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on December 27, 2017
It's an enjoyable read. The pace is quickly and isn't bogged down with extraneous details. It was a bit predictable at times, but it is a kids' book, so the amount of foreshadowing is likely at the right level.
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on March 10, 2014
got this set for my daughters, was a easy read for me and I expect they will enjoy it. good for all teens, some of the later books in this series deal with feelings and ideas better suited for 15yrs and older, but this one is ok for the slightly younger readers too.
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on December 29, 2009
Alanna of Tortall and her twin brother Thom are about to be sent to school. Because he is a boy, Thom will be trained as a knight. As a girl, Alanna is expected to study at the convent. However, Thom would rather learn sorcery, and Alanna dreams of fighting for the king.

So Alanna chops off her hair and switches places with her brother. She travels to the palace of King Roald, where she will be trained as a knight.

But how can she hold her own against the dark and powerful Duke Roger, who is strangely suspicious of her? And how long can she lie to her friends, who now include both the crown prince and the prince of thieves?

This is book 1 in the "Song of the Lioness" quartet (Book 2: In the Hand of the Goddess; Book 3: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man; Book 4: Lioness Rampant).

Pierce is a master of fantasy, and this is one of my favourite series ever. It's excellent!!
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on September 4, 2000
A friend recomended this book to me last year. She told me that it was a really great series and after I read it, I passed it on to someone else. I really liked this book, the first on in the whole set of series. But after I read some of these reviews I found out that if someone really wants to read the rest of the series they would get sort of confused. So, before I start talking about Alanna and all the other great characters in this book, here is a list of the books in this series and the order in which you should read the other books.
Song of the Lioness: 1. Alanna: The First Adventure, 2. In the Hand of the Goddess, 3. The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, 4. Lioness Rampant
The Immortals: 1. Wild Magic, 2. Wolf-Speaker, 3. Emperor Mage, 4. Realms of the Gods
Protector of the Small: 1. First Test, 2. Page, 3. Lady Knight(Not yet Published)
And then there is a set of series that have nothing to do with the ones above, but are by the same author:
Circle of Magic:
1. Sandry's Book, 2. Tris's Book, 3. Daja's book, 4. Briar's Book
The Circle Opens: 1. Magic steps
And there you have it, a list of all the books by Tamora Pierce, in the order you should read them. Now, the real book review. Alanna and Thom of Trebond are twins. Their father wants Alanna to go to the convent and Thom to go to the palace to bacome a knight. Neither of them wants to go, Alanna likes fighting and would rather become a knight and Thom wants to learn sorcery. So with the idea of switching places they go to Maude, the village healer. She decides to ask the gods. As they don't object, she helps the twins. Thom forges the letter and Alanna cuts her hair. They look so much like each other that nobody but Maude and Coram(the one who is supposed to take Thom to the palace) would be able to tell the difference. And that's how the set of series begins, with a young girl who has abitions to become a knight. But she has choosen a hard path, girls aren't allowed to become knights. She has to disguise herself and act like a boy. This series(Song of the Lioness) is all about what she has to go through to reache her goal.
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on April 8, 2002
Alanna of Trebond may be young but she knows what's right for her in life. Every girl where she lives is required to live at the convent and learn to be proper ladies until they are of a marriageable age. Alanna, who has spent most of her life learning how to fight and survive knows it not for her, and her brother who dreams of being a great sorcerer, knows becoming a knight is not for him. So, on a whim, Alanna decides to pretend to be a boy and go into knight training while her brother studies to become a sorcerer. Alanna, now known as Alan, soon discovers that life in training for knighthood is far from easy. Her days are filled with studying and training. Not to mention that, Ralon, the castle bully, has decided to make her life as miserable as possible, and the troubles of just being a girl and trying to hide it. But maybe with the help of a few new friends, including the castle prince and a craftily thief, Alanna just may survive being a page.
That is of course if she can keep her true sex a secret.
I was delighted with this book. Tamora Pierce weaves a tale of a fantasy medieval world while breaking the boundaries of stereotypes in the process. Alanna is a wonderful heroine that everyone will grow to love. If you're a fan of fantasy books such as the Harry Potter series, or the Conjurer Princess by Vivian Van Veld, or of medieval books this is for you. I recommend this book to fans of Tamora Pierce's works and kids/YA fantasy.
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on February 7, 2002
Alanna and her brother Thom have grown up with a great deal of freedom while thier scholar father buries himself in his work. When they turn 11 they are due to be sent ofr training, but by swithing places Alanna is sent to become a Page (the first part of training to become a knight) and Thom goes to learn magic. That switch begins a life where Alanna must hide who she really is from her friends and work hard to become a knight. In this first book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet Alanna becomes friends with Prince Jonathan, makes enemies with his Uncle, and meets the thief that will become a very important part of her life.
I found this series of books when it first came out and I have been blown away every time I have picked them up to read. Alanna is one of my favourite characters of all time - she is strong, funny, and sticks to her guns. The other characters around her like Prince Jonathan and George are like old friends who share their lives with you. Tamora Pierce has an amazing knack of bringing the medieval world they live in to life without dragging you down with too many details.
If you enjoy a great book that will have you on the edge of your seat then this is the book to try. Ms. Pierce has combined action adventure, knights and battles, magic, and romance all into one seamless book that appeals to boys and girls AND children and adults. My copy of this book is very well loved and I have continued to devour every Tamora Pierce book that has been written since.
If you do enjoy this series then you should also try other books by Tamora Pierce and also try reading Mercedes Lackeys Valdemar books.
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on June 21, 2001
Alanna is the all-time greatest heroine for girls. I read the series when I was 10 in the summer between 4th and 5th grade in 1991. I am an avid reader who (even now a college student) thinks of this series as the best I have ever read (although L.J. Smith, Mercedes Lackey, Terry Brooks, Ann MacCaffery, Patricia C. Wrede, Patricia McKillip, Phyllis Ann Karr, Tad Williams, and Mary Gentle, etc are very good but I still prefer this series as the top-probably because it was the first fantasy I ever read and got me to be a Sci-Fi/fantasy addict).
The only regret is that now the new reprints do not have the lifelike pictures of the heroine I so adore. I find the new illustrations to look more cartoonish and makes the books seem unintelligent to me when I compare them to the set series I own. Maybe when it is reprinted again the better looking pictures will be used--since it is impossible to find all original covers under $80 (this is only one whole set I have discovered on an auction site-the first and fourth book are not even listed with originals).
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on May 12, 2003
Alanna knows she doesn't have what it takes to be a proper lady and she'd much rather be a knight. She comes up with a plan to switch places with her twin brother and enter knight training school disguised as a boy. Her plan gets her into the school but she has to learn to be as strong as the boys. Her problems only begin there. Because of a dark power that is brewing, Alanna must learn to use her magic, a power she fears.
This book was ok but not really as in depth as some of Tamora Pierce's other books I've read. It's also stretched over too long a time for such a short novel. Still, it is a fun read. I read it in one sitting actually. The best part of the book is the characters, most of whom are lively and fun. I don't really think that many adult readers will enjoy this book too much but I plan to continue with the series.
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on August 10, 2002
I finished this book in a day. Although it sometimes feels a bit rushed and sketchy, the pace is, for the most part, really nice. Alanna is a really interesting character, and I enjoyed finding out how she was going to manage to get through her years of training to be a knight without letting anyone find out she was really a girl. It sometimes felt that the people around Alanna weren't very well developed (I especially wanted to know more about her friends), but Alanna herself was usually enough fun to read about that that didn't really matter. I'm looking forward to reading the next book and wish I had just ordered them all and saved myself the trouble.
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on November 15, 2001
Simply put, Alanna: The First Adventure is a joy to read from cover to cover, and in the end I was left breathless, and could not wait to read the next installment. Tamora Pierce has a talent for blending realistic characterizations of loveable characters, with a gripping plot, spetacular visulizations, and a dazzling narrative. I found myself careing for the main chacters and hateing the villians. AtFA may be found in the young adults section, but it is a story for people of all ages, old and young, female and male, from every country. There is something there for everyone to love. It is about determination and beating the odds, and learning to accept who you are, and to defy society. It is breathtaking, and you will not regret reading this amazing novel.
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