BOOK NAME: Alanna: The First Adventure
AUTHOR: Tamora Pierce
PUBLISHER(S): Random House (USA) Scholastic (UK)
RELEASE DATE: 1983
After reading Tamora Pierce’s most recent book Tortall and Other Lands : A Collection of Tales, I wanted to reread her other pieces. Of course that means starting at the beginning and what a beginning it is.
The basic story is a 10 year old twin boy and girl decide to go against their father’s wishes and do what they want to with their lives. The boy was supposed to go to the palace and learn to be a knight while the girl was to go off to a nunnery to learn to be a Lady and be married off to someone at court. Instead, the boy goes off to learn to be a sorcerer while the girl goes to the palace in her brother’s stead to become a knight.
You maybe wondering how they planned to pull this off, but these two were identical twins with the difference at 10 years old only being the length of their hair. Alanna cut her hair and joined the other pages at the palace. It wasn’t until a couple of years things began to become difficult to pull off this charade; Alanna began to come into her womanhood. After cursing her fate she found out a way of hiding this fact as well.
The friendships she makes while a page are strong, but she worries if her secret comes out they will hate her for lying to them. Through the story you learn of different things she does to keep this secret as deep down as possible. A line which sticks out when one of the pages asks her, “have you thought that your friends may like you for being different?” and she scoffs it off as impossible and as the book ends this possibility comes to light. She learns if this could be possible or if she will be shunned for lying to her peers and to the kingdom.
The story is basic in the idea of women only being allowed to be one type of person and not being allowed to do a “man’s” job. Tamora Pierce tackles this stereotype and deals with as a young woman growing up in a society such as that.
A wonderful book for teenage girls and is a fairly easy read. But, still fun as an adult to read as well even as a quick read to refresh one’s mind. I highly recommend it for any women who feel they are being compared wrongly to males or even just as a book of a young woman trying to find her place in a gender strict society.