In continuing with my book reviews, I thought I’d skip ahead and talk about a book that garnered a lot of attention when I included it in my last Top Ten Tuesday. This book is the first book in the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce – Alanna: The First Adventure.
This book is a bit younger than the YA market, probably targeted more towards middle grade readers. I picked it up to read along over at Mark Reads and I’m really glad that I did. This is the type of book I would’ve liked to read when I was younger. The story follows Alanna, a young girl growing up in the kingdom of Tortall. She wants to become a knight, but her father wants her to learn how to be a proper lady. Her twin brother, Thom, is expected to become the knight, but he would rather learn magic instead. The two siblings decide to trick their father and send Alanna away to begin knight training. In order to do this, she must pretend to be a boy. She becomes Alan of Tortall and heads off to the capital to find her future.
There are many things I like about this book. For starters, it is realistic in the sense that nothing comes easy for “Alan.” She is much smaller than the other boys and is constantly having to prove herself. The book also doesn’t ignore things that young girl would have to deal with when trying to masquerade as a boy. Getting boobs, for example. Menstruating. Pierce doesn’t shy away from such topics. Luckily, Alanna does have some help and eventually, a couple of people discover her secret. The book has a lot to say about the values of friendship and loyalty. You want Alanna to succeed because everyone around her recognizes her hard work and devotion to becoming a knight. She has a long road ahead of her, and Pierce makes you want to follow her every step of the way.