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Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce
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    Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce (Morteana)
  2. 00
    Talon of the Unnamed Goddess by C. R. Daems (0628perfect)
    0628perfect: Both of these books have strong female characters. However I think that Aly and Aisha have the same wit and cunning. Aly uses her wit and cunning to be a spy. However Aisha uses her wits to survive to become a Talon. If you enjoyed the spy intrigue of Trickster's Queen then you will enjoy the shadow war tactics of the Talons.… (more)
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In [b: Trickster's Choice|24431|Trickster's Choice (Daughter of the Lioness, #1)|Tamora Pierce|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1395898571s/24431.jpg|952544], Aly of Pirate's Cove agreed to protect a minor royal family of the Copper Isles. She foiled several assassination attempts, but now matters are getting really serious, for the king is dead, and the royal succession is growing increasingly contentious. As Aly struggles against the royal spymaster, she also struggles to direct the incipient revolution.

I say struggle, but really what I mean is "succeed every time, without any tense moments where it even appears that she won't triumph." This is the trouble with the series. We see the main characters of all the earlier Tortall books truly struggle to survive at points, let alone succeed. Even though Alanna has a good deal of power (she's got a magic sword that few can match, a strong magical Gift, and the favor of the Goddess), she still had to fight against overwhelming forces and fail sometimes. Daine has fantastical parentage, but literally wars against Immortals. And Kel is a big bruiser of a girl, but like Alanna, only through bloody, repetitive hard work (which the reader gets to see in good detail) does she gain skills, and she experiences numerous losses before she finally gets a win in the Scanran war. And they had to make hard choices in which they'd lose something either way (ex: Kel having to choose between obeying orders like a loyal knight and losing the refugees who were stolen by Scanra, or disobeying orders, losing her dream of living as a knight, possibly harming the war effort, and going after the refugees in a plan that might not even work). Whereas every tool Aly could wish for, she's handed. (The magical crows in the first book were bad enough, but the magical ink dots that can hear everything, be hidden anywhere, and communicate telepathically were just too much.) Every choice that she makes is obvious, and she makes the right one every time. Every person she needs on her side, she gets. Her antagonists act like idiots anytime it's convenient for her.

All of this I'd have put up with--it's YA fantasy, after all, and I expect a certain amount of easy wins in my wish fulfillment fiction. But the aspect that really annoyed me was how the problem of the succession was handled. In the first book, we learn that Duke Mequen is in line for the throne. After him is his very young son, and after him, the duke's two daughters by his native first wife (who was secretly royal herself) Sarai and Dove. All the protagonists and the revolutionaries hope that Sarai becomes queen, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the twice royal queen and bringing the native people back into power. But for that to happen, the current king, the king's young blameless nephew, the duke, and Sarai's baby half-brother all have to die. Sounds like a problem, right? Instead of making Aly--or anyone else--actually make a hard decision, everything is solved in ways that leave Aly completely blameless. The first king dies naturally, which, fine. Evil regents take the throne, because of COURSE they're evil, we couldn't have any good rulers on the throne when the author wants someone else to take it, could we? The Trickster God convinces them to kill off the king they're acting as regent for, as well as Sarai's half-brother, which means Aly never has to deal with whether they need to depose a lawful ruler or exile or kill a little kid. And then, possibly most annoying and author-fiat-y of all, Sarai (who has seemed a little flighty and passionate) randomly runs off with a suitor. Even though this is discovered within hours of her flight, everyone acts as though this means she's lost forever. They could easily have caught up with her! And even weirder, everyone immediately act as though this means she's relinquished her placed in the line of succession. Which I don't get, because married women can inherit thrones, both in real life and according to the fictional laws of the fictional Copper Isles. Plus, she didn't even know there WAS a plot to put her on the throne--when she fled the country, there were multiple men in front of her for the throne, and no one had even talked to her about the secret revolution that wanted to put her on the throne instead. She didn't even know she was twice royal! And when the revolution succeeds, no one even TRIES to contact Sarai--they just immediately crown Dove. Seems to me that they skipped the actual, lawful, for realsies queen for no reason.

The last thing that annoyed me was that in the final chapter, Aly is happily knocked up. She's like 18 at most! And her lover was a crow and is like 2! I'm trying to remember that this is basically a medieval society, and childbearing was different then, but they've got spells and amulets that work as perfect contraception, so this interspecies teenage pregnancy (right after a revolution that led to huge social upheaval) was apparently planned. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
4.5 stars.Highly recommended, but read all of the Tortall books in chronological order first.

Song of the lioness
the immortals
protector of the small
trickster's series/daughter of the lioness (this is the second book)
beka cooper ( )
  ElizabethJoseph | Feb 10, 2016 |
Trickster's Choice
Trickster's Queen - Tamora Pierce

One story, two books.
These are also actually a follow-up to "The Song of the Lioness" quartet, which I haven't read. They are about the daughter of the heroine of those novels, so these do stand alone - but on the other hand, I felt that I was probably missing some of the world-background that had been drawn in the previous books.
These tell the story of the 16-year-old Aly, who has grown up in her famous mother's shadow, but has also been trained in spycraft by her father. Although she's eager to 'grow up,' her parents don't seem to want her to actually work as a spy (this is really a flaw in the book, from my perspective, because why else would they have trained her to BE a spy from early childhood?) Rebelliously, she runs away, is kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave - but, luckily, she is Chosen by a Trickster god to become involved in an incipient rebellion on the colonial islands she is sold into. Therefore, he makes sure she is sold to the Nicest Slaveowners EVER, and she is charged with guarding their children, including two half-breed daughters who just happen to be royalty on both sides of the family. Lots of intrigue and action ensues...
Fun story, with some not-too-overbearing commentary on racism, colonialism, etc, as well as some somewhat-too-obvious Advice For Young Women regarding appropriate relationships and self-respect.
However, Aly is just RIDICULOUSLY competent. There's nothing she can't do, seemingly - and if there was a possibility she couldn't do it, her god-patron helps her out. Her romance (and it is a rather sweet one) proceeds without a hint of a problem... (but maybe I objected to that just because I have been feeling rather bitter about romance this month!) Quite a lot of the events are very much idealized and not very believable - but this is pretty much a fairytale, after all... ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is the second of the Daughter of the Lioness books. The majority of the book is spent preparing for war and sowing discord into the Retevon Kings household. The book does address the reality of war and unwanted casualties. Elsren and the young king both die, and while that does actually help the conspiracy, they are all saddened by the deaths of children. The raka do finally realize that if they don't want to be embroiled in constant war after they take over they need to work with as many luarin as possible. In the end Aly does choose to stay with Dove instead of going home. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
This is the second of the Daughter of the Lioness books. The majority of the book is spent preparing for war and sowing discord into the Retevon Kings household. The book does address the reality of war and unwanted casualties. Elsren and the young king both die, and while that does actually help the conspiracy, they are all saddened by the deaths of children. The raka do finally realize that if they don't want to be embroiled in constant war after they take over they need to work with as many luarin as possible. In the end Aly does choose to stay with Dove instead of going home. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tamora Pierceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alvarado, TriniNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gerardi, JanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loehr, MalloryCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tenneson, JoyceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To Bruce Coville, divinely tricky, magically inspiring --

one of the best men I've ever known,

and

To Mary Lou Pierce,

the best Ma in the world
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In the winter of 462-463 H.E., the brown-skinned raka people and their many allies, part-bloods and white-skinned luarin, prepared for revolution against the luarin ruling house, the Rittevons.
Quotations
It was her experience that even the best of men had to indulge themselves with fits of moroseness. (p.111, Chapter 5, "The Demands of Rebellion")
Stop that, Aly told herself. You'll have a quiet bit of fun yourself tonight. It won't be as enjoyable as watching bad things burn, but life is imperfect that way. (p.199, Chapter 10, "Eclipse")
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375828788, Paperback)

Aly’s adventure continues. . . . No longer a slave, Alanna’s daughter is now spying as part of an underground rebellion against the colonial rulers of the Copper Isles. The people in the rebellion believe that a prophecy in which a new queen will rise up to take the throne is about to be realized. Aly is busy keeping the potential teenage queen and her younger siblings safe, while also keeping her in the dark about her future. But Aly, who is usually adept at anticipating danger and changes, is in for a few nasty surprises.
New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Tamora Pierce captured the imagination of readers 20 years ago with Alanna: The First Adventure. As of August 2003, she has written 21 books including three completed quartets: The Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, and The Protector of the Small, set in the fantasy realm of Tortall. She has also written the Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens quartets. The author lives in New York, NY.


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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:31 -0400)

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Aly fails to foresee the dangers that await as she uses her magic to safeguard Dova and her younger siblings, despite knowing that her thirteen-year-old charge might be queen of the Copper Isles when the colonial rulers are defeated.

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