Bonedancer has been an incredibly cheeky enigma of a character since his conception in The Emperor Mage. So, as with all series, it was incredibly fun to read a short story that featured this slightly obscure creature. That it is also pared with the reproductive cycle of Spidrens, and an eventful day out that involved pursuit, rogue mages and theft just helped to make this short story all the more enjoyable.
Lady Knight is a fantastic conclusion to Protector of the Small quartet. All of Kel’s hard work has finally led to becoming the first recognised Lady Knight in a hundred years (that is, after Alanna’s secret journey to this position). And, although it means travelling to the war-torn border, Kel is finally on her journey to complete the quest outlined to her by the Chamber of Ordeal. The hand of fate is on this story, and although it twists and turns in so many ways, it is a journey that is almost impossible to put down.
Kel’s years as a squire help to build upon all of her many adventures in First Test and Page. Although her one epic battle (which every main character really requires) doesn’t get revealed until the very end of this novel, the entire journey to this point is full of twists and turns. Her position as the King’s Own Squire and new friendships help to weave a new tale of a life full of learning, hard work and joy.
I remember how difficult it was to go through puberty, as would almost everyone out there who is reading this. Now, imagine what that would be like as a young girl, surrounded by a bunch of lads who want to whack you with sticks day in and day out.
There is an inequality in the way men and women are treated in modern society. Although this has become slowly reduced over the past century, the inequality is evident in our everyday lives. First Test is a great reminder of this. As the first girl willing to take up the mantel of knight (something which is regaled to a man’s role in popular history), Keladry is forced to overcome obstacle after obstacle. Hurdles which none of her male counterparts are required to conquest.
Nawat and Aly have been my favourite Tortall couple since I first cracked the spine of Tricker’s Choice. There is just something so fascinating and unique about them that has led me to read the Trickster series again and again and again. In fact, it’s one of my most read series, and I’m going to have to replace my copy soon…
The rebellion that began in Trickster’s Choice reaches its climax (and conclusion) in Trickster’s Queen. Whilst the speed of the story really picks up, it is still filled with Aly’s humour and wit. There are still moments of beauty and enjoyment amongst the dramatic events of rebellion. The connections that the characters make to one another, and the loyalty that they feel jumps from the pages, and will suck you into their world further and further with every word.
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.
Kitten is such a beautiful character – not only because she is a dragon, but she constantly helps Daine throughout her journeys in The Immortals Quartet. But, since, she isn’t able to communicate with her foster parents, it’s kind of hard to understand how she truly feels about what is happening around her. The Dragon’s Tale shows us Daine and Numair years down the track, and also gives Kitten a beautifully strong voice.
I liked the intersection of The Hidden Girl with Elder Brother. It is subtle and only a fleeting moment, but it looks at a culture and a non-Tortallan country from two vastly different standpoints. Yet, both put forward a woman’s plight and fight for power. The Hidden Girl is a great reminder that we all go about things in our own ways, and there is not one right was in which to find power in your own world.