Title: Tortall: A Spys’s Guide
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: Tortall Companion
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Medieval fantasy, Strong women
Publisher: Random House
5th sentence, 74th page: Two days later, before a crowd of citizens, she ascended the higest tower of the palace, spoke of the king’s inhumanity to his people, and leaped to her death.
Do you remember the room next to my office? You told me it was a danger of fire with all the crates of old papers I stored in there. I’ve been cleaning it out – and reading wome of what’s in those crates. Strange to find so many reminders of how it was in those first days, when King Jonathon and Queen Thayet were deciding how they should rule and your grandfather Myles, Evin Larse, and I were thrashing out the beginnings of the Shadow Service. I’ve even found papers from Daine, Numair and Neal in the lot. Should I save the lessons you boys and your sister wrote, to show your children one day?
Your mother and I look forward to seeing you for the Midwinter Festival and hearing about your mage studies.
Your loving father,
I love the world of Tortall. I have done since my mum first gave me First Test when I was ten years old. So, finding out that the latest book on Tortall is just as good, if not better than expected…? Well, it was a fantastic way to spend the afternoon. And it was definitely over much too quickly. Starting with George’s letter to Thom to place the stories to follow into context. It also gives a tantalising hint as to what the future holds for these amazing characters.
Unlike the rest of the books that I’ve laid hands on by Tamora Pierce, this one isn’t really a story. Rather, it’s all of the little bits and pieces that have been used to create the world that many of us know and love. It features profiles, letters and snippets that give shape and form to what happens between the stories. Even the ways in which the royal family’s spouses were originally received at the outset of their reigns.
I loved the visually engaging way in which this book was set out. After all, it wasn’t just a story, but rather a collection of snippets that make a world truly come to life. Different handwritings, backdrops to the words and images create a sense that this is a collection rather than a chronological storyline.
Something about this haphazard collection of tales and letters makes me think that every time I read it, I will find something else that adds an extra layer to the stories of Tortall. Something that I look forward to reading and experiencing again and again over many years.
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