Alanna of Trebond is no ordinary girl--her dream is to become a knight. So she disguises herself as a boy and begins training at the palace of King Roald. Alanna quickly finds out that the road to knighthood is not an easy one, but her skills and stubbornness help her become friends with Prince Jonathan and his followers. At the same time, Alanna makes an enemy of the prince's uncle, the overly charming Duke Roger.
Here begins Alanna's first adventure--one that will lead not only to the fulfillment of her dreams but to a magical destiny that will make her a legend.
This is another book that I kept hearing about as a favorite of some of the author's I follow. But every time I looked at the cover, I just...couldn't. Yes, I always judge a book by its cover. But one day I pushed past the poor marketing and started reading. I'm so glad I did!
Alanna is fantastic. She is stubborn to a fault, but often uses that stubbornness to achieve her goals, even when she is the wrong sex to do so. Her twin brother Thom wants to be a sorcerer and Alanna wants to be a knight. When their forgetful father sends them off to opposite training camps, what are they to do? Forge papers saying they are twin boys and switch places, of course.
Alanna, now Alan, quickly excels as a knight's page, despite the unfortunate side effect of being a girl--less upper body strength. She trains harder than everyone to overcome her biological setbacks, and is totally awesome in the process. She befriends thieves, princes, and everyone in between (except for one bully).
I love books with awesome girl characters, but I do not like token girls who are awesome just because. Alanna fights to be the best, and therefore deserves the superiority she inevitably acquires. And the gifts that she comes by naturally, such as her healing magic, are scary to her, and sometimes she messes up big time.
I am completely won over. Alanna rocks, and Tamora Pierce rocks. This is definitely an author that has convinced me to read everything she has ever written.
Five out of five hidden identities.
Release Date: 1983
Reading Level: Grade 4+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: YPL PIE
Don't believe me? Check out these reviews of Alanna: The First Adventure:
On the Bookshelf