Friday, 16 December 2016

Review: Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book left me feeling so nostalgic. I listened to the audiobook for this, and the entire time I felt like I had been tucked into bed on a winter night and read to.

Alanna is a classic, there's adventure, making friends, growing up. Alanna is about 11 years old at the start of the story, and at the end she's 15 (I think?). The novel uses the classic fantasy tropes before they became exhausting and... tropey. I feel like a lot of authors these days heard the story of Alanna from someone else and are now trying to copy it by using a watered down recipe for fantasy.

Although all the good ol' fantasy features are in here: Saving the world, a prophecy, a young plucky heroine, a best friend, and a dash of bravery. The way Pierce weaved it all together creates a refreshing and exciting adventure.

I did have a few problems with the story though.
There are a LOT of time skips, and I had quite a bit of trouble keeping up with them, especially since I was listening to an audiobook. I had to rewind a lot when I heard Alanna's age suddenly change by one or two years. It left me feeling as if I had missed out on something crucial in the story.
I also felt as if the novel was too short and slightly rushed. I feel like Tamora could have spent more time fleshing out Alanna's interactions with the other characters more. An event would happen and then all of a sudden end and it'd be the next day with no warning. I guess I can't complain because the novel was very fast-paced, I didn't have a single moment to be bored.

A good novel to read if you want to get away from the generic tropey fantasy novels out there.

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