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About the Author

TAMORA PIERCE is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over eighteen novels set in the fantasy realm of Tortall. She first captured the imagination of readers with her debut novel, Alanna: The First Adventure. Since then, her bestselling and award-winning titles have pushed the boundaries of fantasy and young adult novels to introduce readers to a rich world populated by strong, believable heroines. Her books have been translated into many languages, and some are available on audio from Listening Library and Full Cast Audio. In 2013, she won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature." Pierce lives in Syracuse, New York, with her husband, Tim, and their cats, birds, and occasional rescued wildlife. Visit her at TamoraPierce.com and follow her on Twitter at @TamoraPierce.

Reviews

Gr 7-10-Alianne, daughter of Alanna (Alanna: The First Adventure [Random, 1989]), is ready to create her own legend. As the book opens, Aly, 16, longs to follow in her father's footsteps as a spy, but her parents refuse to allow it. Annoyed, she sails off in her boat, only to be captured by pirates and sold into slavery, fortunately to kindly Duke Balitang. She meets Kyprioth, the Trickster, and strikes a bargain: if Aly keeps the Duke and his family safe for the summer, Kyprioth will return her to her family and persuade her parents to let her be a spy. With magic, spells, winged horses that are part human and part metal, crows that take human form (and provide a romance for Aly), brutal fighting, treason, and attempted kidnapping, this fantasy has plenty to hold readers' attention. It also offers an interesting examination of race, as well as a look at an adolescent's finding her independence, an especially difficult task with such a powerful mother. Aly is a strong, intelligent, and resilient feminist who stretches this fantasy to a parable of girl-power. The book at times bogs down in the sheer number of characters and relationships, and in the author's zealous attention to descriptive details, but Pierce's fans will enjoy it.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Pierce fans will flock to welcome back the star of her first novel, Alanna: The First Adventure, this time in a supporting rolethe main focus here is her daughter, 16-year-old slacker Aly (short for Alianne). While Alanna fights a bitter war with Scanra in the North, Aly stays at home, trying to figure out what to do with her life, and how to emerge from her mother's shadow. Impulsively, she takes a boat ride, and is snatched by slave traders ignorant of her identity. Aly ends up in the household of a family that has fallen out of favor with the vicious King Oron, who sends them into exile while demanding most of their wealth. Meanwhile, Aly is approached by a "local sea god, among other things," as Kyprioth (the trickster of the title) introduces himself. He sets her a wager: keep the family's children safe for the next three months, and she will be returned homeplus Kyprioth will convince her father to let her become a spy (an idea to which both her parents are vehemently opposed). If she fails, she must act as Kyprioth's servant for one year. Pierce luxuriates in her setting, moving the action along at a pace that might seem sluggish to some, but will be just right to her legion of devotees. As with her other books, this one is densely political, rife with cultural background and sprawling character trees. The climax is worth the wait, and ably sets up a framework for future adventures of this very likable new heroine. Ages 10-13. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Tamora Pierce didn't just blaze a trail. Her heroines cut a swath through the fantasy world with wit, strength, and savvy. Her stories still lead the vanguard today. Pierce is the real lioness, and we're all just running to keep pace."
--LEIGH BARDUGO, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Tamora Pierce creates epic worlds populated by girls and women of bravery, heart, and strength. Her work inspired a generation of writers and continues to inspire us."
--HOLLY BLACK, #1 New York Times bestselling author "Few authors can slay so effectively with a single sentence--I mean fist-in-the-air, shouting-at-my-book slay--as Tamora Pierce. All these years later, I still draw strength from her words."
--MARIE LU, #1 New York Times bestselling author "Tamora Pierce's books shaped me not only as a young writer but also as a young woman. Her complex, unforgettable heroines and vibrant, intricate worlds blazed a trail for young adult fantasy--and I get to write what I love today because of the path she forged throughout her career. She is a pillar, an icon, and an inspiration. Cracking open one of her marvelous novels always feels like coming home."
--SARAH J. MAAS, #1 New York Times bestselling author "In the world of YA fantasy, there's before Tamora Pierce, and then after her female heroes started kicking down the doors (and walls, and other barriers)!"
--BRUCE COVILLE, New York Times bestselling author "It's impossible to overstate Tamora Pierce's impact on children's literature. Her tough, wise, and wonderful heroines have inspired generations of readers. Her encouragement of up-and-coming authors is unparalleled. Thank you, Tammy, for Alanna and Beka and more, for your generosity of spirit, for your incredible legacy."
--RAE CARSON, New York Times bestselling author "Tamora Pierce is a trailblazer for so many fantasy writers, hacking through the old tropes with her narrative machete and showing us that girl-centered adventures are not just possible but amazing. Many of us might have peered at the impenetrable thicket of traditional fantasy and given up before we even began, if not for her."
--RACHEL HARTMAN, New York Times bestselling author "Tamora Pierce's writing is like water from the swiftest, most refreshingly clear, invigorating, and revitalizing river. I return to her books time and time again."
--GARTH NIX, New York Times bestselling author "Tamora Pierce's novels gave me a different way of seeing the world. They were like nothing I'd encountered before. Alanna stormed her way into my thirteen-year-old heart and told me that I could write gorgeous, complicated novels about vibrantly real people in fantastic situations, and, to be honest, she's never left."
--ALAYA DAWN JOHNSON, award-winning author of Love Is the Drug "Tamora Pierce is the queen of YA fantasy, and we are all happy subjects in her court."
--JESSICA CLUESS, author of A Shadow Bright and Burning

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