An Overview: Alanna:
Alanna; The First Adventure. The story of Alanna who wants to become a knight.
The main character Alanna, is a strong willed young girl. Her parents arranged for her to be sent to a convent to complete her education while her twin brother, Thom, was to learn to become a knight. Both are jealous of the other twin’s opportunities, so without consulting with the parents, they swap places. Alanna cuts her hair short and introduces herself as Alan and begins to train as a page.
She soon discovers that she needs to work harder than the other students to compensate for her smaller size, but her determination and courage never fail her. Her good natured personality stands by her as she makes friends with Prince Jonathan and George, King of Thieves. She does make some unexpected enemies, though, and much of the book deals with her struggles to deal with them.
They say that every plot has been written already and that anything new is just a revision. Alanna: The First Adventure is certainly no exception, but Tamora Pierce creates a world that is so realistic and characters so appealing that it really doesn’t matter. After all, knowing that My Fair Lady is just a rewrite of Pygmalion doesn’t make it any less wonderful of a musical.
“Alanna The First Adventure” is fairly innocuous, but the sequels do contain some sexual references, including talking about contraception and casual sex outside of the context of a committed relationship. Of course, being a book about knighthood, there is a fair bit of violence, but none of it is excessively graphic. Other than that, it is a fabulous book for a young girl to read. There aren’t nearly enough strong female role models in science fiction and fantasy.
I was glad to let my daughter read this. However, the story is exciting enough so that both my partner and I gladly listened to it with her at bedtime. It’s definitely a must read for fans of science fiction and fantasy, but also for anyone looking for fiction with strong female protagonists.