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Alanna: The First Adventure (The Song of the Lioness, Book 1) Paperback – December 7, 2010
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Call it fate, call it intuition, or just call it common sense, but somehow young 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. Disguising herself as a boy, Alanna begins her training as a page in the royal court. 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. But how will she find it? And can she fulfill her destiny while keeping her gender a secret?
With Alanna: The First Adventure, veteran fantasy author Tamora Pierce has created a lively, engaging heroine who will charm middle-school readers with her tomboyish bravado and have them eagerly searching for the next book in the Song of the Lioness series. Like Brian Jacques's tales of Redwall, this popular quartet is an entertaining fantasy series for younger teens. (Ages 10 to 13) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A lively, fascinating tale."--Booklist
From the Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hot Toasty Rag, June 3, 2017
Way back when, in the worlds of dragons and knights, girls weren’t allowed to train and become knights. One little girl, Alanna, wants nothing more than to fight and defend her realm. Unfortunately, her family is sending her to study the magical arts instead. This sounds like an ordinary premise to a middle-grade series, a thinly veiled attempt to show young girls they can be anything they want to be when they grow up.
This is not an ordinary book, nor is it solely for pre-teens. The story is imaginative, and the language doesn’t pander to young readers. Alanna is stubborn, determined, but kind and without attitude, which is refreshing for this genre. She is easy to root for, as are the supporting characters, from knights-in-training to princes to thieves.
The “Alanna books,” as they’re described in my household, are a staple in any young girl’s literary path to maturity. Tamora Pierce has created an absorbing world with irresistible characters. Feminism was never a cornerstone of my adolescence, and I still loved the Alanna books more than life itself. I can only imagine how much more I would have treasured them if I’d identified with the gender discrimination Alanna faces.
If you like to root for the underdog, if you feel a kindred connection to women empowerment stories, if you are drawn to the Middle Ages fantasy world, if you enjoy adventure and suspense and secrets and magic and—
Just read the Alanna books. My copies are worn, torn, and tattered. I first read them when I was Alanna’s age, and I’ve probably read each of them thirty times over the past fifteen years. Of all the books of my pre-teen years, these are the most memorable.
The books are sold separately, and the only disappointment is the redone cover illustrations in the re-released versions. My copies have the original drawings of the mass market paperbacks published in the 1980s. You can try to find them, and you can also buy all four books together in an Amazon set.
I purchased this story for my husband to listen to. My teenagers and I had already been hooked on Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Series, now it was time to get my husband on board. Fifteen minutes into the first disc and he was gone, another fan. The world of Tortall is both believable and familiar. You soon feel right at home. Alanna's story is action packed and sympathetic. Pierce tells a great story. The heroine is a fantastic role model and I really approve of the message of not judging people by anything other than their personal integrity. Its a good life lesson for teens to absorb. Also it teaches you to reach out and grab for your chance at the life YOU want to live. If you like swords and sorcery and a really good storyline then this series is for you. I'd recommend it for ages 10-adult.
Cover aside, the story: Alanna follows the adventures of the titular character, a female whose dreams of becoming a knight forces her to hide her sex in order to receive her shield. Alanna: The First Adventure is book 1 of the quartet, and follows Alanna in her struggles as a purple-eyed page with a Gift for healing and a red-hot temper that makes her both respected and the subject of bullying by older pages and squires.
The book itself is definitely a great read, and I've weathered out my paperback copies reading them over and over again. Alanna remains one of my favorite heroines, a strong role model for girls all around, and a very colorful character in a world of kings and queens and knights and magic. Loved the author, loved the series, and loved the book as an entry point to the world of Tortall.