sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
sophia_sol ([personal profile] sophia_sol) wrote2017-04-26 08:02 pm

The Song of the Lioness quartet, by Tamora Pierce

(Consisting of: Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess,
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant)

Hmmm not quite sure what to say about these books! It's been quite a while since I've reread them since this was never the Tamora Pierce series that I was most captivated by.

They're obviously her first books, and have a variety of flaws (some plot points/character choices that don't quite make sense, the well-meaning racism that's racism nonetheless, the uncomfortable dynamics in how some of Alanna's romantic relationships are portrayed, and so forth) but the books are nonetheless a charming quick read, if you can look past those factors.

Also its brand of feminism is...of its era (Alanna is Not Like Other Girls! And so forth.) but it's well-meaning and was hugely important for its time.

And I still have huge quantities of childhood nostalgia for these books. I care about these characters so much!
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-04-27 12:20 am (UTC)(link)
I refused to read these for a long time (I was in college) simply because each time one came out, I'd see in the shelf at the store and have momentary hope that Meredith Ann Pierce had finally published the third Darkangel book.

I ended up reading the Keladry books first, about six years ago, and liking them a lot. Then I went back and read these.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-04-27 01:41 am (UTC)(link)
The thing is that Meredith Ann Pierce took about a decade between the second book in the series and the third. There'd only been a year or two between books one and two, and while book one didn't need a sequel, book two didn't tie anything up at all. I had a couple of friends during those years who, when we were hanging out together talking about books we wanted to see soon, would bring up Pierce. We'd all three say her name in unison and exasperation.

Tamora Pierce published a lot of books during that decade.
skygiants: the aunts from Pushing Daisies reading and sipping wine on a couch (wine and books)

[personal profile] skygiants 2017-04-27 01:48 am (UTC)(link)
I wrote my thesis in part on these books! They definitely are what they are and what they are is definitely Of Its Time but for sure it was a time and a moment that needed to happen.
skygiants: an Art Nouveau-style lady raises her hand uncomfortably (artistically unnerved)

[personal profile] skygiants 2017-05-03 02:56 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, man. Well, I wrote it ten years ago as a clueless undergraduate with a wildly outdated and incomplete understanding of sex and gender, so many parts of it are now deeply embarrassing, but with that understanding...
aria: (Default)

[personal profile] aria 2017-04-27 05:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooooh, I'm bopping in here to tell you that I am really intrigued by your thesis! Like Sophia, I'd love to read it but would be totally understanding of you declining to share :)
skygiants: Audrey Hepburn peering around a corner disguised in giant sunglasses, from Charade (sneaky like hepburnninja)

[personal profile] skygiants 2017-05-03 03:00 am (UTC)(link)
Ha, well, as I said above, it's a fairly embarrassing document and I'd definitely rewrite it significantly now, but I'd be OK sharing if you promised not to judge my college self too harshly! >.>
aria: (Default)

[personal profile] aria 2017-05-03 03:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I absolutely would not judge you! I understand how college writing ages :)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)

[personal profile] pauraque 2017-04-27 03:53 am (UTC)(link)
You know, I read those books and don't remember them very well, but what I do remember is the day Tamora Pierce came to my school! I was in 6th grade, so 1993 or so. She had the most wonderful deadpan sense of humor and was just charming and kind to all of us. She also mentioned she'd written fanfiction and that it was okay to write stories inspired by other stories, which had a big impact on me, as you might imagine. My best friend at the time was a great fan of her work and they actually ended up exchanging letters for years after that; her name is mentioned in the acknowledgements of one of the Circle of Magic books.

It's not that often I can say I'm more a fan of an author than of their actual work, but that's kind of my position here. :D
aria: (Default)

[personal profile] aria 2017-04-27 05:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the Alanna books are still my quiet favorites of Pierce's, see also: my continued yearning for a version of this story that's about Alan(na)'s Complicated Gender Feelings and journey to being the cranky queer hero we deserve. Which is ... not at ALL the story Pierce was telling but may be the story I ended up with in my heart anyway.

Also, oof, there's a lot that's rough with both the Jonathan and George romances (as much as I love George he does have a bit of 80s romantic hero "I know what you want better than you do" going on, though I'm happy to report that Pierce has talked about that and says that it's very much a product of what was considered tropey romantic at the time and she would have made different choices now, yay good) but I really love the sort of awful that her relationship with Liam is. Like, I find it really great to read about how sometimes you're just super attracted to a person but you're fundamentally incompatible and you have to accept that and move on.

Hi I think I would talk about these books for HOURS, whoops.