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Tortall: A Spy's Guide (2017)

by Tamora Pierce

Other authors: Julie Holderman (Contributor), Timothy Liebe (Contributor), Megan Messinger (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tortall Universe (15.5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
212997,671 (3.79)5
The must-have guide for any fan of #1 New York Times bestselling fantasy author TAMORA PIERCE! Enter the world of Tortall in this full-color, behind-the-scenes collectible guide, brought to you by the author who Sarah J. Maas says "shaped [her] not only as a young writer but also as a young woman" and whom Leigh Bardugo calls "the real lioness."   The secrets of Tortall are revealed. . . .   As Tortall's spymaster, George Cooper has sensitive documents from all corners of the realm. When Alanna sends him a surprising letter, he cleans out his office and discovers letters from when King Jonathan and Queen Thayet first ascended the throne, notes on creating the Shadow Service of spies, threat-level profiles on favorite characters, Daine's notes on immortals, as well as family papers, such as Aly's first report as a young spy and Neal's lessons with the Lioness. This rich guide also includes the first official timeline of Tortallan events from when it became a sovereign nation to the year Aly gives birth to triplets. Part history, part spy training manual, and entirely fascinating, this beautiful guide makes a perfect gift and is ideal for anyone who loves Alanna, King Jonathan, Queen Thayet, Kel, Neal, Aly, Thom, Daine, Numair, and the unforgettable world of Tortall!   "Tamora Pierce creates epic worlds populated by girls and women of bravery, heart, and strength. Her work inspired a generation of writers and continues to inspire us." --HOLLY BLACK, #1 New York Times bestselling author   "Few authors can slay so effectively with a single sentence--I mean fist-in-the-air, shouting-at-my-book slay--as Tamora Pierce. All these years later, I still draw strength from her words." --MARIE LU, #1 New York Times bestselling author… (more)
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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Any book that gives readers more information about a created fantasy realm is okay in my eyes, but Pierce did a great job in taking it one step further for her fan base. Unlike most books of these sorts, which rely on illustrations to bring concrete visuals to the readers or rehash established characters or location (allbeit in a more organized and condensed manner) Pierce and her team wrote this book as if it's actual documents from Tortall. Some of the information is already familiar to readers, but they fully unravel Tortall's spy corps (a generally mysterious topic, which we saw hints of in the Daughter of the Lioness duet) by presenting the book as a collection of George Cooper's papers. For a spy master he's pretty disorganized, but we'll forgive him his foibles since that's just George. Quiet a bit of the later material in the book also presented some new topics for readers to ponder over - and hopefully hint at Pierce's future books which continue where the Daughter of the Lioness' and Jeladry's series left off. My only criticism of the book is the brief "complete chronology of Tortall" compiled by Alan Cooper as a school exercise. It definitely demonstrated the breadth of Tortallan (and otherwise) history which Pierce has to work with, but that made it altogether too brief and tantalizing for me! Who are these previous rulers of Tortall and who were the players who dominated the realm? Thankfully Pierce doesn't seem to be slowing down and continues to publish steadily, so I'm sure there will be plenty more stories forthcoming. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
I really don't know how to review this. Quite honestly this was completely unnecessary. But I loved it. Tamora Pierce was one of my favourite authors growing up, and this book made me SO NOSTALGIC. Also it was good. It may have been unnecessary, but it was also very good.

This wasn't a story or anything, just a collection of files and letters and the like. And honestly that really worked with Tamora Pierce's strengths. Her writing is great. Her characters are great. But while her plots themselves are actually pretty good, the pacing is... not.

And so this worked really well. Because does a collection of files require pacing? No. But it does require good writing to be enjoyable, and somehow she managed to make the characters shine in this.

Literally, the characters were so strong. I mean, would this work as an introduction to them? Of course not. But that's not what it's meant as. It's meant for the readers who already know and love them, and as that, it's perfect.

This was just so enjoyable! There were so many parts that made me laugh of loud, or put a huge nostalgic grin on my face, and I am so pleased I finally read this! Also we finally got to see some of Neal's infamous poetry, and it was amazing 😂😂😂

Also I appreciated the timeline. It was very, very helpful. Because seriously, her pacing is awful and I had no clue when anything was happening in the books.

If you're a fan of Tamora Pierce's other Tortall works, I cannot recommend this more! So much fun, and so enjoyable!

***Initial reaction, August 31, 2018***

ALL THE NOSTALGIA!!! RTC. ( )
  irisssssssss | Jun 17, 2020 |
Letters are not a format that I look for or enjoy in a book. ( )
  jamespurcell | Feb 18, 2020 |
I thought this was a bit dull and it dragged on too long. Good if someone wants a super in-depth instruction on how to spy, but I thought it was unnecessary. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
Tortall's spymaster, George Cooper, cleans out his office and finds letters, notes, character profiles, family papers, and more that reveal the secrets of Tortall. Includes a timeline.
  brudder | Jun 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tamora Pierceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Holderman, JulieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Liebe, TimothyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Messinger, MeganContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mones, IsidreMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Widermann, EvaIllustrator.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The must-have guide for any fan of #1 New York Times bestselling fantasy author TAMORA PIERCE! Enter the world of Tortall in this full-color, behind-the-scenes collectible guide, brought to you by the author who Sarah J. Maas says "shaped [her] not only as a young writer but also as a young woman" and whom Leigh Bardugo calls "the real lioness."   The secrets of Tortall are revealed. . . .   As Tortall's spymaster, George Cooper has sensitive documents from all corners of the realm. When Alanna sends him a surprising letter, he cleans out his office and discovers letters from when King Jonathan and Queen Thayet first ascended the throne, notes on creating the Shadow Service of spies, threat-level profiles on favorite characters, Daine's notes on immortals, as well as family papers, such as Aly's first report as a young spy and Neal's lessons with the Lioness. This rich guide also includes the first official timeline of Tortallan events from when it became a sovereign nation to the year Aly gives birth to triplets. Part history, part spy training manual, and entirely fascinating, this beautiful guide makes a perfect gift and is ideal for anyone who loves Alanna, King Jonathan, Queen Thayet, Kel, Neal, Aly, Thom, Daine, Numair, and the unforgettable world of Tortall!   "Tamora Pierce creates epic worlds populated by girls and women of bravery, heart, and strength. Her work inspired a generation of writers and continues to inspire us." --HOLLY BLACK, #1 New York Times bestselling author   "Few authors can slay so effectively with a single sentence--I mean fist-in-the-air, shouting-at-my-book slay--as Tamora Pierce. All these years later, I still draw strength from her words." --MARIE LU, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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