce's "Lioness Quartet", a series of books that centered on the lady knight Alanna. In "Trickster's Choice", Aly (Alanna's daughter) is now the center and focus. Aly is the daughter of a famous knight and a famous spy. Both her parents are fighters by nature, but somehow they just can't get it through their heads that all their sixteen-year-old daughter wants to do is become spy like her dad. When Alanna decides that her daughter has become too bull-headed about the matter, Aly takes off on a small adventure of her own. She gets more than she bargained for, however, when her boat is captured by pirates and she is sold as a slave to a foreign noble family. The fact that she has winded up with this particular group of nobles is no accident, however. The trickster god Kyprioth is determined to use Aly's spy skills to protect the family's children, whatever the cost. Before she knows it, Aly is caught up in court intrigues and a political battle between the dark skinned raka and their white skinned luarin oppressors.
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6 Comments 67 of 72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I have been reading Tamora Pierce for years now. I first picked up the Alanna series when I was about eleven or twelve and I absolutely loved them, I have enjoyed all of her books, Totallan or not.
This is the newest installment in her Tortallan books. The other characters from Tortall include: Daine, Alanna, and Kel. I have read about and loved each of these characters. The newest heroine in Trickster's Choice is Aly, Alanna and George's daughter. Unlike the other heriones Aly as a very noticeable sense of humor, she is more real than the other characters. She makes mistakes, she acts cocky, she loves her mother but gets easily annoyed by her. All of these things make Aly endearing to me. She isn't really good at the physical part of things like the other three heroines were, she uses her mind, her wit, and skill. I really liked the god, Kyprioth, he provides a lot of the humor in the book. I loved catching up on our old friends, Alanna and George, Daine and Numair, and Jonathan and Thayet, it's fun knowing what they're doing now.
I didn't really find this book fitting for the nine to twelve catagory that it's placed in. No there is nothing in it that wouldn't be suitable for that age group but I don't know if kids that young could follow the plot. This is a different kind of book than the rest of Ms. Pierce's collection. It is filled with an intricate plot and a lot of political intruige, I find this book more suitable for 12 and up, they would appreciate the plot more than anyone younger than that.
All in all, this is a wonderful book and a fantastic installment to the rest of the Tortallan series. Now... When does Trickster's Queen come out?
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Format: Hardcover
I love all of Tamora Pierce's books and this chapter of the Tortall era is no exception. Aly (Alianne) starts off this two part series with a blueberry-blue head and a plea for work as a spy. This particular plea is adressed to her father Baron George Cooper and later to her mother Alanna, the Lioness. Aly is on shakey ground with her mother, though throughout the book the trickster god Kyprioth (who inlists her aide in gaining control of his kingdom behind the backs of the Great Mother Godess and Mithros)shows her how much Alanna really cares. She gets caught by pirates, sold to a noble family, aides a revolution between raka and luarin, falls in love with a crow turned man, finds her calling, does some major spywork, and still keeps her identity and status a secret.
If your looking for a lot of kick-butt fighting sceanes, magical battles or struggle to be accepted as in Pierce's pre-Aly books, watch out because Aly is her own person with very little magic, insecurity, or major fighting skills.
Pay close attention to Daine and 'Uncle Numy's new baby, the fact that all the children of Alanna and George are named after Alanna's family [Thom, Alan (Aly's twin),and of course Alianne], and also the discription of the great mother godess.
All in all this book is totally awesome. Go and Buy it!!!
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Format: Hardcover
I was so excited about this book. I went out and bought it ... well, as soon as I could, since I wasn't able to on the 23. And it definitely didn't disappoint.
Aly is very different than Ms. Pierce's other heroines, to be sure. But then, they're all very different. Kel was previously by far my favorite, but now I'm really unsure. I think it's a tie. Aly has a sense of humor, and she doesn't have the blind idealism found with Kel or Daine, for example. She also doesn't have their ambition, their determination, their focus, which keeps her from being too perfect. She's definitely a real character, and one I, for one, can relate to.
She also had some good friends, while they can't, of course, compare to Neal and Dom and Owen and such. Nawat is incredibly sweet, and I love him to death. Sarai and Dove are also fun, interesting characters. Alanna, George, Jon, Kel, Neal, and several others make appearances in this book, which is good, although I would have preferred to see more of them, personally, but there's a perfectly good reason for that.
The plot has to do with Aly's arguments with her mother over what she should do with her life. Alanna wants her to do something, anything, and Aly's found something - spying - but neither of her parents will let her. She runs off to Port Legann, in the hopes of winning them over, and in the process gets captured by Copper Isle slave runners. She gets sold to a duke and duchess who are related to the royal family and are very kind to her, but they end up being sent into exile. Aly, not being an essential part of their household, would get re-sold except for one thing - Kyprioth.
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