Trickster's Choice (Trickster's Duet Series #1)

Trickster's Choice (Trickster's Duet Series #1)

by Tamora Pierce


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When you gamble with kingdoms, all bets are off. Legends are born in this thrilling and New York Times bestselling spy saga from the fantasy author who is legend herself: Tamora Pierce.

Aly is from a family known for great deeds. She is the daughter of Alanna, the famed knight and King’s Champion of Tortall. But even though she is bold and brave, like her mother, her true talents lie on her father’s side, in the art of spying.
When Aly is captured by pirates and sold as a slave to an exiled royal family in the faraway Copper Isles, she strikes a bargain with the trickster god. If she can keep young noblewomen Sarai and Dove safe for the summer, then he will return Aly to her family. The task should be simple, but Sarai and Dove are anything but. It’s a time of murderous plotting at court, and Aly will need to rely on her training and the insights of a strange young man named Nawat to survive in a world where trust can cost you your life.
“Tamora Pierce’s books shaped me not only as a young writer but also as a young woman. 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
“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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375828799
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 09/28/2004
Series: Trickster's Duet Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 107,935
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.16(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

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 and follow her on Twitter at @TamoraPierce.

Read an Excerpt

Nawat stood against the wall, relaxed and alert. Before him two men-at-arms were preparing to shoot. Dove stood behind one archer with a handful of arrows, while the duchess held arrows for the second archer. Aly’s mind told her that the duchess would hardly consent to murder just as the first man shot. The second man shot immediately after him. Then both set fresh arrows to the string and shot steadily, arrow after arrow, one at a time, until they had exhausted all the extras held by the duchess and her stepdaughter.

Nawat caught them all with grace and ease, snatching the arrows from the air as if he had all day to do so. When the archers finished, he gathered the heap of arrows at his feet and carried them back to their owners.

He’s so fast, Aly thought in awe. I couldn’t do it, and I’m no slouch! She sighed, wishing Da were here to see it. He’d taught her to catch daggers in midair, but this game was much more hazardous.

The game was not done. The men-at-arms repeated the experiment with javelins, then hunting and combat spears. Nawat caught them all, moving so fast Aly couldn’t follow his hands. She cheered him and the men-at-arms on.

When the bell rang to remind the household it was nearly time for supper, he looked up at the applauding Aly and waved. “This is my favorite game,” he called to her. “Do you want to play?”

“I wouldn’t dare!” she cried, laughing, before she retreated into the room. She’d seen men catch knives before. She had seen the finest archers in the Queen’s Riders draw an outline in arrows of someone positioned against a wooden fence or wall, just to show they could do it. She had never seen anything like this.

Sarai and Dove ran in. Sarai smiled at Aly. “You should have seen your face! Did you know he could do that?” she asked as she collapsed on her bed.

Dove unstrung her bow, shaking her head. “He’s amazing,” she said, coiling her bowstring.

“You know, maybe this horrible old place isn’t so bad,” Sarai told the ceiling. “Not if these wonderful men keep showing up.”

Aly raised an eyebrow at her. “I wouldn’t try kissing him,” she warned. “It wouldn’t be what you expect.”

Sarai wrinkled her nose. “Aly!” she complained. “I found out he eats bugs! I’m not kissing a man with bug breath!”

Aly blinked. I don’t remember him tasting of bugs when he kissed me, she thought. I’d better pay more attention next time.

Her mind promptly reined her up. This was highly improper. There would be no next time. Her task was looking after the Balitang children, not mooning over someone, particularly not a crow turned man.

Even if he could pluck arrows from the air.

The next morning Aly, still on a goatherd’s hours, walked out of the keep into the dawn. The sun had just cleared the walls to light the inner courtyard and the young man who straddled a bench there. Aly stopped to watch him carefully glue pieces of feather onto the wooden shaft.

Nawat looked up at her with a smile that lit his eyes. “You are beautiful in the new light,” he told her. “If I were the Dawn Crow, I would bring you the sun to hatch as our first nestling.”

Aly blinked at him. Her heart felt strangely squeezed by some powerful emotion. She bit her lip to distract herself from a feeling that made her horribly unsure. “Have you been kissing anybody?” she asked without meaning to, and gasped. She had let words out of her mouth without thinking, which was not like her! Worse, they were such personal words, ones he might feel meant personal feelings she did not have! This was the kind of thing that other girls said, those girls who were not bored by all the young men who had courted them. How many handsome fellows had sighed compliments to Aly while, unconcerned, she had mentally wrestled with breaking a new code? At home she never cared about her suitors enough to worry if they kissed other girls. She scrambled to blot out what she’d said. “Not that it’s any of my business, but you should understand, people have a way of kissing for fun, without it meaning anything serious, and I’d hate for you to think someone wanted you to mate-feed them just because they’re kissing—” Stop babbling, her mind ordered. Aly stopped.

Nawat’s smile broadened. That disturbing light in his eyes deepened. “I have kissed no one but you, Aly,” he assured her, serious. “Why should I kiss anyone else?”

Aly gulped. You can continue this conversation, or you can talk about something less . . . giddy, she told herself. Less frightening. “You know I won’t always be around,” she said abruptly. “I don’t belong here, really.”

“Then I will go with you,” Nawat said. “I belong with you.”

He doesn’t know what he’s saying, Aly told herself. He doesn’t know what that means.

She looked at him, arms folded, trying to keep any extra feelings from leaping out. “What are you doing?” she asked, to change the subject to anything less dangerous. Then she grimaced. He was fletching arrows, as always.

She glanced at his bench, then bent down. He was fletching, but these arrows were heavier, and the feathers he used were not bird feathers, but Stormwing. “How did you cut them up?” she wanted to know, genuinely curious. More scraps of cut-up steel feathers lay on the bench.

Nawat pointed to a long piece of what looked like black, chipped glass. “Shiny volcano rock,” he told Aly. “Chip the edge until it is sharp. That cuts Stormwing feathers. They come from the heat of the place where Stormwings were born.”

Aly touched the glassy blade. “Obsidian,” she said. “That’s its name.”

“Yes,” Nawat replied. “Shiny volcano rock.” He set a length of steel feather into a thin groove filled with glue and held it in place.

Aly didn’t see a single cut on his hands, though the feathers were lethally sharp. “Won’t they be too heavy for the glue?” she asked.

“I shaped the glue. It holds Stormwing feathers,” Nawat answered.

“Stormwings really are born in volcanoes?” Aly inquired, curious.

“In the beginning time, when they were first dreamed,” replied Nawat, setting another piece of steel feather in its slot. “Now, if carrying an egg does not kill the mother, they are born from steel eggs.” He looked at Aly and sighed, his dark eyes wistful. “The eggs are too heavy for a crow to take.”

“You’ve already taken enough from Stormwings,” Aly told him, pointing to the small pile of glinting feathers beside his bench. “You could have been killed.”

“There is a trick to it,” he replied, and blew lightly on his fletchings. Holding the arrow shaft before one eye, he squinted down its length. “Perfect,” he declared, and set the arrow down.

“It seems like a lot of trouble and risk when goose feathers are safer to work with,” Aly remarked. “What is a Stormwing-fletched arrow for, anyway?”

“They are mage killers,” replied Nawat. “No matter if the mage is powerful, if he has great spells to protect him. A Stormwing arrow will cut through illusion and magic.”

Aly whistled softly, impressed. “Take very good care of those, then,” she told Nawat. “We might find a use for them.”

“I made them for you,” Nawat said, giving her that radiant, innocent smile. “They are yours, for a day when they will help you.” He offered a finished arrow shaft to her.

Aly smiled at him despite the goose bumps that rippled along her skin. “Keep them until they’re needed, please,” she told him. “My archery skills aren’t very good.”

“You could practice,” Nawat pointed out.

“I’m a slave,” Aly explained. “Slaves who are caught with weapons are killed.”

“Then do not be a slave,” he said matter-of-factly. “Fly free.”

“Not just yet,” she replied. “I’ll see the summer out first.”

Reading Group Guide

Tamora Pierce’s first book, Alanna: The First Adventure, was published in 1983. In the twenty years since, she has gathered a legion of diverse fans, all awaiting Trickster’s Choice with bated breath. Why? Not just because it is another Tamora Pierce novel filled with adventure, magic, drama, fighting, strong girls, sexy boys, fabulous creatures, sly humor, and an exciting hint of romance. But also because this is the story of Alanna’s daughter, Alianne (known as Aly) who is ready to start on her own path to glory in ways her legendary mother never would have.

1. In the first pages of Trickster’s Choice, Aly’s mother, Alanna, accuses Aly of “not wanting to do anything.” On the same page Aly says to someone else: “You try being the daughter of a legend. It’s a great deal of work.” How do these two statements relate to each other? When Aly is separated from her family, how does it change both her and her mother? Could these changes happen in a contemporary setting?

2. “This is going to be my greatest trick ever, pulled off under the noses of mortals and gods alike,” Kyprioth tells Aly. What trick is he talking about?

3. Aly keeps her true identity a secret in the Copper Isles. Why?

4. How are the Balitangs different from other slave owners? Does it make a difference in their relationships with slaves? How are slaves and servants different in the Copper Isles?

5. Kyprioth remarks that Aly is “marked by fate from birth, just like her parents.” What characteristics does Aly share with her parents? Which characteristics are unique to her?

6. How are the morals of the people in Tortall different from those in the Copper Isles? How are the raka and luarin different? Tamora Pierce is inspired by both history and current events. Can you think of specific times, places, or events that might have inspired her when she wrote Trickster’s Choice?

7. Why do the Balitang’s raka slaves and servants protect Sarai and Dove? What does it mean for the raka people?

8. “It isn’t just children who need heroes. Don’t you see what she’s done for women, for all women?” Dove asks Aly when inquiring about the Lioness. Whom does each of the characters in the novel look up to?

9. To survive as a slave and a spy, Aly has to use what she has learned from her father and others. What are some examples of what she has learned? How has she put that knowledge to use?

10. Why is Nawat the only crow to turn himself into a human? Why does Aly resist falling in love with him? Is she only afraid to be vulnerable, or is it something more?

11. What is Bronau’s interest in Sarai? Why doesn’t he ask her father’s permission to court her? What was his relationship with Winnamine, Sarai’s stepmother? Who do you think understands Bronau’s motivations best?

12. How is Aly’s family like and unlike the Balitang family? How do those two families compare to the royal family of the Copper Isles? Do you think the families in this fantasy setting reflect the relationships in families today?

13. If you could be like any of the characters in Trickster’s Choice, whom would you choose? Why? Are you already similar to any of the characters? If so, How?

Customer Reviews

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Trickster's Choice (Daughters of the Lioness Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 425 reviews.
JMG More than 1 year ago
This was the first book that got me into Tamora Pierce and I am so glad it did! I have read this book so many times that the cover has fallen off and I've had to tape it back on multiple times. The first time I read this I was so draw into the plot that I actually cryed and laughed out loud to some of the events that occur in the book. Even going back and rereading the book those emotions were still pulled out of me. I have recommended this book to many people and they love it as much as I do.
Chrissy_Mae More than 1 year ago
I started reading Tamora Peirce in the summer after my 7th grade year. I fell in love with her Lioness series, and then with the other Tortall books. (I liked the Circle series, but Tortall was just much neater.)

Even though the Trickster's series came out by the time I had reached highschool, I still read the books out of curiosity. I was delighted to find that they were wonderful reads, though can you expect less from Tamora Peirce?

Now I am 21, and I still love the books, and am purchaseing the lot of them.

They are written for girls in thier preteen to early teen years. However, I felt the Trickster's Choice will appeal to women in their late teens and early 20s or older, as will the sequel Trickster's Queen. Their is a backstory from her earlier books, and if you havn't read The Lioness Quartet, the Wild Magic series, or the Protector of the Small, you won't know some the character's as well as you could. However, the book is a wonderful stand alone and I would highly recommend it to any age.
aznlily95 More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book to death!!!
Tamora Pierce has spun a tale that unwillingly has wiggled its way up up up to my TOP 10....and it is a remarkable book that though long, is worth the length!!! It shows how even women or rather, ESPECIALLY women can achieve what is thought to be out of their reach and I really love stories like this!!!
Emma_Lane More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book with no expectations, and was very surprised. The story line is well thought out, and the characters are well developed. The ideas are original, and I found myself laughing out loud at the Character Nawat more than once. My only complaint is that the names were a little hard to keep track of, however, Pierce supplies a handy list of phrase and character descriptions in the back of the book. Good idea.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Tamora Pierce's books, and this one has overall been my favorite. There is so much more plot than the other books in the Tortall series; most of them were all 'kill the villan, get the guy, save the world' kind of thing. This book is very different, Aly actually has to think rather than just slice up everyone that doesn't like Tortall (like her mother). I am very impressed with 'Trickster's Choice.'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read 11 of Tamora Pierce's books, and so far, overall, this is my favorite. The characters are interesting, the plot line is intriguing, and all the different relationships are enrapturing. TAMORA PIERCE IS AMAZING.
Aerlanis More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Tamora Pierce books! I love the second one as well, Trickster's Queen. It was very well written and I really enjoyed Alianne as a character. I agree that some of the names can be a little confusing (I feel that way about most of the Tortall series) but totally worth the effort. I'm in my mid-twenties and I still love Tamora's books. Also, I have female and male friends in their 30's that enjoy her books. They aren't a challenge to read, but they are a breath of fresh air. I totally recommend this one. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tamora Pierce has pulled off another amazing read. The book's main character is a girl who is a spy, which is a nice deviation from the other books she's written. I would higly reccomend this book to anyone. Best book I have bought so far on my nook:-)
book-obsessed More than 1 year ago
Tamora Pierce is my first favorite author. Ive read all of her books including this one. Her main character and the heroine in this book Aly Cooper is funny, clever, sly and stong, just the type of person I enjoy reading about. Her adventures are always fun to read about, they keep you wanting more. I hope you enjoy this book. You wont be sorry!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok, I just wanted to say that if you were confused about anything in this book there might me an explanation. That would be YOU HAVEN'T READ THE OTHER SERIES THAT COME BEFORE THIS ONE! Tamora Pierce's Tortall series: Terrier, Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, The Protector of the Small, and The Trickster are ALL interelated. If you want to get a better grasp on this AMAZING BOOK or learn more about characters such as Aly's mom, Alanna or her 'aunt' Daine go read these books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read some other books by Tamora Pierce before and not really cared too much for them, but this book was really good! This book keeps you interested and if you like a good book, this is a good choice. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is that I didn't think the ending was complete. Although it wasn't until after I read this book, I discovered it was a series, and that there was another book coming out!! I can't wait until then, but while everyone is waiting, you must read this book!
thelorelei on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With Alianne, or Aly, of Pirate's Swoop, Pierce adds another strong, capable heroine to her already quite full canon. Daughter of Alanna and George Cooper, Aly's story is about finding one's way in the shadow of parents who are known for greatness. One might expect the daughter of the Lioness to follow those footsteps into knighthood, but Aly's talents lie elsewhere.I find the strength of this series to be in the over-arching plot, which is extremely high stakes and laced with intrigue. Whereas Alanna's books were all tied together by her preventing a usurpation of the throne by an ambitious Duke, Aly's are about the effects of colonialism and the attempt of an oppressed people to retake their ancestral homeland. This plot does not meander; it matters. This has been a consistent strength of Pierce's Tortallan books. Within this strong narrative frame, Pierce takes ample opportunity to develop her heroine into a snarky, capable, and likable character.
Saieeda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great book for all teens and young adults! The main character will make you fall in love with her every action. The story never falls into the pit of predictability, and the writing style makes this book perfect for readers of all abilities.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
16-year-old Aly, daughter of the professional spy George Cooper and the legendary woman warrior Alanna, is brilliant, flirtatious, and fun-loving. She desperately wants to conduct field work as a spy, which her father does not approve of, thinking it is too dangerous for his only daughter.However, circumstances arise where it is necessary for Aly to use her spy skills. She is kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in the Copper Isles, a collection of islands off the mainland Tortall, her home. Luckily she gets placed into the Duke and Duchess Balitang¿s home. Her masters are fair and gentle, hardly treating her as a slave.Aly enters into a bet with the disgraced god Kyprioth, known as the Trickster. She must keep the Balitang children alive until the end of summer. When the Balitangs incur the mad king¿s displeasure, the whole family escapes into exile in a raka-filled island.At Tanair, Aly learns more about the political rife between the raka and the luarian. The dark-skinned raka are the original inhabitants of the Copper Isles, taken over in a time of civil war by the foreign luarin. Kyprioth¿s plan is to place a raka queen back onto the throne¿and who better for the role than Sarai, the Duke¿s eldest daughter, a half-raka by way of her mother?With the help of several loyal raka servants and slaves, Aly protects the Balitang household from dangers. She gets additional help from people like Dove, Sarai¿s younger sister who reminds Aly of herself, and Nawat, a crow-turned-man who declares undying devotion to Aly. Will Aly win her bet with Kyprioth and protect the good family whom she has come to love?Tamora Pierce is known for writing quality high fantasy with endearing heroines, and TRICKSTER¿S CHOICE is no different. This novel is full of political intrigue, interesting romances, and wonderful characters. I would highly recommend this book to fantasy lovers, boys and girls alike.
alwright1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alianne just can't seem to decide what to do with her life, and the one thing she knows she would enjoy, spying for Tortall just like her father the spymaster, she is forbidden by her parents. In an attempt to escape a difficult few weeks with her mother, Aly sets out down the coast alone and is enslaved by pirates to sell in the Copper Isles. But like her famous parents, Aly attracts attention not just from the mortals around her but also from a god, and when the gods become tangled in your affairs, life is rarely boring or easy. Aly is quickly drawn in to the center of a centuries-old battle for control between the native Raka people of the Islands and their Luarin rulers. It will take all of Ally's spy skills to protect her royal blooded charges who could be the prophesied future rulers of the Raka. I am not as drawn to Aly's character as I am to Kel and Alanna, and I thought I wouldn't enjoy her books, but just because she does not lend me personal inspiration does not mean she is not clever, funny, and charming. The story is a good one, and I've had a hard time putting it down. This book ends before the story does, so I'm now finishing the tale with this book's sequel which seems to be just as entertaining.
rachelick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I confess, I am an inveterate Tamora Pierce fan. Her fun stories and intelligent, hard-working, likeable heroines make anything she produces a good read, and this is no exception. Moving away from the noble court of Tortall, Aly, who is the daughter of the nation's spymaster, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the nearby Copper Isles. When she makes a deal with a trickster god, she must use all of the skills she learned from her father to protect the family she serves. Pierce addresses race relations and the consequences of imperialism, as well as the realities of necessary war. Contains all the necessary ingredients for a good read.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Being a fifteen-year-old girl is never easy, but it's a lot harder when your mother is the first female knight in the realm, and the King's Champion to boot, your father is the head of spy network for the entire country, and your godparents, aunts, and uncles include powerful mages, immortals, and the king and queen themselves. Everyone is on Aly's case to *do* something with her life, but she's more interested in having fun, and the one thing she really wants to do - become a field agent spying for her father - is forbidden to her. After a particularly nasty fight with her parents, she runs away for a few weeks... only to get captured by slavers, and taken to the Copper Isles to be sold.However, things aren't as dire as they may seem. The trickster god Kyprioth has his eye on Aly as well, and makes her a wager. He was deposed from the rule of the Copper Isles at about the same time as the local people, the Raka, were conquered by the invading Luarin. If Aly can keep the children of a local nobleman - including two half-Raka, half-Luarin daughters who may fulfill an ancient prophecy - safe throughout the summer amidst the political tensions of a kingdom in turmoil, Kyprioth will send her home to Tortall.Review: I started this book because I was looking for something reliably entertaining, and I'd listened to and enjoyed Tamora Pierce's previous Tortall books. And, I got what I was expecting: good. Nothing great, nothing fancy, nothing world-shaking, but solidly, reliably good. Tamora Pierce can write entertaining, interesting stories, and her heroines are always sympathetic if always also a little Mary-Sue-ish (although it's forgivable in Aly's case because of her extensive pedigree - at least she comes by it honestly.) I also have to give Pierce credit for making her heroines distinct; I can easily imagine how, after writing so many books in the same universe, her main characters could start to bleed into each other, but Aly's got her own personality, and since most of the action takes place on the Copper Isles instead of Tortall, this series has its own distinctive feel.Because of this, and because this series is almost a generation removed from the earlier Tortall books, I think it could be read on its own without knowing what precedes it. Plenty of characters from earlier books make cameo appearances, but since the vast bulk of the action takes place when Aly's on her own, far from home, knowing the backstory isn't particularly critical. There's plenty of interesting new characters to choose from... I was particularly fond of Nawat, the crow-turned-human who's more than a little smitten with Aly. My main complaint about Trickster's Choice is that it's clearly half of a duology. By the end of the book, the story comes to a resting point, but not really an end, which makes the second book a required follow-up read. 3.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Whether or not you've read the previous Tortall books, Trickster's Choice is a light, entertaining piece of YA fantasy adventure. It probably won't blow your socks off, but it will keep you reading, which is sometimes exactly what's needed.
MathildeB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book Review on Trickster¿s Choice:Aly is 17 and the daughter of famous parents. Her mother is the Lioness, the first woman knight and king's champion of Tortall and her father is Tortall's spymaster. Both of her parents want her to 'grow up' and find her way in life. But when Aly tells them that she wants to be a spy they both tell her NO! So Aly decides to leave for a while so her parents can cool off. But while sailing away she is captured by pirates and sold as a slave. The patriarch of the family she is sold to is a relative of the throne and has a wife with two children and two girls. The family she is sold into is told they must leave the land because the king no longer trusts them. She meets Kyprioth, the Trickster, and makes 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, treason, and attempted kidnapping helps Aly finding her independence. I think this is a good book but the genre ¿modern fantasy ¿doesn¿t interest me very much. I would recommend this book for young adults, both genders, for this book to be as enjoyable as possible!
sdtaylor555 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good setup for a great spy/fantasy novel!
PardaMustang on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first Tamora Pierce book I've read and I'll admit, I chose it for the title. I have an affinity for trickster characters. Guess it comes from being an April Fool's baby.Needless to say, I was not disappointed with this book. It was very well written with endearing characters and a story that kept me hooked til the end. Already looking forward to reading the second one!
bridgetb27 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantasy, Science Fiction, the Supernatural & Utopias Book Review Pierce, Tamora. Trickster¿s Choice. 2003. Random House: New York.Genre:Fantasy, Science FictionThemes:Magic, Heroes, Tricksters, Family ProblemsAge / Grade Appropriateness:15/ Eighth Grade and aboveAwards:South Carolina Junior Book Award NomineeALA Best Books for Young Adults Censorship Issues:War, SlaveryPlot Summary:This novel takes place in the world of Tortall. The novel is about a fifteen year old girl named Aly. Her mom Alanna the Lioness and her father George is the head spy for the entire country. Aly longs to be a spy that works for her father, but her parents refuse to allow her to become a spy. She runs away from home for a few weeks and is captured by some pirates. She is sold into slavery in the Copper Isles. She then makes a deal with the trickster god Kyprioth. Aly is assigned to keep two sisters safe, which are half-Raka and half-Luarin. If Aly can keep the two sisters safe by autumn (through out the summer), then the trickster god will send her home and talk to her father on her behalf about her becoming a spy. Aly manages to keep the sisters safe.Critique:This novel fits the bill of a YA book because it is based on a fifteen year old girl. The girl (Aly) is very much like a normal teenager in a much different setting, which would keep many young adults¿ attention. I thought this was a great book, but I think it gave away the ending at the beginning of the book. I could pretty much map out what was going to happen before it happened. I think it would have been better if it would have been more suspenseful. Curriculum Uses:This novel could be used for entertainment. This great novel is part of a sequel, so you could continue to enjoy these novels. I also thought that it could be used in a Literature or History class to use for discussions.
merigreenleaf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the first in the Daughter of the Lioness/Tricksters subseries, and is about Aly, who, like the title says, is the daughter of the Lioness (aka Alanna- the first of the Tortall heroines). Unlike most of the other books in the series, this one doesn't involve Tortall much and mostly takes place on a set of islands west of that country, which I found to be a fresh and interesting spin- not that I'm bored of Tortall; I just think it's cool when we get to learn about the surrounding countries.I found Aly to be just as interesting as her predecessors and I enjoyed her relationships with the other characters. The only flaw I found in her was that she was almost too clever and lucky. (I'm trying to not go into more details than you can get from the back cover or on Amazon or something, so how can I word this...) Granted, a lot of her luck can be based on the fact that a god is helping her out; although that's dubious in itself since it's a trickster god involved. The other main thing that made her so clever and lucky was her vast knowledge of spywork. I know that she was raised to have those skills, but it just seemed like she always knew what to do in any situation. Somewhere along the lines a teenager is bound to mess up, right? Still, though, that flaw wasn't a problem because it didn't really detract from her character; she's still witty, intelligent, and strong. It just kind of made me go "hmm..." after I finished the book and I realized how lucky and skilled she was the whole time.The other characters in the book are well-rounded and interesting, too. I'll admit that I now have a crush on Nawat, one of the main characters; he's adorably innocent, although there's a reason for that, but I don't want to give it away. Suffice it to say that he's not really *human* per se. He brings a lot of humor into the story (although all this talk about eating bugs was kind of gross, now that I think about it) and is a good counterpart to Aly, and keeps her from being too serious about things. The other character I really liked was Dove, one of the girls in the family where Aly ends up. I have no idea how she is in the next book, but as of now, I'd love to see a series with Dove as the main character. Even as a 12 year old, she's just so smart and level-headed, and just seems like a good candidate for a series heroine.As for the plot, I enjoyed the change to a different location we didn't previously know much about, and I loved the bits of humor throughout; without that humor, the book wouldn't have been nearly as good because it's a pretty dire situation that Aly is dropped into. I loved all the spying and sneaking stuff Aly is able to do (even if she is really good at it), and I thought the storyline was deep enough to hold your attention, but not so bogged down in politics and race issues that it became boring. I also enjoyed the cameos of previous characters (Kel! Daine! Numair! Hi, guys!).Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I'm not sure if it's my favorite in the series (I think I prefer Daine or Kel to Aly), but it's definitely a good continuation to the super good Tortall series. I certainly wasn't disappointed by this book; I think it's just about as good as the rest. :) I'll give this 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
megmcg624 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Aly is kidnapped to the Copper Isles, where she rises above her station as slave with her spy education and the help of a trickster god.Aly's story is a sequel to the popular trilogy by Pierce centered on Aly's mother. The world inhabited by the series characters is wholly imagined, right down to the geography, and completely believable. Along with the high fantasy of mages and shapeshifters, this novel contains themes of feminism, race equality, and misunderstandings between parents and children. Trickster's Choice would be a wonderful read for middle school girls able to handle violence from swordfighting and some light sexual content.
magemanda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tamora Pierce returns to the world of Tortall, in this story about Aly - the teenage daughter of Alanna the Lioness and George Cooper. At the beginning of the novel, Aly is a bored young noblewoman, desperate to take her father's path as a spy but not being allowed to. Her relationship with her mother is fraught, since neither stubborn woman will back down on their ideas about Aly's future. After yet another argument, Aly decides to spend the summer visiting relatives rather than endure her mother's wrath, but ends up being taken by slavers en route. She is shipped to the Copper Isles and purchased by the Balitang family.While there, Aly is visited by a minor God - Kyprioth, who used to be all-powerful to the raka people of the islands. He offers a wager - if Aly keeps the two eldest daughters of the Balitangs family alive til autumn, Kyprioth will return her to her family and speak to George Cooper on her behalf about becoming a spy.From there, Aly is plunged into a life fraught with dangers, where the mad royal luarin family have reason to see the Balitangs first driven into exile and then attempt murder. Aly comes to see that Sarai, eldest daughter of the Balitangs, has both luarin and raka royal blood and therefore is destined to bring the people of the Copper Isles together.Surrounded by interesting characters - such as Nawat Crow - Aly is determined to win her wager...As is her wont, Pierce has once again given us a sassy and fiercely independent young woman, who is prepared to die out of loyalty to friends and who sees men as no more than a pleasant diversion in the pursuit of duty. Aly manages to overcome her title of slave and becomes integral to the lives of the Balitangs, through straight talking and unquenchable spirit.My one complaint about Aly - who otherwise is a genuinely likeable young heroine - is that she is almost too clever and resourceful. We are given to understand that she has received training and advice from such illustrious personages as George, Alanna, Daine and Thayet (all characters from Pierce's previous novels about Tortall), but Aly still seems to know the answer to everything.The book is filled with warm and interesting characters. Pierce is able to give us people and animals that we can take easily to our hearts. By the page-turning climax of the book, we care deeply for the people who have crowded the novel with their lively characters, realistic dialogue and genuine motivations.Enjoyably, Pierce also writes strongly about divisions between the people of a land because of the colour of skin. She explains sensibly (in the words of Aly) that no one should be prejudiced against because they are the wrong colour. It is excellent that such a widely-regarded author is using her work to encourage racial equality and acceptance of the healthy differences between different people. The raka (black) and luarin (white) have both been responsible for atrocities in the past, and now must learn to live together and become simply the people of the Copper Isles.I very much enjoyed the little details that Pierce embued this novel with to show a different culture to that of Tortall (which is very much based on feudal Europe). The Copper Isles are shown to be rich with exotic wildlife and landscapes, and the fiery food is very different from that Aly is accustomed to eating.Happily, it is not essential to have read Pierce's other Tortall novels in order to enjoy this one, so new readers to the world can dive right in - however, it is extremely likely that, after enjoying this book, they will rush out and buy the rest. Readers accustomed to Tortall will both enjoy hearing about characters from previous books and be pleased to see this new plucky heroine take her place amongst them.
Nikkles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite series by Tamora Pierce. I love Crow and wish there were more books with these characters. A must for people who love Pierce's books.