Carolynn's Reviews > Trickster's Queen

Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce
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Apr 09, 12

bookshelves: do-not-read

Tamora Pierce was part of my literary diet when I was growing up. The combination of Western fantasy with Western science fiction means that even now I picture the fantasy city with wide boulevards, low-gabled houses, and amber sunlight dappling the warm streets.

Malheureusement, growing up one comes to perceive the limitations of such a treatment of the genre.

Trickster’s Queen, then, is a painful reread because I approach it this time with a new clarity of vision. It is a story, essentially, about colonialism.

I mentioned to a friend how the Daughter of the Lioness stories distinctly map onto the USAmerican presence in the Philippines.

Pierce’s Tortall is a place where dogs are trained in Malay, after all – if Pierce can come up with faux-foreign vocabulary for all the other regions of her world, I find it shameless to simply grab Malay wholesale.

But, to return to this book: in Trickster’s Queen, the white woman convinces the indigenous peoples to support a mestizo regime because she and only she knows what will save them. She is kingmaker, power-broker, saviour all in one. In the Trickster’s Queen universe, this is unquestionably a righteous happening; Aly is vindicated by the appearance of demigods who hail her for her political and military intervention in the Copper Isles.

I find it remarkable how the parallel of the novel’s plot with historical and contemporary USAmerican influences in Southeast Asia could fail to escape readers. The book’s and author’s politics – Pierce has written, for example, short stories whose plot boils down to ‘save the niqabis from themselves’ – are distasteful enough that, if I ever have a nostalgic craving for the Summersea quartets, it’ll be heigh ho, heigh ho to the library instead.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Amanda Doty Pierce weaves real themes into her
fantasy. In the Beka Cooper books, it's slavery. In these books it's colonialism. But Aly, though playing a role of a white savior for POC, is not the colonialism the raka are facing. They had been oppresses for centuries when their god (who is a full god, not a demigod) fights to regain control of his land. I think Pierce does a great job of showing the dangers and hardships an oppressed people face when trying to regain their independence and their homes.


Megan Fermo I think the books ring true more about the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, rather than the American.Like how they colonized it for more than three hundred years and all.


Chelsea I love this review. I never see anyone criticizing this and I thought the white savior-y crap was really icky. I absolutely do not understand why this story had to be told from Aly's perspective instead of Dove's, or from some other third person. And Aly had that whole ~not ALL luarin! We have to get along!~ attitude and it's like really, lady?? Did u.... w... W?????


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