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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 (8 (Song of the Lioness 1))

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,9291821,100 (4.16)307
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.
Recently added byArina8888, morganmcc, megami-no-ushi, LoramirOfGondor, private library
  1. 101
    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. 40
    Crown Duel (Crown Duel / Court 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.
  7. 40
    Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey (Owlnip)
  8. 40
    Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce (TomWaitsTables)
  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
    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)
  11. 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)
  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. 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)
  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. 21
    Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L. A. Meyer (_Zoe_)
  17. 00
    Wizard's Hall by Jane Yolen (FFortuna)
  18. 00
    Defy by Sara B. Larson (BookLizard)
    BookLizard: Strong female character disguised as a boy.
  19. 00
    Frostborn by Lou Anders (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: Similar adventure-y stuff, and Frostborn has a boy and a girl with equal plot attention.
  20. 00
    The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce (Morteana)

(see all 28 recommendations)

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» See also 307 mentions

English (179)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (181)
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
I sort of expected this book to be much more simple and friendlier than beka's and i was right, it just reads like that. It's simple. and i liked it.

( )
  GridCube | Jan 17, 2022 |
So good. Reminded me of The Blue Sword by McKinley. I have no idea why I waited so long to read this. ( )
  readingjag | Nov 29, 2021 |
Alanna wants to be a knight and not be sent to learn how to be a lady, and her twin brother doesn't want to be a knight, but instead wants to go train as a wizard. So they forge new letters of introduction from their father and switch places (conveniently, the place where girls become ladies is also where boys become wizards). Alanna cuts her hair, dresses like a boy, and heads off to knight school, as it were. The book is mostly about her being a page and learning knightly skills all while hiding her real identity, then. It's not my favorite of that particular genre, but it's still sweet and simple and a comfortable, undemanding read, with good characters, if not an excellent or intricate plot (some things are cleaned up too tidily, and the final boss fight sort of comes out of nowhere and also seems too easily won). Still, if you're looking for a little fantasy brain candy, this will do. ( )
  electrascaife | Nov 3, 2021 |
It's been a while since I've read a book that I physically could not put down until it was finished. I can't say it was perfect, but this is not going to be a review pointing out its flaws.

What is going to stay with me whenever I remember this book is this: It made me happy. All throughout reading it I just couldn't help but smile.
Alanna's life is the life I sometimes find myself daydreaming about: a life of adventure and challenges where if you work hard and do your very best the people around you will notice and love you for it. And everything will work out perfectly no matter your flaws and mistakes. Needless to say, real life is not that neat and straightforward.

On the more 'technical' side of things, there was one thing I greatly appreciated about the writing.
This being a fantastical realm, with all sorts of magical interference, there is bound to be a some exposition where the world itself (its society and the magical systems at play) is explained to the reader. Here that exposition is very gradual, with little to no jarring pauses in the plot to explain one construct or another. The world is built up and starts to make sense as we read about Alanna's experiences in it. I found this very enjoyable. Books that spend the first third just explaining things with no plot moving the story forward I just do not have the patience to get through anymore.

It's quite obvious that I picked up the next book in the series immediately after finishing this. ( )
  DariaNedelcu | Oct 7, 2021 |
I first read Tamora Pierce years ago and loved her books. I was so glad to see that she started writing again because all of her new books are great. However, her original Alanna series will always remain my favorite because the characters are so original and the story is so intriguing. This is a book/series I have re-read multiple times. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 179 (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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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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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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