Titles: Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess
Author: Tamora Pierce
Published: 1983, 1984
Synopsis from Goodreads for Alanna: The First Adventure:Alan of Trebond, the best warrior in the palace, is harboring a big secret: he is really a she - Alanna. But when her prince is felled by an illness, Alanna has no choice but to use her healing magic - even if it means ruining her career.
I wasn't really sure what to expect going into these. I read Tricksters Choice and Tricksters Queen not too long ago and loved them, so I thought that I would read these, since they're essentially prequels. I wasn't disappointed. I'm doing a joint review because the first two are basically half of one long story.
I felt that Alanna: The First Adventure was a bit hard to get into. Since it's told in third person and the jumps in time are so choppy I had a bit of trouble really getting to know Alanna. By In the Hand of the Goddess I knew Alanna very well, but time still moved strangely. One second she was 11 the next 12, one scene 16 the next 17. It was a bit hard to get used to. I did feel that the time jumps were necessary, I just wish that they could have been a bit less choppy.
Because I read the books about her daughter first, I know who she's going to end up with, but I still love reading about the love triangle. It's not very prominent at all in the first one, but in the second one it's definitely there. I really liked that, as I've said before, I'm a sucker for romance :).
I really really like Alanna. She knows what she wants, and she knows how to get it. She doesn't let being a girl stop her from being a knight, and she's very smart. She's an ideal role model for anyone, not just young girls.
In short, I really enjoy Tamora Pierces books, and I'm very happy to add this series to my list of books by her that I've read. I hope to expand that list considerably.