Sunday, June 26, 2011

On Vacation

Sorry I didn't post an article on Friday, June 24, 2011. I'm on vacation out of town and don't have access to my laptop. There will be a new article on Friday, July 8,2011.

Best wishes,


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tamora Pierce

With the huge popularity of the Harry Potter, young adult Fantasy has exploded. More publishers are publishing books for the young adult reader, introducing new voices to the genre or exposing older authors to new audiences. Tamora Pierce in one such author. She writes entertaining books with strong characters and interesting plots. Adult readers can enjoy her many books also. Ms. Pierce sets most of her stories in her Fantasy world of Tortall.

Her first book series is the Song of the Lioness quartet. The books tell the story of adolescent Alanna and her quest to become a knight in a world that does not allow women warriors. Alanna: The First Adventure finds her traveling through the forest, dressed as a boy on her way to the castle to train for a knight. She encounters the Goddess who aids her with her destiny. The second book, In the Hand of the Goddess, continues Alanna’s story as she becomes squire of the young king. In the third book, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Al ¿anna spends time in a desert kingdom doing further growing and training three children in the use of their magic gifts. Alanna must save her nation from a war by going on a quest in the last book Lioness Rampant. She is a great character to follow through the four books.

Ms. Pierce’s next four book series is called The Immortals. This series follows the character of Daine. She is a girl with the wild magic talent to talk with animals and change her shape. The books follow Daine through several adventures as she grows and uses her powers to save her kingdom from threats to it. Wild Magic, Wolf-Speaker, The Emperor Mage and The Realm of the Gods are the books in this series.

The Circle of Magic books is a series of loosely connected stories of four young people with magic talent. They all go to a temple that trains each one in the use of their particular magic. Each book tells the story of the one ˇof the four characters as they grow and join together in friendship with their training. Magic Circle: Sandry’s Book covers the story of Sandry master of needlecraft and fabrics. Magic Circle: Tris’s Book tells the story of Tris who controls storms. Daja is a smith mage and her story appears in Magic Circle: Daja’s Book. The last book is Magic Circle: Briar’s Book, which follows the story of the thief Briar and his plant magic. These books are entertaining for young readers.

Keladry wants to be a knight. She takes advantage of the law allowing women to become warriors by entering training. The Protector of the Small series follows her through her training years. In the first book, First Test, Keladry must undergo a year’s probation and finds friends before entering training. In Page she spends time overcoming the grueling training by demanding teachers. Squire prepares her for the final test before becoming a knight while dealing with problems like bullies. Lady Knight has Keladry wanting a combat post, but put in charge of a refugee camp instead. The series is an entertaining story of a young girl’s dreams.

Favorite characters from a previous series return in the loosely connected Circle Opens series. Sandry must train a young boy with magic talent and they must save the city from a brutal killers in Magic Steps. Briar, the streetwise boy, returns in a new book trying to thwart an evil woman killing off the gangs in Street Magic, which has a lot of action. Cold Fire features the return of Daja as she settles in a northern city with her mentor for winter. There she encounters twins with magic talent and an arsonist burning the city. Shatterglass concludes the series with the story of Tris who must try to capture a serial killer. The book is mostly a mystery with interesting magic and strong characters.

Her most recent series focuses on the daughter of Alanna through her coming of age. Alianne wants to be a spy but her parents will not let her. Trickster’s Choice follows her as she is kidnapped and becomes a slave on far away islands. Trickster’s Queen returns to Alianne’s story as she helps the rebellion to end slavery. These books are filled with the author’s usual entertaining combination of a strong female character, interesting plot and vivid action centered on the theme of racism.

Tamora Pierce is the author of several young adult Fantasy books. She explores her created world of Tortall with young characters that have inner strength and various talents. Each of her series are coming-of-age tales set in different parts of her fantasy world. Adult readers will enjoy her books too. She is a good author to read while waiting for the next Harry Potter book. More information can be found on the author’s web site at: