Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tortall and other lands by Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce is best known for her strong heroines and magical worlds.  Tortall and other lands: A collection of tales brings together characters that are familiar, as well as new characters from new worlds.  I waited for this book with eager anticipation as I have enjoyed reading Tamora Pierce for a long time, and have yet to come across a book that I did not like - although some characters are more memorable than others (I don't dare use the words favourite here).

This collection was everything I hoped for, but did somehow leave me feeling a little disappointed at times - like someone had offered me a really nice pie, only to find out that it was mostly crust with not so much meat in it.  The stories are well crafted and enjoyable, and it was a chance to reconnect with characters from some of her earlier novels - ones where you sometimes wonder what happened to them when the story ended.  For me though, it was the stories set in other worlds that acutally appealed the most. 

One of the first stories is about a girl who learns to become a warrior by watching the animals on the plains as she tends her animals.  It is the least likely place to learn the skills of fighting, but the way she learns unfolds into a story of justice and grrrl power.  Another story, that I don't want to ruin by telling too much shows how kindness and loyalty can be rewarded, especially when you help in the face of adversity.  Or the story about a young girl who works with her father to teach people about the other side of the dominating religion, helping others to find the same path that they have.

Not all of the stories will appeal to all readers.  I love Tamora's books and even I found myself skim reading some of the stories, or skipping them after a few pages.  The majority were well written and absorbing, and if you like her works them you will enjoy the majority of this book as well.

If you like this book then try:
  • Alanna the first adventure by Tamora Pierce
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • Crown duel by Sherwood Smith
Reviewed by Brilla

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