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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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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  99,675 Ratings  ·  4,262 Reviews
From Tamora Pierce, the first book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, honored with the Margaret A. Edwards Award.

“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. Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of ma
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Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published December 8th 2009 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 1983)
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Lily yes It there is a bit of romance, but in the first book only lil' bit, the second a bit more! in all of these books I personally fell in love with the…moreyes It there is a bit of romance, but in the first book only lil' bit, the second a bit more! in all of these books I personally fell in love with the romances, and sometimes I said to my sister (who read them to me) "oh she has to marry this guy, he's just so great!!" you will find this book series is vary entrancing in that way!(less)
Patricia Burson Although the writing style seems to be for younger readers (~10-12), the series was written in the 70s during the sexual revolution, and the main…moreAlthough the writing style seems to be for younger readers (~10-12), the series was written in the 70s during the sexual revolution, and the main character does have sexual relations starting in book 2. However the description is no more than kissing and "sleeping together", and the relationships are very loving, consensual, and healthy.(less)

Community Reviews

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Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
As one of my childhood favourites, how could I not rate this 5 stars!?
Kat Kennedy
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.)
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars

Finally read this (*gasp*!) for our classics discussion Friday, 11/27! Our special guest will be the wonderful author Andrea K. Höst, and I'll post a link when it's live.

I enjoyed this very much, but it felt like a first book, with rough transitions and rather unnuanced characterization. But I do like Alanna (and I love George!), so I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Cait • A Page with a View
I totally would've given this book 5 stars in middle school and been obsessed with it. I really, really wish I had found it then!!

It's still a fun read now, though! I can see how it inspired of a lot of other YA books about girls dressing as boys to become knights. The plot of this one is pretty simple, but all of the characters made it so wonderful! There's magic, medieval politics, mysteries, sword fighting, and basically everything I love. Plus, Alanna is an awesome heroine.

I'm definitely r
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Raeleen Lemay
*3.5/5*

This was a super fun read, however it definitely reads like it was written for children (which it was). I probably would have ADORED this if I had read it as a kid, but as an adult it just wasn't quite up to my expectations. The world and magic aren't very complex or explained in great detail, and we don't get to know the characters super well, but as a book written for kids it was pretty great! We have a super strong female lead, and I can now understand why this book is a must-read for
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Tamara
Hey, at least I tried.



Shorted version of the full review (The full one felt like an academic paper on why I dont like this book and series so I had to cut some parts. Oh, how easy it is talking about books I dont like. Also fun! ^_^ Be warned, this review contains my thoughts for this book and some minor/big spoilers for rest of the series -I’ve done some reading and research- which are tagged as spoilers and hidden from virgin eyes.)

For myself, and I suspect many people, books we read and love
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Phrynne
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-books
This is the first book in a series written for the younger end of the young adult readership, but which is still of interest to readers of any age.

Alanna: The First Adventure is a fantasy set in a place where magic is common and knights are trained in the ways of chivalry. Alanna is fighting against the constraints of being female in such a society and having dressed herself as a boy she sets off to be trained as a page with the hope of a knighthood in the future.

I enjoyed the story and the cha
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Rose
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rose by: Sharon
OH MY GOD. SO. GOOD.

I'm so mad I didn't start this series earlier!!! It's so similar to Harry Potter in the way that it's just a feel good book with interesting characters and the best friendships + MAGIC.

...anyway, on to book two!

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my longest and most terrible reading slump is FINALLY OVER.

[of course, right when school's starting -.- but oh well]

description



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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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
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Erin
Oct 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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.
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
Norah Una Sumner
“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?”

Really enjoyed reading this.The writing is not really my cup of tea but the story was interesting enough for me to continue reading about Alanna and her adventures.As someone who's reading the last one right now,I can definitely say that this is the best one in the series.The characters are funny and normal, there's a lot of healthy friend
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Madeline
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tatiana
Nov 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Megan
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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Angela
Feb 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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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Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
Review also @Scaredy Engines End of Line Library

What a pleasant surprise! This book isn’t very long and is obviously aimed at a younger audience but it didn’t disappoint at all as we are introduced to a feisty heroine and an ending that promises greater things to come.

Alanna the MC has to be one of my favourite heroines in children’s literature. But what I like most about her is the fact that she’s flawed as well as strong because that just makes her character all the more realistic and believab
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TL
Monthly buddyread with my good friend Melissa. This was my companion for a "Holy Crap! Its friggin cold!" day (Anyone else want to hibernate till Spring?)
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I liked it alright, but didn't "LOVE it." The ideas were nice and the characters were interesting but it just didn't capture my attention fully.

Yes, this is a ya/middle grade book but it felt like some things happened too quickly. A couple times I had to go back and check a passage because the passage of time wasn't very well marked.

Won't b
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Rose Be
Jul 29, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mpauli
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.
Regan
Nov 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.

Katie
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
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
nicklein
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate myself for ignoring this series for years! I've heard great things about this one so shame on me. This was a really nice introductory book. It did a good job setting up the world. It definitely got me hyped to pick up the rest of the series! So excited to read more of Alanna's adventures.
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?)
Nikki
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably a high 3.5-stars for me! I read it in one sitting (a long car ride), and really enjoyed it. I can tell that I'll probably like the later books even more.

PS DON'T KILL ME FOR SECRET-READING THIS, ANGIE
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60,600 followers
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
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“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?” 143 likes
“Alanna: All I know is that I'm to jump when I'm told and I have no free time.” 136 likes
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