Monday, January 26, 2015

Kitten To Lioness

Now that I have finished my individual ramblings, it is time for me to sum up the series The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce as a whole.  This is where I put down my feeling about the series as a whole.  I have noticed when I do my ramblings and critique/gush about the books individually that it comes across very differently then when I think of a series as whole.  I think a lot of this has to do with going back and reading books and enjoying them more as an overall story...ok not relating this very well.  Let's talk about the series shall we?   SPOILERS AHEAD.
Biggest thing about this quartet is that it follows our heroine Alanna from the time she is 10 until she is in her 20's.  This makes for a HUGE range in the age these books are appropriate for.  The first book is one I would recommend for any young lady (or man) starting to read chapter books...the later books may have a bit of content we may want to reserve for our slightly older readers.  The books start out very simply, a girl, a dream, and a bunch of quick vignettes showing us as she grows.  As we move on in the series each book gets fatter and more complex with less telling and more showing of our girl Alanna.  I sometimes forget that these were the authors first books, and her ability seems to grow along with her heroine.  I also like watching Alanna's friends grow along with her, especially Prince Jonathan and George Cooper.  In the start Jon is almost as young as Alanna and he grows in his responsibilities as a Prince, and eventually a King.  It is great to watch his transformation from a spoiled teenager to a regal and just man.  George also gets his own arc, going from the carefree King of Thieves to a man who is ready to become "respectable" if it means the ability to protect his loved ones.  Myles, Corum, and the other characters in Alanna's world all grow up in some way or another...even if they were already adults :-).
Alanna herself goes through the biggest transformation...and as the main character that makes sense.  It is interesting to watch this young girl start with the simple dream of being a knight and then realize that there is so much more to life then a single dream.  Her knighthood turns out to be just one aspect of what she wants out of life, realizing that every time she achieves a goal, that it does not fulfill her in the way she thought it would.  The ability to recognize that she needs friends, loves, and a variety of goals helps her become a well rounded person.  This series, being the first in a series of series (wow we are starting to get meta in here) set in Tortall and the surrounding areas really sets up the world for the rest of the books.  The stories we read in this series very much color the future books, making rereads even better as we know what happens far into the future.  This quartet of books tends to hold up better as a whole, then as individual least for me, and I actually enjoy rereading them more then the original read.  I am very glad that I discovered this series and it's message of figure out who you are and be yourself 'cause that is probably your best bet at happiness :-)  Happy Reading Everybody!

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