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Alanna: The First Adventure (1983)

by Tamora Pierce

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Song of the Lioness Quartet (1), Tortall Universe (4 (Song of the Lioness 1))

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,3041881,184 (4.15)317
Eleven-year-old Alanna, who aspires to be a knight even though she is a girl, disguises herself as a boy to become a royal page, a learning many hard lessons along her path to high adventure.
  1. 121
    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. 91
    First Test by Tamora Pierce (kochanneo)
  4. 70
    The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (infiniteletters)
  5. 70
    Sabriel by Garth Nix (_Zoe_)
  6. 50
    Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce (TomWaitsTables)
  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. 40
    Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey (Owlnip)
  9. 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
  10. 40
    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. 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)
  12. 31
    Nobody's Princess by Esther M. 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)
  13. 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.
  14. 10
    The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan (Owlnip)
  15. 21
    Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L. A. Meyer (_Zoe_)
  16. 10
    Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (wordcauldron)
    wordcauldron: This book sort of seemed to me like an in-depth look at what George's side of life (thieving, gangs, assassins, espionage, etc.) may have been like (though a little more violent than it would have been in Alanna's universe), plus has magic and dangerous adventures.… (more)
  17. 00
    Dagger's Point by Anne Logston (sylvatica)
    sylvatica: Another great female lead with some good humor, action, and a touch of romance.
  18. 00
    The Once and Future King by T. H. White (Kerian)
  19. 00
    The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (infiniteletters)
  20. 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)

(see all 28 recommendations)


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» See also 317 mentions

English (186)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (188)
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
I just finished rereading the whole Song of the Lioness. Miscellaneous thoughts:

* This is the best story Tamora Pierce has written, by far. If you've read other Tamora Pierce books and didn't like them, I still recommend this one to you.

* While it's sold as four separate books, and each book does manage to stand on its own, they're best read together as a single long story and all at once.

* Simple, straightforward style of writing.

* I just love it, ok? It's not always perfect but I even love the imperfections. ( )
  caedocyon | May 9, 2023 |
These are being re-released and not only do I still love reading them, I extra-special love Tamora Pierce's letters at the end that talk about the context in which she was writing each book. I'm finding this particularly interesting to read now, in a time of trans visibility -- that's not the story that's being told here at all, and yet I appreciate that in some ways it leaves the door open. Still a fantastic story, still a satisfying adventure.

Ooh, and I LOVE the new covers.

Advanced reader's copy provided by edelweiss (2023) ( )
  jennybeast | May 3, 2023 |
Training to become a knight is a long road that starts at the age of 11. First one starts their training as a page, then onto squire, and finally a night. The training is rigorous and includes academics, agility, combat, and social expectations. Alanna is determined to become a night, while maintaining the identity of a boy.

Tamora Pierce wrote an adventurous magic based fantasy filled with friends, family, and secrets. This middle grades book is a pleasant read for all ages. It is refreshing to read a book that only includes major details, simple emotions, and action! ( )
  RandyMorgan | Dec 28, 2022 |
For years, people have been telling me to read Tamora Pierce. Now I can see why. Her characters are strong and interesting, and she sets up an entire world that completely draws you in. This book followed many traditional themes as a lot of other fantasy, with the exception that the main character is a female disguising herself as a man. I haven't read a lot of serious fantasy, but the story reminded me of Ursula K. Le Guin's work, and I'm a big fan of her. I think I only gave this book three stars for now because it was a lot like other stories I have read even though it was done well. ( )
  kamlibrarian | Dec 23, 2022 |
A 1983 children's novel, book 1 of 4 in The Song of the Lioness, and book 1 in the Tortall series.

A girl disguised as a boy trains to be a knight.

C+ (Okay).

It's very much the first quarter of a bildungsroman, not its own story, so it's hard to judge on its own.

It's slow to get started, and the prose has a general lack of detail that makes me wonder why it doesn't have illustrations. Once the big magic stuff gets going, it pulled me in.

(Nov. 2022) ( )
  comfypants | Nov 25, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tamora Pierceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alvarado, TriniNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heyer, MarileeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patti, JoyceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Eleven-year-old Alanna, who aspires to be a knight even though she is a girl, disguises herself as a boy to become a royal page, a learning many hard lessons along her path to high adventure.

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A young woman disguises herself as a boy in order to be trained as a knight. 
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