Tuesday, May 12, 2015

REVIEW: Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)
“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.

This book is beloved by many and it included my favorite trope, a girl dressing like a boy, so I decided to pick it up. I discovered a MG fantasy (though, I assume the series begins more YA as it goes along) and I'm interested to read the rest of the series!

Alanna is supposed to be sent to become a lady, while her twin brother Thom is going to be sent to be a knight. Alanna doesn't want to be a lady and has always been braver than Thom, so she brings up the idea of switching places. So, instead, Alanna begins Alan, Thom's younger twin and goes to become a knight, while Thom goes off to learn sorcery. This begins Alanna's long journey into knighthood.

My main problem with this book is that it covers a long period of time, so a majority of it is character growth. It starts out with 10 year-old Alanna and ends with 14 year-old Alanna. Not that it's horrible seeing Alanna grow. We get to see her navigate the trials of becoming a knight and keeping up her disguise and how much stronger she gets with time. We also get to see her friendships grow. Overall, though, this isn't really that eventful and not a whole lot happens until the end. Also, it bothered me that 4 years was basically covered in 200 pages.

Character-wise, Alanna is a great main character and she's pretty badass. She's stubborn and wants to make sure that she earns her place. As I mentioned, she does become stronger throughout the book. There are many side characters, some helping her along her way, some not, but they all help shape her.

Overall, I found the fantasy aspects and the plot very interesting, but it lacked the adventure and oomph that I wanted. I think this book was more MG than YA, so that may be some of my problems. I know Alanna will be older in the next book, so I will be expecting more. This is a very quick read and will appeal to fantasy fans everywhere.

I hereby give this book
3.5 Wheels
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing.

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