File Size: 3884 KB
Print Length: 480 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (November 30, 2004)
Publication Date: November 30, 2004
(If you're OCD like myself, you'll want to get started on with the Alanna: The Very first Adventure (The Song of the Lioness, 1) (Alanna's start) and then undergo the Wild Magic (Immortals, 1) (Alanna's grownup life) and then First Test (Protector of the Small, 1) (Keladry's life) which is interspersed with Immortals (the story of Daine's life, the first tale of which, at minimum, takes place before this. )
Although, it isn't necessary to read all of these before starting this particular series... *grin*
Be careful what you wish for... you might get it as Aly finds out. Although it truly is exactly what Aly wanted... if she could just have had a bit more time to get ready for it!
This can be a much more, well, smart isn't the right phrase. The writing in this story is at a higher reading level than the Tamora Pierce tales I've read so far--Song of the Lioness and Wild Magic from the Immortals series. Yet again, I kept checking the cover to be certain I was reading a Tamora Touch!
That said, this is a great story! Young adult or adult will find it a fascinating read. Nawat Crow's courtship of Aly is simply too funny as he brings his crow culture with him. There is absolutely no ending to the action and intrigue--normally, I put a marker in ?nternet site read to remind myself of events and character types for later once i write my reviews. Trickster's Choice made me forget; I used to be too busy racing through to learn what would happen next! It's funny, fascinating, scary, and sad as betrayals and support run rampant.
Involuntary spying for our girl as Aly seeks a way to survive being sold into slavery and escaping it. It's Aly's coming of age and the possibility to learn her very own weaknesses and strengths. The lady also learns more about the woman parents than she would have ever realized.
Okay, the idea of a brain footman just doesn't work for me. Steward or butler? Okay. But footman?? No.
The excerpts between chapters are interesting training in spycraft and magic with most, or even all, addressed to Aly from her father as well as others.
Typically the Story
Floating away and intelligent, Alianne is bored. Even though the girl has helped her dad with his spy business, her parents will not allow her to truly turn into a spy with all the danger it entails. Thus when Alianne discovers that her mother, Sir Alanna, intends to make Alianne her next project, Alianne sails off to see friends. She only intentions of being gone until the last day or so of her mother's visit but the pirate slavers the girl runs into have other ideas.
Unable to escape, Alianne does everything the girl can to look unsellable in the slave market at Rajmuat. Unfortunately, all it can is cause the slaver to give the woman away when Ulasim acquisitions an expensive pastry cook. Aly puts all the woman efforts into planning the woman escape until Prince Bronau arrives to warn Mequen of the king's discomfort. "Mad, bad, and dangerous" to know, the Balitangs must sell everything they have and "escape" to their country estate on Lombyn Island until the ruler focuses on another commendable family to fear.
Aly is one of the slaves to be sold out of the family until the matcher, a slaver who discovers new homes for slaves, chooses to keep Aly. Through trickery. Well, it's only natural. For the matcher is possessed by Kyprioth, the trickster god of the raka. And he wants his people in power and the Copper Isles worshipping him again. Kyprioth recognizes Aly's skills and wants her for their services on his behalf. Guiding the Balitang family and keeping the half-raka daughters safe and alive through the summer. For that is the bargain Kyprioth makes with Alanna. If she will keep Lady Sarai and girl Dove safe and still living until fall, he will ensure her safe appearance home in Pirate's Come. Consequently, Kyprioth pretends to be the god the Duke and his family worships and tells these to trust to Aly to keep them safe.
A major challenge when there is a prophecy claiming that the raka will go back to power when a queen of two royal bloodlines appears--and both Lady Sarai and girl Dove fit as the queen predicted. Nor do the raka peoples make her job easy as they always line the coasts, the roads, the streets to see their future queen thereby risking her existence by chancing official attention on the girls.
Alianne "Aly" Cooper is the daughter of Alanna and George Cooper. Intelligent and bored, the girl wants to become a spy. Nawat Crow is a crow shifter. Typically the Trickster arranged for the crows to spy for Aly as well as enabling these to teach the woman their language. Nawat became intrigued enough with Aly that he decided to presume human form.
Sir Alanna is the King's Champion, still riding Darkmoon, and married to Baron George Cooper, the king's chief spy. Neither parent wants Alianne becoming a spy. Her brothers are Thom, the family mage, while Alan, her twin, entered page training three years ago. Maude was the children's nursemaid and it is now the Swoop housekeeper. Cousin Daine, a demi-goddess, and Uncle Numair, a mage, have a cameo role.
Duke Mequen Balitang and Duchess Winnamine with his children from his first marriage, Saraiyu and Dovasary and his children with Winnamine: a daughter Petranne and a son Elsren live in Rajmuat on Kypriang Tropical isle between the Copper Isles. The duke, a descendant of the ruling Rittevon house, and his duchess and younger children are luarin while the daughters are half-raka, the folks conquered by the luarin. Duke Mequen not only loved his first wife but also treats his raka and luarin servants the same... with dignity.
Ulasim is the head footman and the commander of the raka rebellion while Chenaol, the family cook, is in charge of system procurement for the rebellion. Veron is the leader of the men-at-arms; Lokeij is chief hostler and in charge of communications for the rebels as well as weapons storage. Rihani is their healer and nursemaid to the two youngest Balitangs. All are full raka except the luarin Veron. On Lombyn Island, Visda is related to Ulasim and helps Aly herd her goats when she needs to do her spying; Fesgao, man-at-arms and war leader of the rebel armed service; Falthin is the fort bowyer who takes Nawat in for his fletching; and, Ochobu, a raka mage. Junai Dodeka is Ulasim's daughter. A warrior. And now bodyguard to Aly.
Kyprioth is the fantastic God to the raka. The Trickster. Mithros is the Great God to the luarin; the god Kyprioth impersonates. He and the fantastic Goddess, Alanna's patroness, are siblings to Kyprioth but several hundred years ago, they overthrew Kyprioth and the raka. It can taken this long for Kyprioth to regain enough power to chance taking the Copper Isles back and reinstating the raka.
Prince Bronau Jimajen is a close friend of the Duke with a solid desire for power and a very weak character. He is also brother to Prince Rubinyan who is wedded to Princess Imajane, angry King Oron's half-sister. Their own three-year-old son Dunevon is second-in-line to the throne after Hazarin, the king's son. Bronau is one of those arrogant luarin who despises the raka.
The cover is in shades of brown with only half of Aly's face demonstrating, a rich brown cover flowing from the top of her golden locks across her shoulder.
Typically the title is all about the god's choice, a Trickster's Choice of the proper person for the job., I absolutely love this book! Tamora Pierce's writing is engaging, creative and filled with nuances that make these books fun for both teenagers and adults. Aly's voice is fresh, inventive and though she actually is young, she's not another annoying YA heroine. The lady learns from her errors and she's SMART. The lady stands up for what she thinks and the girl doesn't follow the herd. She's a heroine well worth admiring.
This was the first book I read of Tamora Pierce's world and even though much more frequent mentions of other characters featured in the woman other series', I didn't feel lost at all. This story is well-paced, the planet building is complete and presented in a sensible and simple to understand way, and Aly's inventiveness brings the story a feeling of fun and adventure that all ages identify with.
Alianne (Aly) of Pirate's Swoop is the daughter of Alanna, the renowned first lady knight of Tortall. However, Aly is not considering following in the woman mother's footsteps. Instead, the girl hungers for another kind of adventure - the job of a spy, subsequent taking after the actions of her dad. When Aly is abducted by slavers while journeying off the coast of Tortall, she finds their self entering into a wager with a god, an unwitting piece in a larger picture of life in the Copper Isles, the woman unplanned new home. As she starts to ferret out more secrets, the girl realizes that the plot around her is many times larger than she imagined, and she forges unexpected alliances with soldiers, cooks, high-born ladies, servants, crows and even a god.
Aly's wager is for simply for the summer... but the more she views of life in the Copper Isles, a lot more the girl realizes she might be in it for the long game..., I must admit that I was lax to read Tamora's new series because I was usually disappointed by author's new writings -- but I must say that Tamora has impressed myself repeatedly with this new series.
Firstly, I think her writing has changed age groups. I know that it's recommended for the same as her others series (middle school and up), but I feel that this series will appeal to adults as much as children, and maybe less to some of the younger ones. (Do not fear; any pass away hard children fans of Tamora will appreciate and love this novel as her others, I'm certain. ) Her writing is more intricate in this book, more in depth, aimed on a girl who will be more of a woman from the start. While Alanna's & company (Daine, Kel) got place when they were much younger, Aly is 16 in this book. I feel that it sets off at a place where more mature thoughts and actions / plots can be established, and in this case, very believable.
This particular novel is well created. Tamora does a wonderful job of fleshing out there the characters, though for the first chapter or two, you may fumble with all the names. By chapter five though, at the latest, she has made them all appear very life like.
I also enjoyed how real Aly was. She is not the ultimate spy. The lady messes up a simple, and she is still a child relatively. I must also admit that the woman views on flirting are incredibly amusing, I was smiling widely by way of a lot of the book. I do wish Aly had more interactions with Nawat, in common. He's a fun figure, and he seems to randomly appear and disappear for pages, which was annoying.
It was also good to hear about Uncle 'Numy' and Cousin Daine, as well as seeing more of George and Alanna (though they are by far minor compared to other character types in these series).
It should be noted that this series is not as magic based as the woman other ones have already been. This is more like Kel's than like Daine's, because Daine was very magic centered. Aly is far more about politics, relationships, how people interact, and about a new woman trying to find herself. Whether it sounds cliche, oh well.
I would recommend this to all who have any interest in Tamora Pierce's previous novels, as well as Kushiel's Dart. While this is not a sexy plot twister like Kushiel, it is an easier, lighter read of the same type of thought. Yes, that is a compliment.: )
I cannot wait for my order of Trickster's California king to arrive!
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