SONG OF THE LIONESS QUARTET
In order: Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, and Lioness Rampant. These star Alanna, a girl who disguised herself as a man and trained to be a knight. She is, of course, excellent at fighting, full of magical talent, and in many other senses, totally improbable. Good premise, nice adventure, but far too much sleeping around for children's books.
This is a quartet set shortly after the events in the earlier one, with a protagonist who talks to animals (and still eats them, but what the heck). I read only part of the first one, Wild Magic, before throwing it down in disgust. I'm afraid I don't know the titles of all of them, but I know there's Wild Magic, Wolf Speaker, The Emperor Mage, and...um...I'll get back to you on the last book.
This is the first in a new series set after the previous two quartets starring the first openly female girl training to be a knight. Keladry is a bit of a goody-goody, but at least she's not as talented at everything as Alanna. I do not plan to read the rest of the series.
THE MAGIC CIRCLE
Set in a totally different world, the series consists of: Sandry's Book, Tris' Book, Daja's Book and Briar's Book (creative titles). The protagonists are younger and skilled in a different type of magic. Sandry has magic with any type of cloth or thread, Tris with water and weather, Daja with metal and Briar with plants. Contrary to the titles, they often don't concentrate on one character more than another, and while temporarily diverting, don't leave too much of a lasting impression. Fun, but without substance.
And a new series, set after The Magic Circle quartet:
THE CIRCLE OPENS
As someone who is generally not a big fan of Tamora Pierce's work, I was pleasantly surprised by Magic Steps, the first in a promising new quartet. It's a very diverting action-fantasy with plenty of-- well, everything. There's some particularly creative magic going on: Sandry continues to work with and explore her special type of thread magic, Pasco (her new and somewhat unwilling student) begins to learn control over his unusual dancing Talent, and a new and very dangerous type of magic is discovered. Unmagic, as they call it, permits several murderers to go undiscovered as they exact revenge upon the prominent Rokat family in a truly grisly manner. And only Sandry and Pasco, two young and inexperienced mages, have the combined unique talents to deal with the menace... It's gorier than any other Pierce book I've come across, but it's not too excessive.
Back to the list