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Alanna - Die schwarze Stadt by Tamora Pierce
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5,160140866 (4.15)261
Member:Zurpel
Title:Alanna - Die schwarze Stadt
Authors:Tamora Pierce
Other authors:Gabriele Blum (Narrator)
Info:Audiolino (2006), Audio CD, 4 pages
Collections:Your library, Read (all), Audiobooks
Rating:****
Tags:abridged, audiobook, fantasy, ed-german, high-fantasy, owned, read-2007, young-adult, listened, double-editions, oldies

Work details

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (1983)

  1. 91
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (francescadefreitas, helgagrace, espertus)
    espertus: Both Graceling and the Lioness quartet are stories of strong but vulnerable young women wanting to use their considerable powers for good and maintain their identity in the face of romance.
  2. 80
    Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (jfoster_sf)
    jfoster_sf: This is another fun fantasy with a strong female character who refuses to conform.
  3. 81
    First Test by Tamora Pierce (kochanneo)
  4. 60
    Sabriel by Garth Nix (_Zoe_)
  5. 60
    The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (infiniteletters)
  6. 40
    Green Rider by Kristen Britain (ImmortalAussie)
    ImmortalAussie: A very similar thing to Tamora Pierce but different enough at the same time Still just as fantastic
  7. 40
    Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman (shadrach_anki, Caramellunacy)
    shadrach_anki: There are definite similarities in theme between these two books, but each has its own take on it.
    Caramellunacy: Both of these stories are fantasy stories about a girl disguising herself as a boy in order to be allowed to apprentice & learn to fight. Alanna learns to wield both sword and magic as a knight & mage. Eon(a) is chosen to be a dragoneye and must learn to wield the political and magical power this brings.… (more)
  8. 30
    Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce (TomWaitsTables)
  9. 30
    Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey (Owlnip)
  10. 30
    Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith (Owlnip)
    Owlnip: Similar in terms of the kind of world you get to escape into, with a strong young female protagonist and wonderful cast of characters.
  11. 31
    Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both are stories about a headstrong young woman determined to learn to fight like the boys. Nobody's Princess is an imagining of Helen of Troy's life as a teenager (more tenacity and brains, less vapid beauty) steeped in Greek mythology. Alanna is the first in a fantasy series about a young woman who disguises herself as a boy so that she can be trained as a knight. Both are great girl power reads.… (more)
  12. 20
    Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog by Ysabeau S. Wilce (Konran)
  13. 10
    The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan (Owlnip)
  14. 21
    Bloody Jack; Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L. A. Meyer (_Zoe_)
  15. 10
    The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Two girls deal with society's expectations as they learn swordplay and harsh political realities.
  16. 00
    Defy by Sara B. Larson (BookLizard)
    BookLizard: Strong female character disguised as a boy.
  17. 00
    The Raven Ring by Patricia C. Wrede (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: A young woman warrior protagonist, a love triangle with a thief and a noble, dealings with magic- the difference is that Eleret in The Raven Ring comes from a society where women are accepted as warriors (her mother was also one), and Alanna has to hide that she is female.… (more)
  18. 00
    Frostborn by Lou Anders (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: Similar adventure-y stuff, and Frostborn has a boy and a girl with equal plot attention.
  19. 00
    The Once and Future King by T. H. White (Kerian)
  20. 00
    The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce (Morteana)

(see all 26 recommendations)

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» See also 261 mentions

English (135)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (137)
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
I loved this book when I was a kid!!!! Need to read it again as an adult, methinks! ( )
  GwenMcGinty | May 13, 2016 |
Good YA book. This book got me really likeing the Mediviel Time Period. ( )
  welkeral | Mar 20, 2016 |
In the interest of full disclosure, Tamora Pierce’s novels were my first introduction to fantasy (post-Harry Potter). My rose-colored glasses are firmly in place, but I wear them for most middle-grade books regardless of when I first read them.

I meant to savor this reread. I’d entirely forgotten how short the first book is (or maybe it’s that 50k words is a lot when you’re eight) and devoured the entire thing in one sitting. Pierce doesn’t waste time infodumping worldbuilding before she leaps into the meat of the book.

Alanna, our sometimes improbably capable and clever protagonist, is the daughter of a bookish noble of the kingdom of Tortall. She’s better suited to the fighting arts than Thom, her wannabe-sorcerer twin. In the spirit of all fictional twins ever, they decide to switch places. Thom will be trained in the magical arts at the convent where Alanna would’ve learned to be a ‘proper lady.’ Alanna will become Alan, the younger Trebond training as a page/squire/knight in the capital city of Corus. Enlisted in the ruse are Maude (the village healer who taught the twins magic) and Coram (the chief guardsman of Trebond and former soldier).

I’ve always mourned the lack of twin interaction (because of course I’d want to know more about the sorcerer nerd), but this is very firmly Alanna’s story. The novel covers a lot of ground considering its relatively short length. We get to see Alanna’s exhaustive training, her surprise at making friends (including the realm’s prince, Jonathan of Conte, and the King of the Rogue, a charming thief named George), bullying by an older student, her use of magic to save a friend from a magical plague, and her magically battle some ancient baddies in a mysterious, haunted desert city.

It’s an impressive entree into the series, taking Alanna from age ten to fourteen with the assorted trials and tribulations that entails when you’re a girl pretending to be a boy trying to become a knight. Alanna comes across as capable, but insecure. She’s often surprised when her friends like her or want to spend time with her, which does grate a bit when Pierce depicts her as smart and gifted in a number of areas.

When reading it as an adult, there are a few more dislikes than I remembered.

Alanna is one of only five named female characters in the book. I could be mistaken, but from my count I found: Maude (the village healer who only appears in the first chapter), Queen Lianne (appears in one scene to be a worried parent), George’s cousin Rispah (a barmaid who gets a handful of lines), and George’s mother Eleni Cooper (a healer who helps Alanna when she panics about her first period). They make up less than a quarter of the named characters, which isn’t ideal. The lack of representation can be chalked up to the setting (Alanna isn’t even supposed to be training at the palace), but I can’t help but feel it wouldn’t have been difficult to make a stablehand or some of the healers women. Or perhaps include some of the women at court in the number of scenes where the pages are serving food at meals.

The book’s also light on PoC/QUILTBAG representation. There aren’t overt references to canonical queerness. There are only two sets of PoCs referenced in the book: Shang warriors (who are mentioned, but don’t appear and aren’t specifically declared PoC) and the Bazhir. The Bazhir were ‘conquered’ some time before the start of the book. They’re depicted as largely nomadic desert dwellers without much in the way of written history and with only one city. Most of the white characters view them as superstitious. Lord Martin, who represents the King’s interests in the Great Southern Desert, openly dislikes the Bazhir though he's acknowledged as 'fair,' for whatever that's worth. The one Bazhir we meet, Persopolis governor Ali Mukhtab, is intelligent and Alanna likes him. I found the description of his skin as ‘walnut’ in poor taste, but again: book written in the 1980s. It could’ve been worse.

Some of the characters don’t come across as fully fleshed out as I’d like. At the close of the book, I only had a good handle on Alanna, George, Jon, Gary, Coram, and Sir Myles (man that’s a lot of mostly highborn white dudes). The rest of the characters are sketchier, the beginnings of personalities tacked onto names and a few defining characteristics. It’s bound to happen in a book this short with a cast this large (I counted thirty named characters), but I still felt the lack.

The antagonist, Roger of Conte, is Jonathan’s adult cousin and next in line for the throne. He comes across obviously slimy and Alanna’s immediate dislike is a bit nail-on-the-head. Even after Roger’s taunted them into a quest that should’ve killed them, Jonathan doesn’t suspect his cousin is truly to blame.

For all that, it’s a wonderful little book with a lot of heart, good pacing, and strong worldbuilding. The language is clean and the dialogue of the pages and squires never feels too old (as in, too mature) or dated (as in, this book was written in the early 80s about pseudo-European sword and sorcerer medieval-y times). I liked the slight shifting of viewpoint throughout. It’s a technique that I haven’t seen used as prevalently in much of today’s MG/YA (heaven forfend me from 1st-person POV) and it was the right choice to keep the word count down. Sometimes I forget that pre-Harry Potter most publishers just didn’t publish longer books for middle grade and young adult readers. I’m actually surprised Alanna is this long.

Would recommend to: young readers new to or looking to expand their fantasy reading, fans of Tamora Pierce, readers who like sword and sorcery settings, and readers who like kickass heroines.

Would not recommend to: readers specifically looking for diversity, readers who prefer 1st person POV, readers who aren’t fans of fantasy, and readers who prefer older viewpoint characters (Alanna is 10-14 in the book). ( )
1 vote kaytaylorrea | Mar 18, 2016 |
Light quick read. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Not as much fighting as I anticipated. Not as much magic as I imagined. I would have liked more magic, but was glad that there weren't a lot of battles. I'll be interested to see how the characters grow. Good characters. ( )
  njcur | Mar 9, 2016 |
Alanna and her twin brother switch identities so she can become a knight and he can study magic. A very enjoyable training montage ensues, wherein Alanna shows herself to be stalwart, stubborn, and willing to do a great deal of extra work in order to achieve her dream of being a warrior. But physical exertion alone isn't enough to protect the kingdom, especially when a magical sickness sweeps the kingdom. Alanna has to come to terms with her own femaleness and magical ability if she wants to save anyone.

Alanna has purple eyes, a horse with purple eyes, a kitten with purple eyes, a magical sword that flashes purple, and her magic is not only purple but also incredibly powerful. By most definitions she counts as a Mary Sue, but if so, she's still a deeply satisfying character. Her tale felt exactly right for me as a tween, and it remains a favorite to this day, no matter how unlikely her prodigious gifts may be. I highly recommend this book to YA fans. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tamora Pierceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alvarado, TriniNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heyer, MarileeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patti, JoyceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To CLAIRE,
who made it all finally happen,
and
To FRANCES,
who told me to talk to Claire
First words
"That is my decision."
Quotations
"Our gods are much too busy in our lives for us to ignore them." -- Myles of Olau, p.143
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
A young woman disguises herself as a boy in order to be trained as a knight. 
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689878559, Mass Market Paperback)

Call it fate, call it intuition, or just call it common sense, but somehow young Alanna knows she isn't meant to become some proper lady cloistered in a convent. Instead, she wants to be a great warrior maiden--a female knight. But in the land of Tortall, women aren't allowed to train as warriors. So Alanna finds a way to switch places with her twin, Thom, and take his place as a knight in training at the palace of King Roald. Disguising herself as a boy, Alanna begins her training as a page in the royal court. Soon, she is garnering the admiration of all around her, including the crown prince, with her strong work ethic and her thirst for knowledge. But all the while, she is haunted by the recurring vision of a black stone city that emanates evil... somehow she knows it is her fate to purge that place of its wickedness. But how will she find it? And can she fulfill her destiny while keeping her gender a secret?

With Alanna: The First Adventure, veteran fantasy author Tamora Pierce has created a lively, engaging heroine who will charm middle-school readers with her tomboyish bravado and have them eagerly searching for the next book in the Song of the Lioness series. Like Brian Jacques's tales of Redwall, this popular quartet is an entertaining fantasy series for younger teens. (Ages 10 to 13) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:33 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Fantasy. De 10-?arige tvillinger Alanna og Thom er b?rn af en lensherre i landet Tortall. De har magiske evner og hvirvles ind i dramatiske begivenheder, da de trodser deres traditionsbestemte opdragelse.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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