Title: Trickster’s Choice
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: Trickster #1, Tortall #24
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Medieval fantasy, Strong women, Tricksters
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘Those aren’t hay bales!’
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.
Of all the women in Tamora Pierce’s world of Tortall, Aly is the one that I always most identified with as a teenager. As someone who, as a teenager, never quite fit in, was more than a little difficult, and found that a lot of my peers often looked at me a little funny, Aly seemed like a literary version of myself. Albeit without a sword welding mother, and a talent for daggers and subterfuge.
Most of the Tortall series, in fact, all up to this point focused on a country and people based (I assume) on medieval Europe. Swords and kings; lords and ladies; it all paints a picture of a snow-swept country that is (luckily) guarded by the righteous. This is not so with the Trickster series. Aly travels to a land that was taken over by white people 300 years before. The story of oppression and conquest is retold through the raka (native people’s) plight. I loved that there was a different twist, and aspect to the realm of Tortall. Although the Copper Isles were mentioned in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, immersing this story in their culture and land was a great new introduction to a new land.
Aly is not only a suitable heir to the Song of the Lioness Quartet, but she is a great, and refreshing new take on the women of Tortall. She chooses to fight with her wits, rather than weapons in a gruelling battle to protect an innocent family from the rigours of violent, political court. The loyalty of not only the raka, but those who answer to the Balitang family quickly create a discourse in which you constantly hope for Aly to succeed.
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