I wasn’t going to use the series name for any of my entries, but I realized on Day 2 that I didn’t have any Tamora Pierce books on my list, and I had already missed “A” for Alanna: The First Adventure, so I had to be creative with how to include her in my list. It worked out that as we were growing up, my sister was the one who collected all the Tamora Pierce books (I had pretty much everything else, including the Patricia C. Wrede books and the Harry Potter series), so they are in her room, not my bookshelf.
Anyway, Tamora Pierce’s Immortals Quartet contains these books:
- Wild Magic
- Emperor Mage
- The Realms of the Gods
And they are actually my favorite quartet of all the Tortall books because Numair is my favorite. (I think I need to add the quartet to my re-read list ;)) I have been waiting for the Numair books to come out for about ten years now! I do like Kel a lot in the Protector of the Small books, but they are harder for me to re-read because there are some pretty intense scenes in Lady Knight (which I think was written during 9/11).
I think Pierce’s writing gets noticeably better after the Song of the Lioness (the first quartet in the series), but overall, I really enjoy her writing style and love her characters. One thing to note is that the world of Tortall is very rich with different countries, and there are many mentions of people of color in the series, although I can’t remember a main character who was not of some version of European descent.
All of Tamora Pierce’s books have strong female main characters who are as good at or better than the boys. At the same time, I think she writes a lot of very realistic struggles that girls go through growing up. I would start girls reading the first series around 4th grade, so they have plenty of time to get through all the books and can mature with the books. I think the later books are closer to YA than middle grade, but I haven’t read the last one or two of the published Tortall books, or after the end of the second series of the Circle of Magic books.
(By the way, a friend of mine in college’s middle name was actually Alanna, after the Lioness in the Tortall books, and she went so far as to bring Tamora Pierce to her residential college while we were there. My sister and I both got a copy of Squire signed that year, but for different events on different coasts!)
This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter I.
Edit 4/26/12: My sister just reminded me that it was Lady Knight, not Squire, that was written during 9/11.