Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: Tortall #27
In: Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection (Tamora Pierce)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Medieval fantasy, Strong women
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: Then the man said, “So a monster has enchanted my obedient child.”
The story follows Adria Fairingrove as she deals with a mean and snobby mathematics teacher who belittles her. She finds Lost, a darking, who helps her overcome her obstacles and gain self esteem.
I am madly in love with the idea of Darkings. They combine a childlike innocence with a wondrously devious ability to spy. Combining one of these small creatures with an abused young girl who is trying to find her way in life was a stroke of brilliance in Pierce’s World of Tortall. The fact that Adria is a brilliant mathematician just makes this story all the more interesting and progressive.
There’s not many stories with a young woman who is obsessed with maths or science. And, as a girl who decided to study science (and loves maths a little too much), it is incredibly refreshing. Adria’s pursuit of a career in engineering and building, and her understanding of how maths can inform the world around us was a new take on a strong young female.
From the very first sentence, it is obvious that Adria’s father is an abusive, self-centred, nasty character. Although it takes a long time for Adria to understand this, it is incredibly difficult to stomach his actions towards her. Adria’s final ability to overcome his treatment of her and pursue the career that she has always desired is such a beautiful ending to a sweet, short story.
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