Monday, June 1, 2009

A Love Rekindled

I forgot how much I love the characters in Tricksters Choice! Aly is, for lack a better term, the coolest! Seriously, I'm officially aspiring to be more like her! Where to begin? Should I work on my hand-to-hand combat skills first, or my witty come-backs?
Aly always has a witty one liner and she's so smart. She claims to be the family lay about in charge of having fun (something I can relate to), but really she's determined, intelligent, and crafty (I'd like to think I can relate to that too) which makes for very funny and insightful reading as the book is from her pov. And Nawat, the crow turned man (no, he doesn't have feathers), is my favorite male character of Pierce's of all time! Possibly my favorite of all time PERIOD. He reminds me of Howl from Howl's Moving Castle. He looked a little crowish, don't you agree? I love Howl, maybe I'll watch it later... Or read it. Ooh, I'll read Dianna Wynne-Jones' stuff after I finish with Tamora!
Anyhoo! Nawat's so sweet and, "singularly innocent," that you can't not love him. He doesn't quite have a grasp on being human yet, (he still eats bugs and doesn't understand some human concepts such as kissing, he thought it was a form of mate feeding, and he persists in the idea that he and Aly should mate and produce a brood so they can mob their enemies), but that doesn't stop a romantic thing from developing between him and Aly. She's practically the whole reason he turned into a human. All together now, "Aww!"
Plot*: At the center of each of Tamora Pierce's books is always a strong and resourceful young woman who masters the arts of swordplay and knightly warfare in the magical medieval country of Tortall. Alianne, or Aly, daughter of the warrior Alanna the Lioness, has all these skills, but also a delicious sense of humor, which serves her well when she is chosen by the trickster god Kyprioth to serve as his secret agent and a slave for a summer in the embattled Copper Isles. There the dark-skinned natives, or raka, have been conquered and crushed by the laurin, light-skinned people from the mainland. The burning raka resentment is fueled by prophecies of a twice royal queen who will free them, aided by the "wise one, the cunning one, the strong one, the warrior, and the crows." Just how each of the colorful characters and Aly herself fit into this prophecy and Kyprioth’s tricky plan keeps readers guessing. Aly plots to show her skill at spying as she flirts with the god and is courted by Nawat, a crow transformed into a handsome young man, who is puzzled when she rejects his attempts to mate-feed her with grubs and ants.
My take: The story breaches the subject of conquest and enslavement and sheds light on the lives and mindsets of both the foriegn conquerors and the defeated natives. Add to this Tamora's entertaining and practical use of magic, an ancient prophecy that must be fulfilled, incredibly well developed characters, and vivid story telling, and you hold in your hands a well rounded, enthralling fantasy well worth devoting your entire weekend to.
I give this book four zombies for its incredible cast of characters, possibly my favorite from any of Tammy's books. A great story, a great read, a great investment because you're gonna want to read this again!
I've already started reading Speak, by Laurie Anderson, and it's better than I remember! I love the writing style, it's so real. It's like Melinda's a real girl speaking to you in her own words. I haven't read this in million years and I'm pretty sure I'll mow through in a day. After that I think I'll continue my Tortallan oddesy by reading The Tricksters Queen, the second and last book in The Daughter of the Lioness Series. When I first finished reading this series, I thought something horrible had happened to Tamora because there was no third or fourth book in the series. All her previous series had been quartets, what was I supposed to think? I really want to read more about Aly, and I hope she appears in another book. *crosses fingers*
*plot lightly modified from Amazon books because they had a few things wrong such as calling Alanna a "warrior queen" which she is not.


Dame Orchid said...

I love Diana Wynne Jones. She's, like, one of my all time favorite authors (especially her book the Dark Lord of Derkholm).

21 said...

Love, love, love The Dark Lord!

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