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Trickster's Choice (Trickster's Duet) Paperback – September 28, 2004
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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“Tamora Pierce didn’t just blaze a trail. Her heroines cut a swath through the fantasy world with wit, strength, and savvy. Her stories still lead the vanguard today. Pierce is the real lioness, and we’re all just running to keep pace.”
—LEIGH BARDUGO, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Tamora Pierce creates epic worlds populated by girls and women of bravery, heart, and strength. Her work inspired a generation of writers and continues to inspire us.”
—HOLLY BLACK, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Few authors can slay so effectively with a single sentence—I mean fist-in-the-air, shouting-at-my-book slay—as Tamora Pierce. All these years later, I still draw strength from her words.”
—MARIE LU, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Tamora Pierce’s books shaped me not only as a young writer but also as a young woman. Her complex, unforgettable heroines and vibrant, intricate worlds blazed a trail for young adult fantasy—and I get to write what I love today because of the path she forged throughout her career. She is a pillar, an icon, and an inspiration. Cracking open one of her marvelous novels always feels like coming home.”
—SARAH J. MAAS, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“In the world of YA fantasy, there’s before Tamora Pierce, and then after her female heroes started kicking down the doors (and walls, and other barriers)!”
—BRUCE COVILLE, New York Times bestselling author
“It’s impossible to overstate Tamora Pierce’s impact on children’s literature. Her tough, wise, and wonderful heroines have inspired generations of readers. Her encouragement of up-and-coming authors is unparalleled. Thank you, Tammy, for Alanna and Beka and more, for your generosity of spirit, for your incredible legacy.”
—RAE CARSON, New York Times bestselling author
“Tamora Pierce is a trailblazer for so many fantasy writers, hacking through the old tropes with her narrative machete and showing us that girl-centered adventures are not just possible but amazing. Many of us might have peered at the impenetrable thicket of traditional fantasy and given up before we even began, if not for her.”
—RACHEL HARTMAN, New York Times bestselling author
“Tamora Pierce’s writing is like water from the swiftest, most refreshingly clear, invigorating, and revitalizing river. I return to her books time and time again.”
—GARTH NIX, New York Times bestselling author
“Tamora Pierce’s novels gave me a different way of seeing the world. They were like nothing I’d encountered before. Alanna stormed her way into my thirteen-year-old heart and told me that I could write gorgeous, complicated novels about vibrantly real people in fantastic situations, and, to be honest, she’s never left.”
—ALAYA DAWN JOHNSON, award-winning author of Love Is the Drug
“Tamora Pierce is the queen of YA fantasy, and we are all happy subjects in her court.”
—JESSICA CLUESS, author of A Shadow Bright and Burning
From the Inside Flap
Tamora Pierce brings readers another Tortall adventure! Alianne is the teenage daughter of the famed Alanna, the first lady knight in Tortall. Young Aly follows in the quieter footsteps of her father, however, delighting in the art of spying. When she is captured and sold as a slave to an exiled royal family in the faraway Copper Islands, it is this skill that makes a difference in a world filled with political intrigue, murderous conspiracy, and warring gods. This is the first of two books featuring Alianne.
"From the Hardcover edition.
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(If you're OCD like me, you'll want to start with the Alanna: The First Adventure (The Song of the Lioness, 1) (Alanna's start) and then go through the Wild Magic (Immortals, 1) (Alanna's adult life) and then First Test (Protector of the Small, 1) (Keladry's life) which is interspersed with Immortals (the story of Daine's life, the first story of which, at least, takes place before this.)
Although, it isn't necessary to read all these before starting this particular series...*grin*
Be careful what you wish for...you might get it as Aly finds out. Although it truly is exactly what Aly wanted...if she could just have had a bit more time to get ready for it!
This is a much more, well, intelligent isn't the right word. The writing in this story is at a higher reading level than the Tamora Pierce stories I've read so far--Song of the Lioness and Wild Magic from the Immortals series. Yet again, I kept checking the cover to be sure I was reading a Tamora Pierce!
That said, this is an excellent story! Young adult or adult will find it a fascinating read. Nawat Crow's courtship of Aly is just too funny as he brings his crow culture with him. There is no end to the action and intrigue--normally, I put a marker in as I read to remind me of events and characters for later when I write my reviews. Trickster's Choice made me forget; I was too busy racing through to find out what would happen next! It's funny, exciting, scary, and sad as betrayals and support run rampant.
Involuntary spying for our girl as Aly seeks a way to survive being sold into slavery and escaping it. It's Aly's coming of age and the opportunity to learn her own weaknesses and strengths. She also learns more about her parents than she would have ever realized.
Okay, the idea of a head footman just doesn't work for me. Steward or butler? Okay. But footman?? No.
The excerpts between chapters are interesting lessons in spycraft and magic with most, if not all, addressed to Aly from her father and others.
Drifting and intelligent, Alianne is bored. Even though she has helped her father with his spy business, her parents refuse to allow her to truly become a spy with all the danger it entails. So when Alianne discovers that her mother, Sir Alanna, intends to make Alianne her next project, Alianne sails off to visit friends. She only plans on being gone until the last day or so of her mother's visit but the pirate slavers she runs into have other ideas.
Unable to escape, Alianne does everything she can to look unsellable in the slave market at Rajmuat. Unfortunately, all it does is cause the slaver to give her away when Ulasim purchases an expensive pastry chef. Aly puts all her efforts into planning her escape until Prince Bronau arrives to warn Mequen of the king's displeasure. "Mad, bad, and dangerous" to know, the Balitangs must sell everything they have and "escape" to their country estate on Lombyn Island until the king focuses on another noble family to fear.
Aly is one of the slaves to be sold out of the family until the matcher, a slaver who finds new homes for slaves, chooses to keep Aly. Through trickery. Well, it's only natural. For the matcher is possessed by Kyprioth, the trickster god of the raka. And he wants his people back in power and the Copper Isles worshipping him again. Kyprioth recognizes Aly's abilities and wants her to use them on his behalf. Guiding the Balitang family and keeping the half-raka daughters safe and alive through the summer. For that is the bargain Kyprioth makes with Alanna. If she will keep Lady Sarai and Lady Dove safe and alive until fall, he will ensure her safe arrival back home in Pirate's Swoop. In turn, Kyprioth pretends to be the god the Duke and his family worships and tells them to trust to Aly to keep them safe.
A major challenge when there is a prophecy claiming that the raka will return to power when a queen of two royal bloodlines appears--and both Lady Sarai and Lady Dove fit as the queen predicted. Nor do the raka peoples make her job easy as they always line the coasts, the roads, the streets to see their future queen thereby endangering her existence by chancing official attention on the girls.
Alianne "Aly" Cooper is the daughter of Alanna and George Cooper. Intelligent and bored, she wants to become a spy. Nawat Crow is a crow shifter. The Trickster arranged for the crows to spy for Aly as well as enabling them to teach her their language. Nawat became intrigued enough with Aly that he chose to assume human form.
Sir Alanna is the King's Champion, still riding Darkmoon, and married to Baron George Cooper, the king's chief spy. Neither parent wants Alianne becoming a spy. Her brothers are Thom, the family mage, while Alan, her twin, entered page training three years ago. Maude was the children's nursemaid and is now the Swoop housekeeper. Aunt Daine, a demi-goddess, and Uncle Numair, a mage, have a cameo role.
Duke Mequen Balitang and Duchess Winnamine with his daughters from his first marriage, Saraiyu and Dovasary and his children with Winnamine: a daughter Petranne and a son Elsren live in Rajmuat on Kypriang Island amongst the Copper Isles. The duke, a descendant of the ruling Rittevon house, and his duchess and younger children are luarin while the daughters are half-raka, the people conquered by the luarin. Duke Mequen not only loved his first wife but also treats his raka and luarin servants the same...with dignity.
Ulasim is the head footman and the commander of the raka rebellion while Chenaol, the family cook, is in charge of weapon procurement for the rebellion. Veron is the commander of the men-at-arms; Lokeij is chief hostler and in charge of communications for the rebels as well as weapons storage. Rihani is their healer and nursemaid to the two youngest Balitangs. All are full raka except the luarin Veron. On Lombyn Island, Visda is related to Ulasim and helps Aly herd her goats when she needs to do her spying; Fesgao, man-at-arms and war leader of the rebel army; Falthin is the castle bowyer who takes Nawat in for his fletching; and, Ochobu, a raka mage. Junai Dodeka is Ulasim's daughter. A warrior. And now bodyguard to Aly.
Kyprioth is the Great God to the raka. The Trickster. Mithros is the Great God to the luarin; the god Kyprioth impersonates. He and the Great Goddess, Alanna's patroness, are siblings to Kyprioth but several hundred years ago, they overthrew Kyprioth and the raka. It's taken this long for Kyprioth to regain enough power to chance taking the Copper Isles back and reinstating the raka.
Prince Bronau Jimajen is a close friend of the Duke with a strong desire for power and a very weak character. He is also brother to Prince Rubinyan who is married to Princess Imajane, mad King Oron's half-sister. Their three-year-old son Dunevon is second-in-line to the throne after Hazarin, the king's son. Bronau is one of those arrogant luarin who despises the raka.
The cover is in shades of brown with only half of Aly's face showing, a rich brown hood flowing from the top of her golden locks across her shoulder.
The title is all about the god's choice, a Trickster's Choice of the proper person for the job.
First of all, I think her writing has changed age groups. I know that it's recommended for the same as her others series (middle school and up), but I think that this series will appeal to adults as much as children, and maybe less to some of the younger ones. (Do not fear; any die hard children fans of Tamora will appreciate and love this novel as her others, I'm sure.) Her writing is more intricate in this book, more detailed, aimed on a girl who is more of a woman from the start. While Alanna's & company (Daine, Kel) took place when they were far younger, Aly is 16 in this book. I think that it sets off at a place where more mature thoughts / actions / plots can be established, and in this case, very believable.
This novel is well crafted. Tamora does a wonderful job of fleshing out the characters, though for the first chapter or two, you may fumble with all the names. By chapter five though, at the latest, she has made them all seem very life like.
I also enjoyed how real Aly was. She is not the ultimate spy. She messes up just like any other, and she is still a child in some ways. I must also admit that her views on flirting are so amusing, I was grinning through a lot of the book. I do wish Aly had more interactions with Nawat, in general. He's a fun character, and he seems to randomly appear and disappear for pages, which was annoying.
It was also good to hear about Uncle 'Numy' and Aunt Daine, as well as seeing more of George and Alanna (though they are by far minor compared to other characters in these series).
It should be noted that this series is not as magic based as her other ones have been. This is more like Kel's than like Daine's, because Daine was very magic centered. Aly is more about politics, relationships, how people interact, and about a young woman trying to find herself. If it sounds cliche, oh well.
I would recommend this to all who have any interest in Tamora Pierce's previous novels, as well as Kushiel's Dart. While this is not a sexy plot twister like Kushiel, it is an easier, lighter read of the same line of thought. Yes, that is a compliment. :)
I cannot wait for my order of Trickster's Queen to arrive!
The book also seems very slow paced, at least for me. I got bored with it very easily. (Aly also had something to do with that).
Even though this book had a few (VERY few) good points, it wasn't good enough for me to finish, and wasn't good enough for me to pick up the sequel.
Bonus was that this was an autographed copy! I was not expecting that! :)