Tag Archives: Kids/YA

Wolf-Speaker (Immortals #2) by Tamora Pierce

Wolf-Speaker (Immortals, #2)

It’s been over a year since I read the first book in Tamora Pierce’s Immortals quartet, Wild Magic. I remember enjoying it almost more than Pierce’s Alanna books (which will always be first in my heart, of course) but other than that, I started this book with only vague memories of the plot and characters of the previous installment.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Not for the first time, I find myself reading a book about ten years too late and being utterly incapable of connecting with it on any level. Someone probably should have made me read this when I was in high school, and I most likely would have reviewed it more favorably – then again, I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was fifteen and found Holden Caulfield to be utterly insufferable, so it’s entirely possible that I just do not care about the struggle of the middle-class teenage white boy.
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The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood and Co. #1)

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1)

I can’t believe I almost forgot about Jonathan Stroud. His Bartimaeus trilogy was one of my favorites when I was in middle school/high school, but I never thought I would find another one of his books, because for some reason I believed that he hadn’t written anything else after that series. It was pure chance that I learned about this book at all – I can’t remember which of my Goodreads friends put this on their to-read list, but someone did, and I happened to be looking at my feed at the exact right moment, so whoever it was, I thank you. It’s been at least ten years since I read the Bartimaeus books, and going back to Stroud’s writing was like catching up with an old friend.
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Wild Magic (Immortals #1) by Tamora Pierce

Wild Magic (Immortals, #1)

After a short break, I’ve returned to Tortall, and guys, it’s great to be back. I decided to resume my long-overdue Tamora Pierce education for two reasons: first, the Immortals quartet was completely new to me (as a kid, I had a passing familiarity with the Alanna, Kel, and Aly series, having read a few chapters of each before abandoning them); and also I found out that my sister has all four of the books in one volume, so I stole it from her. Sorry, borrowed.

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Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness #4) by Tamora Pierce

Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, #4)

Having reached the end of the Alanna books, I’m really sad to be done with the series. Not just because Alanna is a fantastic heroine – seriously, I’m currently drafting legislation to make these books required reading for sixth grade girls everywhere – but also because this is one of those rare occasions where I feel like a book could have been longer, and should have been longer. The entire Alanna series has felt very rushed, since Book One when we sped through two years of knight training in about two hundred pages, and I wish that these books had been published at a time when children’s series were allowed to contain 700-page epics.

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The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness #3) by Tamora Pierce

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3)

 

Based on what I’ve read on Goodreads, the general fan consensus seems to be that this book is the weakest of the quartet. I enjoyed it just as much as the previous two books, but can see why people tend to list it as their least favorite. The story takes place almost entirely in a single location, as Alanna goes to live in the desert after graduating as a knight (and killing Duke Roger) at the end of Book 2. The people she falls in with are the Bazhir, who we met briefly in Book One when she and Jonathon went to the Black City, but the people and their culture is explored in much greater depth here.

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In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness #2) by Tamora Pierce

In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2)

I was looking at the cover of my library copy of this book before I started it, and saw that on my edition, Alanna is pictured with a black cat on her shoulder. Remembering how delightfully full of wish fulfillment the first book was, I thought to myself, “Oh, she gets a cat in this one. I bet it’s a magic cat. I bet it talks.” I was joking. But I was totally right. Alanna not only acquires a talking cat (who also has purple eyes, natch), a deity swoops down to personally give Alanna a magic necklace. At this point, girlfriend is getting really weighted down with magical swag. She’s going to have to start carrying trunks around with her, and I love it.

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