From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10–In this sequel to the well-received Trickster's Choice
(Random, 2003), Pierce deftly weaves an unforgettable story about Alianne (Aly) of Pirate's Swoop. As the novel opens, the wife and children of the late Duke Mequen Balitang return to the capital city of Rajmuat from their exile on their distant estate. Aly has become a maid to Lady Dovasary, daughter of the late duke, and, more importantly, she is now the spymaster of the raka rebellion that is determined to put Dovasary's sister on the throne in place of the four-year-old luarin king. The light-skinned luarin have oppressed the dark-skinned raka for centuries, and the luarin co-regents now in charge of the Copper Isles are losing their grip on reality as well as on their kingdom. With Aly in control, the raka rebellion is able to stir up enough unrest to cause the uprising to begin. Aly, who is the daughter of Alanna the Lioness of Tortall (from the "Lioness Quartet" series), is delightful in her deviousness. The teen is exceptionally brave, sassy, and diplomatic. She is surrounded by a large supporting cast, which is well developed and necessary to the story. 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.–Anna M. Nelson, Seabrook Library, NH
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Gr. 7-12. Pierce concludes the story of Alanna the Lioness' daughter, Aly, spymaster par excellence, in a fantasy thriller that continues the rich and complex tale begun in Trickster's Choice
[BKL D 1 03]. Still bound by the trickster god Kyprioth to keep the Balitang children safe, Alanna now must make certain that the rebel conspiracy against the harsh Rittevon Crown and its supporters succeeds so that Sarai, the oldest of the Balitang children, will ascend the throne. But Sarai throws a wrench in the plans by eloping, and it's left to her younger, more intelligent and more committed sister, Dove, to prove herself to the people. Characterizations are complex and well developed, and the intricate intrigue is compelling as Aly uses her cadre of spies to collect information and manipulate events leading up to revolution. The growing love between Aly and Nawat, who had once been a crow and now leads the horde of crows in battle against the crown, adds its own spice to a thoroughly engrossing novel, sure to please. Sally EstesCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved