And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.
But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.
Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins -- one that will leard to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.
Review: A cute story - very cookie-cutter fantasy hero arc, with the exception of Alanna being a female. I am sure I would have enjoyed it when I was much younger, but as an adult there was nothing overly-engaging about it. But ya know what? That's okay! The entire time I was reading it I was reminded of this quote:
"...I think it’s important to create all types of female characters, across the spectrum. I always say that what makes me sad is that women don’t even get the opportunity to be mediocre in the way that guys do. It’s like, every week these bad movies come out at the box office—let’s let women direct some of them! I’m not saying that’s going to make them great, I’m saying we need to be allowed to make good movies, bad movies, mediocre movies. We need to be able to create authentic flawed characters and totally crappy one-dimensional characters. I think we should be allowed to do it all, bad and good, just like guys. I don’t like the idea that women need to get in there and prove that we’re great at it. Because you know what? We’re not all gonna be great at it. We just need to be doing it, and get paid for doing it." - Diablo Cody, Bust Magazine
And that's all it really comes down to. No, this wasn't exceptional but it was a fun read and we need more books and movies and tv shows like this that are centered around women. It was a bit slow, but I did find myself laughing (pleasantly!) at the way she laid out the politics in a "kid-friendly way". Very George R. R. Martin LITE. And I mean this in a completely sincere way; it was clever and I'm sure kids will find it engaging.
As I was going through, I felt satisfied but fairly certain that I would not be continuing the series. And don't you know, she actually got me with a damn cliffhanger that is making me seriously consider reading through the rest of the series haha. Which I have to say, I didn't expect. But I am curious to see how the story could potentially grow as Alanna gets more mature. I may actually pick the next one up sometime in the near future!
Final Thoughts:I would absolutely recommend this, specifically to pre-teens or young adult fans!