Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)” as Want to Read:
Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  72,321 ratings  ·  2,845 reviews
From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight.

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pret
Mass Market Paperback, 274 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Simon Pulse (first published 1983)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Alanna, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Kavya Yes, there is definitely romance. 1/2 the book is her adventure and the other half is her (growing) relationships with the two main men(you will know…moreYes, there is definitely romance. 1/2 the book is her adventure and the other half is her (growing) relationships with the two main men(you will know when you read the book). Even though some of the book is her adventures, I think the main focus of the book is overcoming her fear of love which is why they enter the romance in their. There is no explicit details but there is some hints of what they do...just saying...its not an adultish book in that sense. (less)
Alia Absolutely! This book, and actually anything Tamora Pierce has written, is among my all-time favorites. She has a real eye for detail, and her…moreAbsolutely! This book, and actually anything Tamora Pierce has written, is among my all-time favorites. She has a real eye for detail, and her characters are believable while still keeping the fantastic element of the books.(less)
Graceling by Kristin CashoreVampire Academy by Richelle MeadAlanna by Tamora PiercePoison Study by Maria V. SnyderFire by Kristin Cashore
Best "Strong Female" Fantasy Novels
3rd out of 3,353 books — 10,889 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanTwilight by Stephenie MeyerDivergent by Veronica Roth
Best Young Adult Books
78th out of 9,552 books — 63,795 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Kat Kennedy
Jul 07, 2010 Kat Kennedy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who enjoy action, adventure and fantasy
After reading three paranormal/urban fantasy romances in a row, you can only imagine how happy I was to read, not only something different, but something GOOD!

Good is the best description I can give of Alanna. I wouldn't say it was great. It gets pretty close to it, though. Some parts of it seem unrealistic to me. Alanna being so readily accepted by the boys etc. But the story is short, fun, action-packed with magic and mystery and high-adventure.

Alanna it a great character. Stubborn, cheeky, do
In retrospect, this is not a perfect novel, or series of novels, but when I think of who I wanted to be when I was ten years old, my answer was always Alanna. (And I still have a crush on George.)
Oct 10, 2008 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young women and girls
This is one of those books that will stick with me, literally and metaphorically. I have it with me at college... The whole series and all the ones I have of the spin off series are dear to me. They are wonderful for girls who are growing up. It is one story after another of strong young girls turning into strong young women.
I probably would have liked this better if I'd read it for the first time when I was younger. The heroine is a fairly typical spunky fantasy female, she's a little too perfect and good at everything.

The story is okay but not especially memorable. It takes place over several years, though the passage of time seems a little muddy and the only real sense of it is that sometimes Alanna will mention her age. It's written in third person, and for the most part we're only in Alanna's head. But there a
This series appears to be a childhood favorite of many readers and I think if I were 10 years old I'd be a bigger fan of it as well.

Alanna: The First Adventure is a good book that you would want your small daughter to read and learn from. It is both an entertaining mix of adventure and magic and it teaches all the right lessons of perseverance, patience, hard work, and standing up to adversity. Extra points for writing about periods.

However, to me, an adult reader, this short novel had very lit
Okay, deep breaths all around. Are you ready for another one of those retro reviews in which I regale you with nostalgic views of my childhood reading and rhapsodize on another heroine who contributed to making me who I am today? If you're not (and I totally would not blame you in the slightest--I know how I can go on about these things), you should probably just swish on by, cause Alanna is sort of the mother of them all when it comes to characters who own a little piece of my soul. She's right ...more
I still can't believe that I made it through my entire adolescence without ever reading a single Tamora Pierce book. I was aware of the books, obviously, but I never bothered to pick them up. This was mostly due to my childhood belief that once I found a book I really liked, there was no reason to read anything else - this is why I read Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain series multiple times in elementary school, but never bothered to seek out similar series or even any other books by the ...more
A great introduction to the series and a real page turner. Of course you can't expect a complex plot or very imaginative world building, but therefore you get likeable characters and some very great themes for younger readers to pick up on like gender equality or the meaning of friendship. A really enjoyable read that works well as a refresher between bigger books.
Nov 29, 2008 Regan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Regan by: Mrs. Sexton
Shelves: tamora-pierce
This book was so good I can't believe it took me this long to read it Once I got into it I couldn't put it down. I can't wait till Monday so I can start the second book. Alanna proves that girls can do anything.
Rose Be
I borrowed this book from a friend, and really have nothing good to say about it. I thought that the plot line was overused, and the writing style left a lot to be desired. The story of a girl dressing up as a a boy to prove herself is something we're all familiar with, and sometimes it's done very well and it's a pleasure to read. However, there was nothing fresh or new about this book, or this series. The characters weren't fleshed out and their difficulties-- hiding identity, physical exhaust ...more
This book is very simply written, but powerful. This is exactly the kind of book I want to have around for my daughters when they hit the pre-teen years. There is a wonderful progression of Alanna as slightly scared (but brave) and unsure of her abilities, to an Alanna that's self assured and assertive that I found really inspiring. She deals with a bully, a magical plague, sinister adults, and her grueling classes all while masquerading as a boy so that she can realize her dream of becoming a k ...more
Anne Osterlund
Alanna disguises herself as a boy so that she can train at the palace to become a knight. Along the way she learns how use a sword, balance her precarious friendship with the King of Thieves, and survive the impossible pile of her homework. But she must also find a way to accept her magical gift, and far more important, herself, before her own life, her best friend's (Crown Prince Jonathan's) life, and the fate of the entire kingdom is destroyed. The very first Tortall book, and one of my absolu ...more
Sep 13, 2012 Katie added it
Even though this series is meant for pre-teen girls, I still find it to be interesting as an adult. Alanna is a much better fictional female role model than Bella of "Twilight." Also the books are much better written. Tamora Pierce is an author; Stephanie Meyer is a joke.
First Second Books
It’s an interesting thought-exercise to think about what this book would be like if Tamora Pierce was writing it today!

First thought: it’d probably be about four times longer! (And would the protagonist still have bright red hair and purple eyes?)
Oh man, this book was a huge part of my formative years. I was reading them in 4th and 5th grade and just completely freaking out. I had to hide them from my Christian parents because of the whole multiple gods thing, and do you know how hard it is to smuggle literature when you're only a few times bigger than the paperback book itself? And when your mom is the one DRIVING you to the library? Totally worth it though, guys. All girls around 10 or more should read these.

Pro tip for my younger, mor
Lindsey Rey
Really enjoyed this!!! I highly recommend it especially if you are looking for a quick read!
Mike (the Paladin)
I read this when my children were still small. After all, it was my responsibility to introduce them to fantasy, ah, well as other literature that is...huh, huh,huh.

Anyway, this is an enjoyable story, you'll of course run into the character types and plot points elsewhere, but that's okay. Character types, become character "types" for a reason. Alan...Alanna is a good character, though a little, trying or even annoying at times. Still, she knows her mind!

This book has a few
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Add to the list of gotta-catch-em-all books-- the Song of the Lioness box set. LOOK AT THESE COVERS (the right ones, the left are the old ones). I NEED THEM LIKE AIR THEY'RE SO GORGEOUS.

Being constantly told how some heroine was a "great role model for girls" or "sets a good example" or is "such a strong female character" as a 10-year old was worse than eating Brussels sprouts. I would have rather eaten glue than read this book.

So the normal thing everyone says here, "I'd have liked this more as a kid," really does not apply. But at 27, after hearing my twenties-something friends wax nostalgic, I figured I was being grossly unfair, and that I'd finally get around to reading it
This book is kind of childhood. While not the first Tamora Pierce book I read, it was the first one I read in order so I really got a sense of how she develops her characters throughout her series. And while other female action writers may shy away from all the "uncomfortable" lady business, Pierce dives right in. She isn't afraid to let people know that yes, Alanna is a girl, and yes, she does get her period. I really commend her for that, since I've always felt really weirded out abo ...more
I've heard amazing things about Tamora Pierce's books. With that being said I was a bit nervous reading this with all the awesome things I heard. I was like I'm not going to love it as much as everyone else. Boy I was totally wrong. I loved Alanna!! Its so different from anything I've read.

Its this medieval fantasy story with a kick ass main character who isn't afraid to go for what she wants. And that's to be a knight!!

I really cannot wait to read more about Alanna, and more from Tamora Pierce
Arielle Walker
I used to be obsessed with these books. When I was younger I was equally fascinated by medieval history and magic, and Alanna was the perfect heroine.

The story is fairly simple, and has been repeated many times in many different ways by many different authors since: for me, Piece was the first to tell it. Alanna does not want to be a "Lady". She doesn't want to go to a convent and learn embroidery and other "lady-like" subjects. She wants to be a warrior, and fight, and defeat evil! So she take
I hate giving this book a two-star review. I feel bad about it. It's like kicking an adorable, defenseless kitten. A red-haired kitten. With purple eyes. And surprising aptitude for pretty much everything. And with lots of courage and just oozing adorable precocious pluck. But absolutely no sense of humor.

People seem to love this book, and I think I know why. Had I read this as a young girl, I would have loved it. It's a coming of age story about a girl who feels different from everyone else. On
With their red hair and purple eyes, Alanna and Thom of Trebond couldn’t look more alike for a set of boy and girl twins. Unfortunately they couldn’t be more dissimilar in their aspirations: Alanna would like to be a knight, while Thom would like to become a sorcerer, the exact opposite of what their father intends. That’s when spunky Alanna has the most brilliant idea for a ten-year-old: to change places. As Alan of Trebond, Alanna is off to the palace to learn sword-fighting, grappling and all ...more
Alanna and her twin brother switch identities so she can become a knight and he can study magic. A very enjoyable training montage ensues, wherein Alanna shows herself to be stalwart, stubborn, and willing to do a great deal of extra work in order to achieve her dream of being a warrior. But physical exertion alone isn't enough to protect the kingdom, especially when a magical sickness sweeps the kingdom. Alanna has to come to terms with her own femaleness and magical ability if she wants to sav ...more
Gail Carriger
Not really a review, more a memory:

I can pinpoint the origin of these books with the most clarity. I remember being handed the first one by a librarian, and begging my parents to buy it for me when I had to turn it back in. I remember then begging the librarian to tell me the date the next one was expected to release (that was the only way to find out, in those days). I remember the look and location of each new book, in the bookstore, when I went to pick it up. I still have all my first edition
Noelia Alonso
I liked this book. I read it in two sittings. Super quick and fun but I know that I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it when I was younger. There is no much depth to the characters and it's a bit cliché. Let's just say that it is not very complex, which is understandable since is a children's book. As said, if I had read this, let's say, when I was 10-13 I would have loved it for sure
3.5-4ish. This was fun!
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4/5; 4 stars; A-

I can't believe this is the first Tamora Pierce book I've read. It was an awesome 'sword and scorcery' fantasy story suitable for all ages. I Enjoyed the strong female character as well as the characterization of the various boys in the story. There is a lot of room for growth in the magic system and the different story arcs I can see potential for. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series.
Steph Su
The lingering thought I had when reading this was: why did I not read this amazing book until now? Alanna is a protagonist for all time, a strong-willed girl whose problems are ageless. The concept is not complex, admittedly, as this is more or less the quintessential coming-of-age girl-disguised-as-a-boy fantasy novel—but its general appeal overrides that. A must-read for every young girl, and every older reader as well.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Should I start reading Tortall? Why, or why not? 24 70 Jun 12, 2015 10:19AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce 1 5 Apr 10, 2015 05:37PM  
She-Geeks: April read: Alanna: The First Adventure 5 22 Apr 08, 2015 01:54PM  
What to read after Tamora Pierce? 111 1111 Apr 08, 2015 06:58AM  
Does anybody else think this book could SOOOOOO be a movie???? 147 264 Jan 03, 2015 01:55PM  
Can't remember title! 6 47 May 16, 2014 01:05PM  
  • Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4)
  • Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2)
  • The Blue Sword (Damar, #2)
  • The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2)
  • Forging the Sword (The Farsala Trilogy, #3)
  • Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood
  • The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf (The Squire's Tales, #3)
  • The Tenth Power (The Chanters of Tremaris, #3)
  • Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack, #3)
  • Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2)
  • Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)
  • The Wizard's Dilemma (Young Wizards, #5)
  • Page (Tamora Pierce Novel)
  • The Folk Keeper
  • Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)
  • Juniper (Doran, #2)
Hey, folks! I just discovered that apparently I have given some very popular books single-star ratings--except I haven't. How do I know I haven't? Because I haven't read those books at all. So before you go getting all hacked off at me for trashing your favorites, know that I've written GoodReads to find out what's going on.

I return to my regularly scheduled profile:
Though I would love to join gro
More about Tamora Pierce...

Other Books in the Series

Song of the Lioness (4 books)
  • In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2)
  • The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3)
  • Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, #4)
Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, #4) In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2) The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3) Wild Magic (Immortals, #1) Trickster's Queen (Daughter of the Lioness, #2)

Share This Book

“Alanna: All I know is that I'm to jump when I'm told and I have no free time.” 125 likes
“Alan, you seem to think we won't like you unless you do things just like everyone else. Have you ever thought we might like you because you're different?” 111 likes
More quotes…