Ahoy there me mateys! Welcome to the fourth broadside – the Tamora Pierce edition. I have read over 25 of her novels. I am not sure of me exact age when I first found a Tamora Pierce book but I do remember the impact reading it had on me. Ye see back then books with strong female protagonists were hard to find. Her books were filled with main characters that were girls! With magic! Who kicked butt! I was in heaven and gobbled up each new book as it came out. Her books set the precedent for what I would later want in the plethora of young adult novels that you can find today. She has two worlds that her novels take place in: Tortall and the Circle Universe. While Tortall is my favorite, I have enjoyed books in both settings. So onto the books!
Please note: All book and world descriptions are taken directly from the author’s website.
The Tortall Universe:
The Song of the Lioness Quartet
The first series I read was The Song of the Lioness Quartet. This is the story of Alanna. Who does magic and has an intelligent cat friend. I was hooked. This series follows Alanna from a young teen to an older adult. I loved that! The first book was Alanna: The First Adventure. It is about:
“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 is the story of Daine. Awesome girl who has a gift with animals. This quartet shows a young girl learning to trust people and growing into an accomplished woman. Her relationship with her mentor is one of the highlights in these books. The first book in this series, Wild Magic, is about:
All the orphaned Daine wants when she comes to Tortall is a job.
Young Daine’s knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine’s talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself.
The Protector of the Small
This quartet showcases another girl trying to be a knight. The difference from Alanna is that Keladry does not have magic. I loved how the author used the same premise and world and yet this series has a whole different feel in terms of how Kel achieves her dreams. The first book, First Test, goes something like this:
Ten years after knighthood training was opened to both males and females, no girl has been brave enough to try. But knighthood is Keladry’s one true desire, and so she steps forward to put herself to the test.
Up against the traditional hazing of pages and a grueling schedule, Kel faces one roadblock that seems insurmountable: Lord Wyldon, the training master of pages and squires. He is absolutely against girls becoming knights. So while he is forced to train her, Wyldon puts her on a probationary trial period that no male page has ever had to endure. Further set apart from her fellow trainees, Kel’s path to knighthood is now that much harder. But she is determined to try, and she’s making friends in the most unlikely places. One thing is for sure, Kel is not a girl to underestimate.
The other two series are Tricksters which deals with one of Alanna’s children and Beka Cooper: A Tortall Legend which is set 200 years before the events in the Alanna books. I reread the Tortall books periodically. Love them all!
The Circle Universe:
Circle of Magic
This quartet deals with four mages that discover their powers and have to learn to control them. Each book covers a different mage as the protagonist. These books have elements of medieval Middle East and Central Asia. I have to admit it has been a long while since I have read them because Tortall captured me fancy more. I do have fond memories of this world though. The first novel in the series, Sandry’s Book, deals with this:
With her gift of weaving silk thread and creating light, Sandry is brought to the Winding Circle community. There she meets Briar, a former thief who has a way with plants; Daja, an outcast gifted at metalcraft; and Tris, whose connection with the weather unsettles everyone, including herself. At Winding Circle, the four misfits are taught how to use their magic – and to trust one another. But then disaster strikes their new home. Can Sandry weave together four kinds of magical power and save herself, her friends, and the one place where they’ve ever been accepted?
There are two other quartets in this world that all deal with the same four mages in different stages of their lives.
So that is my introduction to Tamora Pierce. If you haven’t read any of her novels I would suggest you hoist those sails and get moving!
To visit her website go to:
To see a complete list of all books she has written visit: