Happy Monday friends, and welcome to the latest mission in our Book Avengers crusade! Today, we’re featuring Alanna by Tamora Pierce…the book that YOU chose to avenge and voted for us to read in May. Be sure to read our intro post to learn all about this feature that Kristina and I debuted last year!
What did Kristina and I think of this beloved novel that so many of our friends have been telling us we MUST read?
Alanna by Tamora Pierce
From Tamora Pierce, the first book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, honored with the Margaret A. Edwards Award.
“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”
And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins—one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.
DID IT LIVE UP TO THE HYPE?
It’s hard to say on the hype as I’ve had many bloggers tell me how much they loved her for so long. I don’t remember a time when someone wasn’t talking about her to me so I don’t know how much weighed on just wanting people to not be shocked I hadn’t read one of her books. Since I think they are probably talking about the series as a whole since I’m so far behind I don’t want to say OMG NO! or even YES!!! because I’m still so new to the series, we’ve barely scratched the surface. I’m absolutely open to reading book two so if you guys vote on it for our next pick I feel like I might have a bit more to go on to judge if it is meeting/exceeding the hype.
Kristina’S RATING: THREE STARS
When I first started “Alanna” I kept thinking to myself that it felt a little young. I didn’t affect my enjoyment but I definitely felt like something was missing for me. I’m a big fan of romance in my books, so I thought maybe that’s what was throwing me off. Then I quickly realized what a moron I am and that “Alanna” IS in fact a Middle Grade (DUH, Sarah!) and my reading experience totally changed. Once I adjusted my expectations, I totally fell in love with this book.
Alanna stole my heart and watching her grow up throughout this story made me feel completely invested in her arc. She starts off as a naive young girl into a brave, self-assured and determined.I loved the fact that she still held on to her stubborn side, as that’s what made me fall in love with her in the first place. It was such a fulfilling reading experience to watch her find her way in such an unfamiliar world and ultimately find her place AND her worth.
Did it live up to the hype?
I’ve heard a TON of buzz about this from my bookish friends and how formative it was for them as a young reader. For some reason I’ve always associated this book with Gaby (srsly she LOVES this book) and was so excited when it was voted as the May Book Avengers selection. This book absolutely lived up to the hype and my expectations were more than met! My only wish is that I would have discovered this book as a young reader, because it definitely would have had a HUGE impression!
Sarah’s RatinG: FOUR STARS
Want to be a part of selecting our next book? Below are our three June picks that we’ve narrowed down from our current TBR list and we know are well-loved by the bookish community! For your vote to count, please comment below with your pick or head on over to our Twitter hashtag #bookavengers and vote using our Twitter poll. Feel free to retweet and help promote your pick! Voting closes May 22 and we will be announcing our next pick via Twitter that day.
In the Hand of the goddess by Tamora Pierce
Pursuing her desire to be a knight, Alanna learns many things in her role as squire to Prince Jonathan, but fears Duke Roger, an ambitious sorcerer with whom she knows she will one day have to deal. Disguised as a boy, Alanna of Trebond becomes a squire–to none other than the prince of the realm. But Prince Jonathan is much more to Alanna; he is her ally, her best friend, and one of the few who knows that she’s really a girl. Now it will take all of Alanna’s awesome skill, strength, and growing magical powers to protect him from the mysterious evil sorcerer who is bent on his destruction–and hers! Here continues the story of Alanna, a young woman bound for glory who is willing to fight against enormous odds for what she believes in.
HIDDEN HUNTRESS BY DANIELLE L. JENSEN
Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.
Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.
Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.
To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…
Unhappenings by Edward Aubry
When Nigel Walden is fourteen, the UNHAPPENINGS begin. His first girlfriend disappears the day after their first kiss with no indication she ever existed. This retroactive change is the first of many only he seems to notice.
Several years later, when Nigel is visited by two people from his future, he hopes they can explain why the past keeps rewriting itself around him. But the enigmatic young guide shares very little, and the haggard, incoherent, elderly version of himself is even less reliable. His search for answers takes him fifty-two years forward in time, where he finds himself stranded and alone.
And then he meets Helen.
Brilliant, hilarious and beautiful, she captivates him. But Nigel’s relationships always unhappen, and if they get close it could be fatal for her. Worse, according to the young guide, just by entering Helen’s life, Nigel has already set into motion events that will have catastrophic consequences. In his efforts to reverse this, and to find a way to remain with Helen, he discovers the disturbing truth about the unhappenings, and the role he and his future self have played all along.
Equal parts time-travel adventure and tragic love story, Unhappenings is a tale of gravely bad choices, and Nigel’s struggle not to become what he sees in the preview of his worst self.
We hope you guys enjoyed our post to help promote amazing back list books! Please remember to vote for your favorite and join us May 22 when we announce our June pick. As always, if it is new to you as well please join us in reading, we’d love to chat with others about the June selection. See you soon!