Friday, November 18, 2011

Retro Friday Review: Alanna: the First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Angie of Angieville and "focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc."

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Publisher: Atheneum
Publication date: 1983
ISBN: 9781442426412
Source: Audiobook from library

Alanna of Trebond was supposed to go a convent and learn how to be a woman. Instead, she switches places with her twin, who wants to learn magic, and disguises herself as a boy to become a page. But things are a lot more difficult than she imagined they would be, especially hiding who she is and what she's capable of.

Things I Liked:
What a delight - why didn't I read this sooner?  I adore Alanna, her toughness and her inflexibility.  I love how she fought so hard for the things she wanted and how that was both good and bad.  She made the whole book enjoyable, and I'd have loved her even if the story hadn't been intriguing (which it was).  I loved the group of boys she meets and all the things they do together, including fight.  It was a perfect fantasy featuring the girl-dressing-as-a-boy motif, which can sometimes be cliched but was excellent in this instance.  Magic, squires, evil forces, a prince, a thief (chases, escapes, true love, etc): a great combination to make this series a new favorite.  Listening to it on audio was excellent as well, mostly because hearing the intonations of her voice made the Alanna even more real to me - kudos to the narrator.

Things I Didn't Like:
It was pretty short for the number of years that passed in the book.  Which is to say, I wanted more about Alanna and Jonathan and George.  Good thing there are more books in the series.

The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Anything by Tamora Pierce

s-factor: ! 

maybe one or two, but not many

mrg-factor: none 

v-factor: -> 
some, but nothing descriptive

Overall rating: ***** 

What old favorites have you discovered recently?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I've got this one down on my TBR shef. I hope I like it as much as you. It sounds really good.

  2. I'm so happy right now. Really. Grinning ear to ear.

  3. I remember when was released it hit our library and the circs on it grew, grew and reach a point where it was never in. Loved it then, love it now! Thanks for featuring this one, glad you enjoyed it!

    GADS...am I really that old?!

  4. Jenny, I hope you do too!

    Angie, I really like discovering your old favorites - they have not yet disappointed me :-)

    Deb, how fun! I really wish I'd read it when I was a kid. And no, you are NOT old :-)

  5. "What a delight - why didn't I read this sooner?"

    I have a feeling that's what I'm going to say! When, you know, I finally read it... :P

  6. Small, I feel that way about a lot of older classics people loved. If only I had unlimited reading time...


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