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

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4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  66,827 ratings  ·  2,605 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: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent to lear
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Mass Market Paperback, 274 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Simon Pulse (first published 1983)
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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 3,723 books — 9,409 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanDivergent by Veronica Roth
Best Young Adult Books
75th out of 8,990 books — 59,030 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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Natalie
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.)
Erin
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.
Donna
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
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Angie
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
Tatiana
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
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Madeline
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
Regan
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.
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
Lorrie
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
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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
Katie
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.
Catie
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
Lindsey
Really enjoyed this!!! I highly recommend it especially if you are looking for a quick read!
Cassie
This book is kind of like...my 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
Mike (the Paladin)
I read this when my children were still small. After all, it was my responsibility to introduce them to fantasy literature...er, ah,....as 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
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Angela
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
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Ashley
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
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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
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Brittany
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
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Holly
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
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.
لیلی
میدونین که من کلا فانتزی دوس ندارم؟؟؟ ولی میدونین که نارنیا عشششششق منه؟؟؟ و بیشتر از اون، میدونین که این کتاب، همیشه و همیشه و همیشه، جزو ده تا کتاب مورد علاقه‌م خواهد بود؟؟ میدونین که من چهار جلد اینو خوندم، و وقتی رسیدم به صفحه آخر جلد چهارم، جلد یکشو برداشتم و از اول خوندم همشو؟؟ میدونین که الانم وقتی داشتم توضیحشو تو گودریدز میخوندم، دلم یه عاااااااالللللللمه براش تنگ شد؟؟؟ میدونین که این کتاب بیشتر از ده دفه توسط لیلی خونده شده، و جلد دومش، تقریبا نابوده از بس که همه جا و همه جا با خودم بر ...more
Carolyn
Nov 14, 2009 Carolyn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Girls in their preteens or early teens
Recommended to Carolyn by: Middle-school library monitor
I first read this book (and its sequels) when I was eleven or twelve. I proceeded to read all the rest of the Tortall novels. Earlier this year, I reread Alanna's books. Here is what I discovered. This book is kind of terrible. But I love it.
I found myself cringing at certain lines throughout the book, but I read it in two sittings and when it was finished all I wanted to do was pick up the second one. I can't help it. I love Alanna. And Jonathan. And George. On second read-through, George most
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Wealhtheow
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
Kribu
Not a long review as typing on the iPad sucks, but anyway, overall I enjoyed this a lot - more than I expected to, really. It's only the lengthy bits of magical stuff that cause me to lower the 3.5 stars to 3 instead of rounding up to 4, as I found those really dreadfully boring.

Anyway, I will definitely want to read more (both in this series and more in this universe).
Aubrey Coletti
All cards on the table: not only is this my favorite book series of all time, but having read it first when I was about nine or ten, it has seriously played a huge part in shaping my character. So you are forewarned that this is a review from a huge fan. The Song of the Lioness Series' brilliance lies in its colorful, clearly drawn characters, its wonderfully built world, and the perfect arc it encompasses: by the end, Alanna, our heroine, has become a legend, and you don't just believe it, you ...more
ONTD Feminism
LJ user piratesswoop's review:

It's a more young adult series, but I still like to go back and re-read this series, and it was one of my first introductions to the concept of feminism and strong female characters. It's about a young noble girl who decides she doesn't want to follow tradition to be sent to live in the convent and be raised as a Lady. She wants to go to the palace to be a knight, and her twin brother wants to go to the convent to be a scholar mage. With the help of their two servan
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Haley
Although Alanna; The First Adventure was a fairly decent middle-grade fantasy novel, there were lots of things that could have been better.

Characters:
I honestly felt that Alanna's character was just...... Bland. Boring. She pretty much had no personality, except that she wants to be a knight and to prove she's just as good as the guys. Alanna was boring. And she was not proud of being a girl, which made me annoyed almost angry. At one point, she says: "It's not fair! I didn't ask to be born a g
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8596
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
More about Tamora Pierce...
Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, #4) In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2) Wild Magic (Immortals, #1) The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3) Emperor Mage (Immortals, #3)

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“Alanna: All I know is that I'm to jump when I'm told and I have no free time.” 122 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?” 102 likes
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