Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!
Title: Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Goodreads Description: From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.
And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.
But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.
Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins – one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.
Why it’s worth it: Do you love yourself a good female warrior? Well, any character you’ve ever loved that sounds like Alanna is basically thanks to this series. Tamora Pierce is widely regarded as the main popularizer of the genre, and for good damn reason. While my favorite series is The Protector of the Small, the Song of the Lioness will always occupy the strongest sense of love and nostalgia in my heart.
This series is the story of one woman up against terrible odds, and her struggle to overcome the sexism and gender expectations of her time. She has a fiery temper and a great sense of humor. Though Alanna does have magic, she earns her shield through tenacity and practice. What’s even better, however, is that this four book series chronicles a journey that is completely human even while being action packed and magical. Alanna makes mistakes, falls in love with the wrong people and has to overcome herself as much as she has to overcome the obstacles of others. While romance is involved with the plot, it is never the focal point, and Alanna goes through a series of relationships that grow and deepen as she grows up.
Tamora also sends Alanna far away into her extremely deep world of Tortall and beyond, exploring the themes of what it means to be a woman and a warrior outside of the traditional medieval-esque setting. While Alanna’s story may be the main focus, it is also about so many more smaller stories that connect together.
This series is one of my most re-read, and I’m pretty sure it’ll be that way until the dayI die. If you haven’t read it, GO DO SO!
Read it if you’re looking for: strong female characters, one of the original female warriors, high fantasy, strong world building, strong female friendships, action, adventure, magic, stories that don’t depend on romance, realistic romance