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Tamora Pierce – Trickster’s Queen

June 18, 2009

73. Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce (2004)
Daughter of the Lioness, Book 2; Tortall, Book 14

Read By: Trini Alvarado
Length: 13h 31m (467 pages)

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Started: 08 June 2009
Finished: 15 June 2009

Where did it come from? Library
Why do I have it? Because the first half of the duology, Trickster’s Choice, was good enough to make me want to find out what happened.

Will the rebellion
against the tyrants succeed?
It’s YA, so… duh.

Summary: When the Balitang family is recalled to the capital city after spending a year in exile, Aly is excited – being near the center of the government will make it that much easier to help spread the Raka rebellion that has been quietly fomenting amongst the servants and peasants in the countryside. However, the Raka are not the only ones plotting overthrow; the Luarin nobles are also displeased with the rule of the King’s regents. Aly must use all her talents to navigate the two rebellions, bring down a kingdom, and restore the rule of the Copper Isles to the proper hands, all while keeping herself and those she cares about safe.

Review: This book shouldn’t have been as enjoyable as it was. Aly spends most of the book acting as spymaster for the Balitangs and the Raka rebellion. However, the problem with acting as spymaster is that you have to sit around collating and distributing information while other people are doing all of the fun stuff, and the problem with writing a book about a spymaster is that your readers have to watch them… sit around collating and distributing information. Not exactly riveting action – and yet, it still managed to hold my attention.

Another reason I shouldn’t have enjoyed this novel was that it was pretty predictable. Putting a prophecy in the beginning of your fantasy novel is kind of a double-bind situation. If the prophecy means what it says on first glance, then great, you’ve just given away the end of your book. But, on the other hand, most readers know that prophecies never mean what they say at first glance, and so will be scouring the text for clues as to the big twist. Even apart from the fact that Tamora Pierce’s books all follow the same basic course, I figured out how most things in this novel were going to go from very early on. And yet, I still kept reading, wanting to know how the things I knew were coming were going to go down.

So, the fact that I kept listening, even in the face of predictability and mainly off-screen action, should speak pretty highly for the enjoyability of this book. I think Tamora Pierce’s books are essentially YA fantasy comfort food: no big surprises, nothing too challenging, just reliable, solid, entertaining YA fantasy, complete with strong female characters, meddlesome gods, and little hints of romance. I was also thrilled to see the Darkings again. They were one of my favorite things (creatures? characters?) from the Immortals series, and they added some very cute, funny moments to Trickster’s Queen. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Not great, but solidly good if you’re in the mood for light YA fantasy. Plus, if you’ve already read Trickster’s Choice, this one is pretty much required reading.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Books and Other Thoughts, Bogormen
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: In the winter of 462-463 H.E., the brown-skinned raka people and their many allies, part-bloods and white-skinned luarin, prepared for revolution against the luarin ruling house, the Rittevons.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. thekoolaidmom permalink
    June 18, 2009 3:09 am

    I like the names, they’re interesting and exotic. Sometimes predictable can be okay, especially when it’s so obvious that you’re sure it can’t possibly be that simple, so it keeps you looking for the bool (to borrow an SK term ;-) ).

    Would this be a book you have to read the first one to read the second?

  2. June 18, 2009 9:41 am

    thekoolaidmom – Bool? SK? You’ve lost me. :)

    And yeah, you need to have read Trickster’s Choice to understand what’s going on in this one, for sure. They’re two halves of one story, with the first one not having much resolution, and this one not having much introduction. You don’t need to have read all of the previous Tortall books to understand these, however.

  3. June 18, 2009 11:42 am

    Your haiku is priceless! It’s funny ’cause it’s true.

  4. June 19, 2009 8:17 pm

    Oh of your best haikus ever :)

  5. June 22, 2009 10:33 am

    Memory & Kim – It’s funny, my haikus that most people seem to like the best are the ones that I struggle with forever, and then give up and plop down the first 17 syllables that even vaguely fit. :)

  6. June 22, 2009 8:18 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed these! I really liked the narrator for the audio version, and I loved Nawat, too. When the characters grab my attention, I don’t mind predictable too much. :-)

  7. June 23, 2009 10:25 am

    Darla – Trini Alvarado is really good; she also narrated the Alanna books, which I listened to several years ago. Also, I agree – Nawat’s in strong contention with George for my favorite love interest in the Tortall books. :)

  8. June 25, 2009 3:47 pm

    heehee i like your haiku. It’s so succinct. Do you normally write haikus for books you’ve read?

  9. June 25, 2009 3:55 pm

    Sharry – I will occasionally skip a book when I’m just not in the mood, but yes, I write haikus for almost every review I do. I started last summer(!) after a contest I had, which was a lot of fun… I may have to do a Review? Haiku! (Part Two) giveaway again this year. :)

  10. Carrie permalink
    January 11, 2012 7:16 pm

    I love all of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books – they’re great reading on a night where I can’t handle too unpredictable – during a heavy school week, I can sit down for 10 minutes at a stretch, enjoy the characters and the plot, and just relax… :) I have to admit, though, Trickster’s Queen is one of my top 3 (other two being Lioness Rampant and Squire)…

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