Tag Archives: alanna: the first adventure

Just Finished Reading: Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce (4)

I don’t want to give the impression that I wouldn’t recommend these books. Especially for the target market- tween and teen girls, this is an excellent series. Pierce’s strengths are in plot and creating characters that readers care about.

The heroine is strong, confident, and imperfect. She struggles with becoming the person she dreams of being and finding her place in the world she lives in. She has to learn to accept herself. As she grows up and changes over the course of the novels, her dreams and desires change, just as they will for the readers of the novels.


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Just Finished Reading: Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce (3)

The absent emotional component also means that the motives of Alex, the best known of the secondary “bad” guys, are never really understood by the reader.

The reader is concerned about Alex at the end of the first book. In the second book, Alex does some bad things, but there is the impression that those actions were done under magical influence, not malice. He is then conspicuously absent when Alanna kills his former master. That means that when he is back in the fourth book, his motives for being a bad guy and turning on his friends are completely unclear.


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Just Finished Reading: Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce (2)

Pierce’s biggest weakness appears to be writing emotional response. Pierce appears to only use stock phrases without conveying anything deeper. Alanna’s face turns red many times, but I never actually feel her embarrassment or anger.

This becomes a greater problem when dealing with Alanna’s romantic relationships. Because I never feel her emotional response, the emotional resolution of the series falls flat. I know she loves the other characters because I am told she does, but I never feel it. It feels like she ends up with who she ends up with through the process of elimination, not any great love.


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Just Finished Reading: Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

I enjoyed the Song of the Lioness quartet quite a bit. If I had read the books when I was at the target age, they probably would have been among my favorites. As an adult, and a writer, I find them good, but not great.

Alanna is a likeable hero. She is not perfect, but she tries and is (mostly) able to admit her mistakes.

Pierce is most at home when writing action scenes. When in the midst of a fight, the reader is right there in the middle of the action, feeling every punch and clash of the swords.


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