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Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

 Ten years have passed since Alanna of Trebond made it legal for girls to be knights, but Keladry is the first to actually attempt it. The law may be on her side, but that doesn’t mean anyone wants to make it easy for the first-ever girl squire, and many logistics and attitudes haven’t been worked out. What’s more, Alanna can’t show any favoritism, so she doesn’t even get to meet her heroine for the first while. Kel’s story demonstrates the frustrations of anyone trying to break into a job or culture where their “kind” has been banned in the past.

Author: Tamora Pierce

Order: First Test; Page; Squire; Lady Knight

Tortall Series: Song of the LionessImmortals; Protector of the Small; TricksterBeka Cooper

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 Aly is the daughter of the illustrious Alanna of Trebond, and so has a lot to live up to. A young spy, she takes on a mission to a very different culture (vaguely Japanese). As always, Pierce’s young female characters are spunky, intelligent, and get into just enough scrapes to be amusing. This series is written as two longer novels instead of Pierce’s previous quartet format, in part thanks to the success of the very long Harry Potter books. I recommend Pierce’s work to middle- and high-school students of any gender, even though the main characters are almost always girls.

Author: Tamora Pierce

Order: Trickster’s Choice; Trickster’s Queen

Tortall Series: Song of the LionessImmortals; Protector of the Small; TricksterBeka Cooper

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Daine is another in the pantheon of Pierce’s fabulous female characters.  She can speak to animals, and her Gift changes the animals as well, giving them somewhat human characteristics.  This makes for some great human/animal conversations.  Daine’s teacher is also a complex and interesting character, and we get to understand how magic works in this world. Magic-wielders and displeased gods abound, and Daine must figure out her place in the world – even if it sometimes seems that she would rather run away and join a wolf pack.  Evidently, there is a new series in this story line in the works.

Author: Tamora Pierce

Order: Wild Magic; Wolf-Speaker; Emperor Mage; The Realm of the Gods

Tortall Series: Song of the Lioness; Immortals; Protector of the Small; TricksterBeka Cooper

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I can’t say how many times I’ve read these books.  Tamora Pierce’s work deserves pride of place in the canon of modern, strong-girl fantasy adventure (if that’s a genre).  Alanna pretends to be her brother, so she can go train as a knight and he can go train as a magic-user.  From there, you can probably predict the plot, identity twists and all.  Predictable though it may be, this series is also engaging, funny, and exciting.  Alanna and her friends are great characters, and this series has been continued with, to date, four other series in the same universe.

Author: Tamora Pierce

Order: Alanna: The First Adventure; In the Hand of the Goddess; The Woman Who Rides Like a Man; Lioness Rampant

Tortall Series: Song of the LionessImmortals; Protector of the Small; TricksterBeka Cooper

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In a world just a little unlike our own, truly exceptional children go on truly strange adventures.  While each of these books could be read separately, they are definitely a series, as the kids all end up at the same crazy school in the end.  As always, Stewart and Riddell have created a world full of odd inventions, odder people, and strange beasties of different shapes and sizes.  The kids are spunky and resourceful.  The characters would make great fun for make-believe play.  The illustrations are amazing.  Riddell has a style I would recognize anywhere, which complements Stewart’s odd brain.

Authors/Illustrator: Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell

Order: Fergus Crane, Corby Flood, Hugo Pepper

Not sure whether the series is still being written.

 

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Authors: Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

I blasted through all of these the first time I read them.  Stewart and Riddell created an amazing world, where rocks float and there are a bunch of different humanoid beings running around, each with their own outlook on life and way of living.  You can read them in published order or reorganize them into internal chronological order, as some of the characters turn out to be the grandparents of other characters.   Either way, a good rollicking read with characters you might actually care about.  The pen-and-ink illustrations top it off – interesting, complex, and perfect for the story.

Order: Beyond the Deepwoods, Stormchaser, Midnight Over Sanctaphrax, The Curse of the Gloamglozer, The Last of the Sky Pirates, Vox, Freeglader, The Winter Knights, Clash of the Sky Galleons

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When Gregor falls through the hole in his laundry room, he ends up in a world under New York, populated by giant cockroaches, rats, bats, and very pale humans.  Collins says she set out to write an urban Alice in Wonderland, and she generally succeeded.  The series is fairly formulaic – Gregor gets a prophecy at the end of each book that gives us a hint for the next book.  Not to be a spoiler, but the ending is fairly predictable and a little disappointing.  But the characters are great (even the roaches!), and the adventures are real and engaging.

Author: Suzanne Collins

Order: Gregor the Overlander; Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane; Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods; Gregor and the Marks of Secret; Gregor and the Code of Claw

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