Monday, 3 July 2017

Character A-Z: A is for Alanna

Alanna of Trebond, from The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce

This was a series I read in my early teens and adored, and worry about rereading because I don't think it'll live up to my memories. Because I loved Alanna and I suspect the books aren't as well written as I'd prefer, and when I got the above image from Goodreads I discovered I'd forgotten a lot of the story and she didn't marry the person I thought...

So backing up a bit! Alanna is a red-headed, purple-eyed teenager who's being sent off to the convent to learn to be a young lady... Meanwhile her twin brother Thom is meant to be sent off to train to be a knight. The thing is, she wants to be a knight and is much better at riding, running and fighting than he is. He wants to be a sorceror, which conveniently enough means going to the convent. They look very alike, so convince the master-at-arms travelling with them to help them switch places and forge letters from their father. And shenanigans and danger ensues.

The story focuses on Alanna in a setting where it makes sense that she's basically the only girl: she has to pretend to be a boy ('Alan') because women aren't allowed to be knights. (That's why I don't mind that Thom wants to be a sorceror rather than a lady: sorcerors being trained in the same place always felt a bit lazy, but him being a lady would change that focus.) It was satisfying to read a story where there was a real reason why she was the only girl.

The storyline isn't great, but she's fierce and determined and has the courage to do what she wants, something I envied.


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  2. I love this series. Did you read the wild magic one too?

    1. I don't think so; I read another about a girl training as a knight in the same world and was upset because Alanna was in the background and kinda mean.