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Trickster's Choice

(Daughter of the Lioness #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  60,801 ratings  ·  1,440 reviews
Alianne is the teenage daughter of the famed Alanna, the Lioness of Tortall. Aly is bold and brave like her mother, but she has no wish to become a knight. Instead she longs to follow in her father's footsteps as a spy, an ambition her parents vehemently oppose. After a furious argument Aly runs away, with disastrous consequences. Captured and sold as a slave in the Copper ...more
Hardcover, 453 pages
Published September 17th 2004 by Scholastic Press (first published September 23rd 2003)
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Rae I wouldn't say you need to, no. This book and its sequel do well to stand alone. You may find it helpful to have read the Song of the Lioness Quartet,…moreI wouldn't say you need to, no. This book and its sequel do well to stand alone. You may find it helpful to have read the Song of the Lioness Quartet, but you don't need to.(less)
Mara Wynne There are a couple of romantic relationships spoken about or shown but most of it is just flirting, though there are a couple of kissing scenes. There…moreThere are a couple of romantic relationships spoken about or shown but most of it is just flirting, though there are a couple of kissing scenes. There is nothing explicit or erotic however. (less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
$1.99 Kindle sale, May 11, 2019. If you like YA fantasy, I highly recommend this book and its sequel, Trickster's Queen! And if you like Tamora Pierce's brand of YA fantasy, several of her other books are also on $1.99 Kindle sales right now (go to But these two Trickster books are my very favorites of everything Tamora Pierce has written ... and I've read most of her books. These ones, though, are the only ones I've read multiple times.

This duology fol
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book in some ways, but messed up enough that I probably won't look for more in this series. The writing style was fine - easy to read, nothing detracting from the story, etc. The plot was interesting and moved at a good pace (even if it was clearly part of a series and didn't really conclude, there was a nice ending). The world, while not overwhelmingly original, managed to stay far enough out of generic fantasy kingdom to be interesting (I really liked the crows).

Ashley Marie
Buddy read with Castle!

And my first reread O.O the last time I read this was like... 5 or so years ago. High school/college. Damn.


Coming back into this book after 5+ years away, I had only a vague recollection of it. I remembered Aly, and the Balitang sisters, and the fact that Aly wanted to be a spy, but not much else. I think I spent half the book asking myself how in the hell Aly had been my least favorite MC up to this point, because she kicks ass. Also, Dove and Sarai. For noble-b
Oct 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
So I didn't think I would like this-- yeah, yeah, Tamora Pierce trying to make Alanna more interesting now that she's in middle age, suprise here's her kid who's just as whacky and awesome, OMGs.

But seriously. She's teh awesome. And nothing like the Lioness books, which make them even better. While Alanna was all about her proving herself to be stronger and better than people originally assumed she was, the Trickster series is about a spy, born and bred; she lets people think she's dumb as rock
Allison Hurd
Okay, so...this book is...well it was sure written. It contains many words. And, if we go with the premise that we're all individuals treated individually, rather than part of great patterns and tides of culture, there were lots of great characters.

The thing is that's not true. We ARE consumed by patterns and tides of culture, and this book did a really, resoundingly bad job of dealing with it.

Let me say just right up front. There are no people who prefer slavery. Oppression, even in the form of
Bridget Mckinney
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
There's so much to like about this book, but there's a couple of glaring problems with it that I have to cover first.

1. This is the first time Tamora Pierce has given us a series that takes place almost exclusively outside of Tortall, but it still has a white protagonist. Don't get me wrong, I like Aly. I also understand that the Tortall books are essentially a sort of family drama. However, introducing a white protagonist whose goal is the liberation of a nation of people of color who have bee
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
04 February 2009
The Trickster's Choice


Alianne (Aly) Cooper is the daughter of George Cooper, His Majesty’s Spy-master, and Alanna (Lioness) Cooper, King’s Champion. She has as her god-parents a King and Queen and as her adopted uncle and aunt the most powerful Mage in the realm and a half-goddess enchantress. But what will happen when sixteen year old Aly sneaks away from her over-protective and powerful family? The adventure begins...

Captured by slave-traders (and
Nov 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: Corey Alexander
Shelves: fantasy
This book, and its sequel "Trickster's Queen," were given to me for my birthday by my dear friend Corey. I had recently been longing for some escapist media -- the world has felt a little too real recently, and I wanted a break. The books came highly recommended from Corey, who loved them for the ways that they are explicit tales of anti-colonial uprising, with cross-species romance and Gods-touched descriptions of obligations and duty.

Needless to say, I ate this book up with a silver spoon. Re
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Okay, I did like this. But, the fact that it took me over a month to read it knocked off a star in my overall review.

I've heard so much about Tamora Pierce on this site, that I figured this would be a no brainer... maybe it's me. Yeah, it's probably me.

But, first of all, I found out that this is the first book in the SECOND series of books and that was turn off numero one. I don't like coming into a story if characters have already been introduced. It's like watching Problem Child 2 before Prob
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
:/ I was hoping that I would enjoy this series better than Tamora Pierce's other Tortall books, which, while entertaining, didn't enamor me, mostly because they felt like they weren't original fantasy, and because Pierce seemed ham-handed with her messages. I put that off to the fact that many of the other Tortall novels were oriented towards younger readers (around 4th grade), and because the Alana books, in particular, are older, which would've made them ahead of their time as far as "feminist ...more
Dec 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Tamora Pierce and colonialism
Recommended to Heather by: Barbara
My initial reaction: what happened to all the good, easy to pronounce names like Jon and George? I seriously dislike a majority of the names in this book. I know Tamora was probably going for something exotic with the whole Raka thing but it was just weird I had a hard time remembering who was who.

As a girl power book, I didn't like it as much as Alanna. Aly seemed to get thing more dropped into her lap than actually fighting for what she wanted, which bothered me. Also, I know she wants to spy
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read, own
I think my favorite part of this was seeing George as a father up close and personal. God I love him so much!!

I loved seeing the spying aspect of Tortall and the world for a change. I loved the knight and mage aspects we see in the other series, but this was a new perspective and I am all for intrigue. Aly was so easy to like--she's clever but kind. She easily makes friends with the people she is sold to and I loved how they came to trust her and treat her like one of their own.

I loved seeing
I'll write a proper review very soon, I swear - but I'm on 10% battery at the library and so my time is running out! (Fingers crossed for home internet so so soon...)

Anyway first (rushed) impressions:

Didn't fall as deeply in love with Aly as with Alanna or Kel Or Daine (or Daja, or Briar... etc etc)

She's still a Tamora Pierce character and therefore wonderfully written, fully fleshed out and likeable.

Interesting that colonialism is tackled - and I think handled quite well for the most part, thou
Arielle ⭐ Cursebreaker ⭐
The best part about re-reading my favorite books/authors now that I actually am active on GR is going back and writing reviews on why they mean so much to me. And this will actually be my 200th review! Woo! ANYWAY—this book..this series…this AUTHOR is the main reason why I love YA fantasy so damn much. I can remember it clearly actually, my best friend handed me this book when I was in 10th grade and told me how much she loved it and that I should give it a try. I did and spent the next few year ...more
Morgan F
I am a girl and I love fantasy and I love strong heroines. Do not ask me why it has taken me this long to read a Tamora Pierce book. Could it be that the first book of all of her series are mysteriously missing? (Seriously, this always flippin happens). But one day, I saw this and leapt on it before the magic fairies could whisk it away again (Not as seriously).

In the Tortall world, this is an odd place for me to start. Most of everything has already happened. Although, it wasn't impossible to c
Sep 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Shit. Pure and utter. However, I'm reading the second book because I'm a masochist with a ridiculous desire to know whether the main character has pseudo-bestial sex with a dude who was formerly a crow.
April Sarah
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Sakina (aforestofbooks)
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, books-i-own



Kids: be nice to your parents, they're doing their best
Also kids: if you do accidentally run away from home and get caught in the slave trade only to find yourself in the middle of a complex family-political drama with divine interference, at least get a letter home to let them know you're having fun being a know-it-all in the jungle

Everyone: humility is the foundation of all virtues. Let's try and remember that please?
Also everyone: if you're going to write a book about living in the shadow of
this godforsaken site won't add this book to my challenge so i've been fighting with this book for approximately 40 minutes.

IN ANY CASE, i did not expect to like this so much! aly was such an amazing character, though i did feel as if a lot of things were convenient for her. not... that her situation was convenient, but i guess it says something about her character, being able to react and respond accordingly in whatever problem she found herself in. i loved her sense of humour! her sarcasm was
Tamora Pierce is the queen. She writes consistently good, female empowering, amazing, attention grabbing heroines and leaves you desperate for more (seriously, none of my libraries have sequel, which is terrible) The glimpses of other characters were FABULOUS, (Daine's baby, Alanna all grown up KEL KEL KEL KEL KEL... sorry. Kel is my favourite) but it is this books marvellous characters, tense and tight plot, and amazing setting which really drew me in.
Alianne is totally different to her mother
Emma Michaels
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Let me just say that as an Alanna fan I was already fairly certain when I started this novel that I would love Alianne. The novel starts off wonderfully and it is very obvious that Aly is Alanna and George's daughter. With George's mischievous nature and Alanna quick mind Aly is able to easily win your heart. After a short while of reading it is no longer your love for George and Alanna that fuels your wanting to learn more but instead your love for the intelligent and unique young woman who is ...more
This book was a real delight! It is always a relief to read a book with a strong female character, one that is also believably feminine as well. There is humor, tragedy, betrayal, and good friends as well. There also is a trickster god who makes a deal with the main character, Aly, that if she keeps the girls to a family alive through the fall equinox that he will free her from being a slave and send her back home. Aly ends up freeing herself in a very honorable way. This is well worth recommend ...more
I really like all the other Tortall series so I was primed to enjoy this one. Have to say I was very put off by the supremely self-assured manner of the main character. Never a moment's uncertainty or self-doubt, or much introspection at all. Not a good quality in a YA book, or really any story where you want to see some character development and growth. I'll be reading the sequel, but just because I'm a fan of Tortall, and they are very quick reads. Disappointed, to say the least, because I
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 Stars Well written but not what I expected.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've picked up in this long universe of books. I felt that it did a wonderful job of explaining things just enough to get me up to speed.

The story was wonderful and the characters were amazing, both the good AND the bad characters. The pace of the book was just right and the setting was lush without brow beating the reader with it.

On a completely different note: I haven't wanted to date a bird man so much since I saw Maleficent in theaters.
I just finished rereading this book because I'd basically forgotten everything about it and decided it was time to update myself on the world of Tortall.

I changed my rating from a 4 star to a 3 star for a couple of reasons. First, the beginning moved slowly and made it hard for me to keep going. Honestly, the only reason I kept going was because I'd remembered the character Nawat being my favorite character and I wanted to remember why.

I wasn't disappointed. Nawat is still my favorite character.
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This wasn't as good as the first one, but still solid. For some reason, the court stuff dragged on a little more for me, just like the gradual chipping away at the power of the palace seemed slow-paced to a lot of Aly's spies. I wanted stuff to happen, for the grand revolution to take place! But I learned just like those spies that the moment has to be right to strike.

I do love how when the spies of other group leaders find out that Aly is the kind of spy master, they protest not about how she's
Read July 8, 2014


Read 2007: Of all the stories set in the realm of Tortall, this series featuring the famous Alana the Lioness's daughter is my absolute favorite. It almost feels like Pierce grew as an author when she wrote these two books, they read so much more intricately than the rest of her series.

Ali is my ideal protagonist: trained as a spy at her fathers knee, she had a lot of skills, but no real goal in life. But all that changes when the trickster God decides to use her in his own
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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

Other books in the series

Daughter of the Lioness (6 books)
  • Trickster's Queen (Daughter of the Lioness, #2)
  • Slyngelgudens valg (Løvindens datter, #1)
  • Slyngelgudens plan (Løvindens datter, #2)
  • Kobberøernes oprør (Løvindens datter #3)
  • Kobberøernes kamp (Løvindens datter #4)

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We asked fantasy author Tamora Pierce your questions!
127 likes · 25 comments
“Curiosity killed the cat,” Fesgao remarked, his dark eyes unreadable.
Aly rolled her eyes. Why did everyone say that to her? “People always forget the rest of the saying,” she complained. “‘And satisfaction brought it back.”
“If you've a story, make sure it's a whole one, with details close to hand. It's the difference between a good lie and getting caught.” 451 likes
More quotes…