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Cover image for Trickster's choice
Trickster's choice




1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, ©2003.
Physical Description:
422 pages : map ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
Parents -- Trickster -- The Raka -- The Road -- Settling In -- Of Goats and Crows -- Conversations -- A Spy's Work -- Learning the Ground -- Assassins -- Migrations -- The Mage of Pohon -- Ladies of the Raka -- Pivot -- Winged Messenger -- Betrayal.
Alianne must call forth her mother's courage and her father's wit in order to survive on the Copper Isles in a royal court rife with political intrigue and murderous conspiracy.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Learning MG+ 5.8 19.

Accelerated Reader Grades 5-8 5.8 19 Quiz 74765 English fiction, vocabulary quiz available.

Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 5.8 19.0 74765.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.1 25 Quiz: 34144 Guided reading level: W.


Call Number

On Order



Tamora Pierce brings readers another Tortall adventure! Alianne is the teenage daughter of the famed Alanna, the first lady knight in Tortall. Young Aly follows in the quieter footsteps of her father, however, delighting in the art of spying. When she is captured and sold as a slave to an exiled royal family in the faraway Copper Islands, it is this skill that makes a difference in a world filled with political intrigue, murderous conspiracy, and warring gods. This is the first of two books featuring Alianne.

Author Notes

Author Tamora Pierce was born in South Connellsville, Pennsylvania on December 13, 1954. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Her first book, Alanna: The First Adventure, was published in 1983 and she became a full-time author in 1992. She writes fantasy books, mainly involving young heroines, for young adults. She is the author of numerous series including Song of the Lioness; The Immortals; Circle of Magic; Protector of the Small; The Circle Opens; Daughter of the Lioness; The Circle Reforged; Beka Cooper; and The Numair Chronicles. Her novel Battle Magic was a New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-10-Alianne, daughter of Alanna (Alanna: The First Adventure [Random, 1989]), is ready to create her own legend. As the book opens, Aly, 16, longs to follow in her father's footsteps as a spy, but her parents refuse to allow it. Annoyed, she sails off in her boat, only to be captured by pirates and sold into slavery, fortunately to kindly Duke Balitang. She meets Kyprioth, the Trickster, and strikes 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 (and provide a romance for Aly), brutal fighting, treason, and attempted kidnapping, this fantasy has plenty to hold readers' attention. It also offers an interesting examination of race, as well as a look at an adolescent's finding her independence, an especially difficult task with such a powerful mother. Aly is a strong, intelligent, and resilient feminist who stretches this fantasy to a parable of girl-power. The book at times bogs down in the sheer number of characters and relationships, and in the author's zealous attention to descriptive details, but Pierce's fans will enjoy it.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

This launch novel in a new series stars the 16-year-old daughter of Pierce's first novel, Alanna. According to PW, "The climax is worth the wait, and ably sets up a framework for future adventures of this very likable new heroine." Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

(Intermediate, Middle School) Ever since the woman-knight Alanna the Lioness rode off the final pages of Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet, readers have been hungering for more about this ""woman who rides like a man."" They're about to be rewarded with a whole new quartet featuring not Alanna but Alianne, Alanna's daughter, who's expected to step into Alanna's shoes both in readers' imaginations and in Alanna's home in the fantasy land of Tortall. Here, Alianne, who has been kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Copper Isles, finds herself as the brains behind a large operation conspiring to overthrow the luarin overlords and return the raka (the island's subjugated native class) to power. Aly is aided in her efforts by Nawat, a crow who assumes human form and courts her in a haplessly naive crow way. Pierce convincingly portrays a girl raised to espionage and combat: Aly thinks like a spy.Less convincing is Pierce's secondary character development, almost invariably a description of the person's height, eye and hair color, and clothing, which slows the story until the characters take up the noble responsibilities, lightweight magical effects, and teasing badinage that hold much of the book's appeal. In the end, Aly decides to stay in the Copper Isles and join her friends in the raka resistance, so readers hooked on Pierce's spunky heroines will have more adventures to anticipate. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

The new Tortall page-turner will delight existing fans and create many more. Alanna's daughter, Aly, is a rogue like her father, the former thief who's made legions of Pierce's girl fans swoon. At 16, Aly's an accomplished flirt--and brilliant at the intelligence work learned from her spymaster father. Her parents demand she pick any career but her beloved spying. After a fight with her mother--"try being the daughter of a legend"--Aly sails off in a snit, is captured by pirates, and sold as a slave in the Copper Isles. A bet with a local trickster god plunges her into a simmering race war, court intrigue surrounding a mad king, and a centuries-old conflict between gods. Winning will take all her diplomatic and spying talents. Unlike Pierce's earlier protagonists, Aly arrives fully formed, a snarky, talented uber-heroine. Cameos of old favorites complement a rich cast of new characters. Aly's difficulty with the complexity of colonialism adds surprising, welcome depth. A ripping good yarn that introduces a new series. (glossary, cast of characters) (Fiction. 10-15) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-12. Readers who have delighted in the tales of Alanna the Lioness will be equally thrilled by this rich and complex tale of Alanna's teenage daughter, Aly. Aly longs to be a spy, like her father, and is prickly with her often-absent mother. When the 16-year-old dashes off, she is instantly captured by pirates and sold into slavery to a noble family, the Balitangs of the Copper Isles. There, the trickster god Kyprioth binds Aly to him: she is to keep her charges, the Balitang children, safe for the summer, and then she can go home. Aly hides her skills in magic and weaponry and her fierce intelligence in plain sight; watching her mind work is a wonder. She learns the language of crows and teaches them hers, and a crow of great power and sweetness makes himself into human form for her sake. A marvelous cast of characters, human, mage, and animal; a tangled web of political and racial tensions; and the promise of other Aly stories to come will engage Pierce's legions of fans and win over even more. --GraceAnne DeCandido Copyright 2003 Booklist

Table of Contents

Excerpt from The Luarin Conquestp. 1
1 Parentsp. 4
2 Tricksterp. 32
3 The Rakap. 52
4 The Roadp. 75
5 Settling Inp. 99
6 Of Goats and Crowsp. 129
7 Conversationsp. 147
8 A Spy's Workp. 172
9 Learning the Groundp. 199
10 Assassinsp. 233
11 Migrationsp. 261
12 The Mage of Pohonp. 285
13 Ladies of the Rakap. 307
14 Pivotp. 330
15 Winged Messengerp. 351
16 Betrayalp. 375
Cast of Charactersp. 404
Glossaryp. 411