Saturday, July 17, 2010

Book Blast From the Past

I've decided to try a new feature on the occasional Saturday, which will feature some of my favorite older YA books. This feature was inspired by a post from Eleni at La Femme Readers. My goal for this new feature is to go back to the books that I loved as a pre-teen/teen, and write about why I still enjoy them.

The Alanna Series by Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce's novels take up an entire shelf on my bookcase, and I thought she would be the perfect author to start this series. The Song of the Lioness series, or "The Alanna Series" as I call it, was first published in 1983, and every so often I see a new edition with some new covers. It's been over 10 years since I first read the Song of the Lioness series at the suggestion of my friend Sam, and I still own all my original paperback copies.

What makes this series, and author so great? Well, Pierce has a ton of great female heroines. You won't find any damsels in distress here. Alanna has to disguise herself as a boy throughout the series, because women aren't allowed to train to become knights. She proves, however, that she's just as strong as any of the boys she trains with.

Pierce also creates a great love interest. In the Song of the Lioness series, there are two very different, but equally interesting, love interests. They are the prince, Jon, and the rogue, George. I think I enjoyed their characters because Pierce wrote them with personalities. You won't find any bland "Disney princes" here (seriously, almost all of the early Prince Chamings looked the same). They both carry on lives that don't revolve around Alanna, and I still appreciate that.

Finally, these books display great storytelling. There are over 18 books that feature the Tortall universe, and I still want more! While almost all of the characters have four books dedicated to their stories, I never felt like the stories were exhausted.

Are there any older YA books that you love?

I'm also interested in people doing guest posts about their favorite books. So shoot me an email, or leave a comment if you'd be interested in doing so.


Kristen said...

These are some of my favorite ones as well! I love the Tortall books and did you know that there will be a book of short stories featuring Tortall next year? Very excited to read it!

Tales of Whimsy said...

What a fun idea! I need to ponder this one. Thanks for the recommendation :)

Emma Michaels said...

Oh! I love this book! It is actually the sequel to this that got me started reading and writing YA. I saw that you are a part of the Debut Author Challenge! That is so amazing that you are supporting debut authors and I only recently found out that I am going to be one!!! I wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind heading over to my blog and giving me your opinion. As a blogger turned author I would really appreciate it and the publisher is still giving out ARCs so you might have a chance at a free copy! Thank you and I hope you will stop by and check out The Thirteenth Chime!

Emma Michaels

P.S.- My release date if Friday the 13th (August this year) isn't that crazy?

Emma said...

I have yet to read Tamora Pierce. I love this feature.

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