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Trickster's Queen (Trickster's Duet) Paperback – October 11, 2005
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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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This was the first book I read of Tamora Pierce's world and even though it makes frequent mentions of other characters featured in her other series', I didn't feel lost at all. This story is well-paced, the world building is complete and presented in a sensible and easy to grasp way, and Aly's inventiveness brings the story a sense of fun and adventure that all ages identify with.
Alianne (Aly) of Pirate's Swoop is the daughter of Alanna, the renowned first lady knight of Tortall. However, Aly isn't interested in following in her mother's footsteps. Instead, she hungers for a different kind of adventure - the work of a spy, following in the footsteps of her father. When Aly is kidnapped by slavers while traveling off the coast of Tortall, she finds herself entering into a wager with a god, an unwitting piece in a larger picture of life in the Copper Isles, her unplanned new home. As she starts to ferret out more secrets, she realizes that the plot around her is many times larger than she imagined, and she forges unexpected alliances with soldiers, cooks, high-born ladies, servants, crows and even a god.
Aly's wager is for just for the summer... but the more she sees of life in the Copper Isles, the more she realizes she might be in it for the long game...
I was introduced to the works of Tamora Pierce with the Song of the Lioness books earlier this summer. Currently there are four series of books that occur in the world of Tortall, and I actually recommend that you read them in order. First, read the Song of the Lioness series, because that will introduce you to Tortall and the first woman to try for knighthood in over a century. Second, read the Immortals War series. The immortal creatures that "invade" Tortall remain around for the last two series, and this series introduces you to all the immortals. Future series take for granted, to some degree, that you already know about the different immortal species. Third, I recommend the Protector of the Small series. This is a different story of a girl who wants to become a knight, and occurs between 13-21 years after Alana's stories. Finally, I recommend you read the Daughter of the Lioness series. This is Aly's series, which Trickster's Queen is the second book of two in that series.
It's true, you can read them out of order, and you will be able to understand the important parts of the story, but I read them out of order (Song of the Lioness, then Daughter of the Lioness, then Protector of the Small, then finally the Immortals. There were several parts that made much more sense after reading all the books that I missed the first go-through. But I liked these books enough that I look forward to reading them again in the proper order this time.
A lot of people say these are great stories (for girls, specifically) because of their strong feminine heroines. I agree with that, and look forward to reading them with and/or discussing them with my children. They have more sexual content than most YA series that I've read. Most of the girls in the series become sexually active in their late teens. While these books are NOT explicit in any way (in my opinion) there are certainly discussions about the ramifications of pregnancy, and the societal expectation that noble women remain virgins until they marry. The girls use a form of birth control to prevent pregnancy, showing that they take this issue seriously. I point this out not because I was offended; I wasn't. I do want to warn parents, however, that if this type of discussion is uncomfortable for you, you may want to read the books before you give them to your kids to read. This would not prevent me from letting my kids (early teen and later, probably) read the books, but it would make me want to talk to them about what they read and see what they understood and how they felt about it, giving us an opportunity to have dialog about the topic, and giving me as a parent, an opportunity to help share my own beliefs and expectations on the subject with my kids.
My only wish for this book was that there was a third (and a fourth, and....) book coming in the series. I think Aly is my favorite of all the Tortall heroines, and I would love to see more of her adventures.
The central character in this novel is Aliane, the teenage daughter of the King's Champion and the Spy Master for Tortall, the kingdom that has served as the setting for many of Tamora Pierce's fantasy books. As the novel opens, Aliane feels stifled by her life's duties and roles: behave in a manner that befits her station in life. Although both of her parents are embroiled in active, dangerous lives, they expect her to remain home, where the bulk of her duties extend only as far as breaking codes for her father and playing the role of a young lady of the castle. Boring! She wants to go in the field as a real spy. Frustrated by those limitations, she decides to sail her small boat down the coast to visit some friends.
And that is how it all starts. She is soon captured by pirates who sell her into slavery to a high caste family related to the king. In a strange visit, a minor deity makes her a bet: if she can keep the family's daughters alive, he will send her home. But she quickly learns that the task is not easy: the king is crazy, the elder daughters are members of both castes, a difficult life in a kingdom where one group has all the power, and the other is impoverished, living as slaves, servants, or poor villagers. Moreover, one of the daughters is the future queen of the Raka.
It is delightful to watch Aliane mature as she lives within the society, recognizing her moral need to protect the girls and to create a system where both castes can live peacefully. This is another book that shows how girls and women can do crucial and important work.
If you start this book without much daily reading time, you may discover a craving for the weekend so that you can just sit and read this engaging book--but remember that it is only the first of two books!