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[[ Free Textbooks ]] Trickster's QueenAuthor Tamora Pierce –

Grades 7 to 10 Genre FantasyNo longer a slave, Aly s life is still far from simple as she has become part of the plot to place a Raka queen on the throne of the Copper Isles Over the winter she has become a master of spies for the rebellion Another complication in her life is her relationship with the half man, half crow Nawat He wants to solidify their relationship and can t understand Aly s hesitation The family Aly serves is moving back to the city to become part of the court there Hoping to use the Balitangs return to favor to further the rebellion, Aly makes new contact in the city and starts to move the plot forward While at first it appears that Sarai, the oldest Balitang daughter, is the one of which the prophecy speaks of, but time makes it apparent that it is indeed Dove who will become the new queen Aly s charm and wit continue to make this book enjoyable The quick moving plot and sudden turns will keep readers interested. Tamora Pierce was part of my literary diet when I was growing up The combination of Western fantasy with Western science fiction means that even now I picture the fantasy city with wide boulevards, low gabled houses, and amber sunlight dappling the warm streets.Malheureusement, growing up one comes to perceive the limitations of such a treatment of the genre.Trickster s Queen, then, is a painful reread because I approach it this time with a new clarity of vision It is a story, essentially, about colonialism.I mentioned to a friend how the Daughter of the Lioness stories distinctly map onto the USAmerican presence in the Philippines.Pierce s Tortall is a place where dogs are trained in Malay, after all if Pierce can come up with faux foreign vocabulary for all the other regions of her world, I find it shameless to simply grab Malay wholesale.But, to return to this book in Trickster s Queen, the white woman convinces the indigenous peoples to support a mestizo regime because she and only she knows what will save them She is kingmaker, power broker, saviour all in one In the Trickster s Queen universe, this is unquestionably a righteous happening Aly is vindicated by the appearance of demigods who hail her for her political and military intervention in the Copper Isles.I find it remarkable how the parallel of the novel s plot with historical and contemporary USAmerican influences in Southeast Asia could fail to escape readers The book s and author s politics Pierce has written, for example, short stories whose plot boils down to save the niqabis from themselves are distasteful enough that, if I ever have a nostalgic craving for the Summersea quartets, it ll be heigh ho, heigh ho to the library instead. Well, that was disappointing I had hoped that the story would evolve from the stage that Pierce had set up in the first book, that the rather non existant stakes that Aly had faced would become somethingsubstantial once the Balitangs returned to Rajmuat Somehow things managed to come even easier to Aly than before and while I admired the old school spy games of the first book they now seem to require little effort, relying on magic and gods whims to do all the work All the villains are cartoon ish and fumbling Aly is once again smarter than everyone and everything comes easily When things don t go according to her plans it usually somehow saves her from a difficult decision that would otherwise have given the story some dimension and the character some grit view spoiler The head of the King s guard easily figures Aly out as spy, except of course he conveniently isn t interested in politics and doesn t care as long as she doesn t go near Dunevon, passing up the opportunity to give her a worthy adversary Sarai just happens to run off with a Carthak to clear the way for hersuitable sister to head the revolution instead of Aly dealing with the fact that the twice royal first born she is trying to put on the throne may not be substantial enough to be queen Elsran and Dunevon die in the mage storm at the fault of the villains when Aly was putting off deciding how to handle the children who were in her way without killing them, something that was actually presenting a dilemma And Imajane commits suicide as opposed to requiring any sort of confrontation with her hide spoiler The first half of the book is considerably slower than book one and seemed muchpolitical, but I loved the inclusion of the Darkings FUN and once things finally picked up, they didn t stop until the end I have to say the entire story arc of this duology is one of my favorites of the Tortallverse seriously, a realm where power is passed down through the women HECK YES Gimme that all day long Dove is probably in my top 5 favorite characters to ever come out of the Tortall world I would LOVE a book about her after the events of the Trickster books, or even a prequel describing how she and Sarai grew up Everything about this world is so intricate and fascinating to me. Video Review I have to say I did not like this one as well as the first My reasons for thus are as follow 1 the plot wasn t as structured as the first 2 The villains are so incompetent Aly glides through the plot easily 3 Things that go wrong are actually helpful for the heroes 4 Aly s relationship with Nawat feels off Still a book worth reading but not as good as the first First my beef with the plot The story begins with Aly and the Balitangs returning to the capital from their place in the country The ultimate goal being to overturn the Rittevons and install Sarah as the new monarch, who would then end the slavery of the raka and make the Copper Islands a nice place to live for everyone After that, though, it kind of muddles along without any kind of climbing action Aly does her spy thing, Sarah does her social butterfly thing, the Rittevons show off how oppressive they are, and suddenly there s this big battle where the standing governmentor less implodes The first book had this steady progression toward the end of summer where Aly would win or lose her wage with the god Kyprioth but this book lacks any sense of progression Second is the incompetent villains The first villain, the Rittevon king, dies of old age His son from gluttony Neither does anything The king s daughter is just cold and ruthless and almost a single existence with her husband They rarely act apart so its hard to see them as two characters Their spymaster Aly s counterpart is old and arrogant and, in a word, decayed Aly mentally lists all the things he s doing wrong, while he sloppily interogates her, and at the end decides he won t be a threat While this could have been a bluff to get her overconfident, he really isn t a threat and is later executed by the Rittevons for being so useless His replacement is worse and never gets their own scene The ONE person smart enough to figure out that Aly is a spy possibly a spymaster for the Raka rebels, and could therefore do a lot of damage to their network, is an anti villain who really cares for nothing but the harmless puppet king controlled by his older and eviler relatives Third is the lack of resistance In addition to the harmless villains Aly doesn t have any other problems except her relationship with Nawat There are two occasions where she is outwitted or out manuvered but both of them help her cause Not a HUGE problem as Aly points out how the first one is better than what they had planned and that the second one is unfortunately necessary but still, the fact that these are the only problems with her revolt weaken the drama and the sense of victory at the end Four is Aly s relationship with Nawat At the end of book 1 she isn t interested in Nawat s offer of a relationship At the start of book 2 she s accepted and somehow the tables are turned she s the one that likes their relationship and Nawat s the one that s pulling away It s because he wants a serious relationship instead of a casual one but its still weird It could be seen as a sign of Aly s character development as she didn t want to get too involved with anything a problem that started off the first book but seeing her suddenly love sick is too weird Bottom line is if you liked the first book than you should give this one a try. In Trickster s Queen, Aly s role has slowly turned into Spy Master Yes, she s what, 18 at this point And she s working with raka people who have been planing this for generations But, she has the talent and the skills to be an amazing spy master, and the raka aren t going to look a gift horse in the mouth Unfortunately for us as a reader, this means Aly spend a lot of time reading reports and attending meetings But Pierce doesn t make this dull or boring While Aly might not be directly involved in all the events shaping the impending revolution, she is obviously pulling the strings What I love most about this is when characters who don t know Aly are introduced to her as a spy master, they all guffaw But Aly proves herself every time It s lovely As I said, this wasn t as strong a book as the first I love how everything resolved and how not everything went Aly s way Yet The Darkings I adore how they are characterized They are small and adventuresome and just looking for Fun I listened to the audiobook, and they were depicted with adorable tiny, squeeky voices It was perfect And yet it was such an easy way for Aly to get everything she needed It felt a bit like cheating at spying, honestly I would have enjoyed themif they had been fed lies that trapped Aly, or ifof them had been caught Also our Royal Baddies were incompetent They couldn t get their stuff together no matter what It was weird The first Rittevon king just dies of old age Okay, I can forgive that The next Rittevon king dies from gluttony, which heor less does to himself in a strange suicide because he doesn t want to be King Weird So, we get to the newest Rittevon king, a five year old boy Obviously, his mother and father become Regents and they are completely incompetent Which blows my mind Rubinyan has schemed and plotted his whole life trying to get to this point Yet, suddenly with the power of the throne around him, everything falls apart And Imajane seems to have inherited the kingly line of lunacy So, one regent is going crazy and doing all sorts of crazy things to make the kingdom fear and distrust her, while Rubinyan is just trying to keep her in line What It just makes everything so much easier for Aly and the conspirators.That said, I didn t dislike this book I was enraptured with the story Pierce wove Now that they are so close to putting the Twice Royal Queen on the throne, we really get to know the raka conspirators much better They have grown to trust Aly We watch they relationships develop and deepen within their ranks, as well as with the other members of the Balitang household A few characters even took turns I wasn t expecting, and I found that some of my favorite characters by the end of the book were unexpected In the end, I loved how intelligent this duology is The relationships, plots, and politics are all well crafted I even found it exciting, which I didn t expect The plot had a fluidity that felt real since things couldn t always go as planned for our conspirators In the end, this was a great tale and I hope many of you are willing to explore the story After all, we have a bratty 16 year old who turns into a strong female spy master Aly s transformation is remarkable and completely realistic What is there not to like I would have read this book right after finishing Trickster s Choice but I m always afraid there ll be too much rehashing of previous events etc., which gets really annoying Instead, there s very very little, and what there is is slipped in there naturally I was rather surprised at the things I d forgotten, like about Duke Mequen That was pretty significant, I m surprised I d forgotten that.The Balitang family return to the capital of Rajmuat where the formidable matriarch of the family, Aunt Niritin, has things well in hand The conspiracy amongst the Raka and the household servants, with Aly as spymaster, has some serious clout and Dove on their side The Regents of the Rittevon boy king, Dunevon, are suspicious, prickly, unloved and reactive it doesn t take much from Aly to aggravate their worst points and turn the populace against them, though they certainly didn t need much help for that Nawat, the crow man, leaves Aly to help the rebels on other islands and to grow into himself Gifts from Aly s home make things really interesting.The relationships and politics in this particular volume are handled very well never boring, even the plotting is exciting What Pierce did with Sarai and Dove I absolutely love she s not an author to be boxed in but allows for change and fluidity, and it worked out better than the original plan I adored the darkings, which were very original and fresh and entertaining While I did find that Aly s personal thoughts and feelings weren t delved into enough, especially in relation to Nawat, had I been reading this at 14, say, I would have been very satisfied Probably my imagination wasactive at the time and needed less direction There s great intelligence and craftiness in this duology, as well as enjoyable characters and unique fantasy elements Highly recommended just don t be distracted by a few cringe inducing past tense verbs treaded is NOT a word, the past tense of tread is trod Grrr. This is the sequel to Trickster s Choice, beginning six months or so after the events in that novel Alianne Cooper, daughter of Alanna the Lioness and George Tortallan spymaster has won her wager with the god Kyprioth and kept Sarai and Dove the two elder daughters of the Balitangs alive, but she has elected to stay in the Copper Isles and see the half blood Queen crowned.We begin the novel with the Balitang family arriving back in the city of Rajmuat, plunging themselves into political intrigue and gaining the attention of the Rittevon royal family, who suspect the Balitangs of having intentions towards the throne While this is occurring, Aly and the other raka conspirators create civil unrest in the city in order to push the populace into rebellion against the ruling monarchs.Aly spends a great deal of time desk bound, reading reports, or visiting with the other conspirators and this is where I feel the novel really lacked sparkle The book reads like an account of someone doing a job recruiting, reading reports, attending meetings It just isn t all that exciting.Tamora Pierce confesses in her acknowledgements that she has delighted in following J K Rowling s lead in writing larger books for children This is all very well, but I think Pierce writes better in a shorter format Her original quartets about Tortall were strong, snappy and fast paced The larger books suffer from bloating and, here, too many tedious details about the reports Aly reads and visits to the palace were included Two of the early chapters in the novel concern Sarai and Dove visiting the palace, and I found it extremely hard to push through those I ve never had such trouble with Pierce s books before.I also found that Sarai became a pretty dislikeable character spoilt, headstrong, and only thinking of herself I was thankful when we reached the fate Pierce gave to her, and Dove came to the forefront While speaking about the characters, one of my favourites from Trickster s Choice Nawat Crow was absent for much of this novel, and his loss removed a lot of the gentle humour that delighted me so in the first book.Another complaint I have is the MacGuffin of the darking characters Sure, they re pretty cute although they do have a tendency to come across in a childish manner with their lack of adult speech but they do make Aly s job enormously easy when she is spying on the palace It is a very lazy plot device and leads Aly to suffer no real peril or cause her to have to really think through obtaining information.Since we re on the subject of peril, none of these characters seem in any real danger Yes, a few of them die but this almost seems as though Pierce is going through a checklist and ticking off necessary death of beloved character to generate scenes of mourning I never felt that any of the main characters were in any danger of not surviving.I did enjoy some parts of the book the kudarung winged horses of all sizes and colours were a nice addition Nawat s return was very welcome and the epilogue did a neat job of showing a few nice details of Aly s life some months after the end of the revolution but overall I was disappointed This seemed Pierce by the numbers, and it came across that she didn t have much fun writing the story In her Notes at the end, Tamora Pierce encourages those interested to seek out historical sources of actual revolution and conquest it is a shame that, in this case, those sources would beexciting. The Stage Is Set For RevolutionAly No Longer Just A Master Spy, But A Master Of Spies Can She Balance Her Passion For Justice And Her Compassion For Others, And At What Cost Sarai Beautiful, Dramatic, And Rash Will She Fulfill The Role Chosen For Her By Destiny Dove She Has Always Stood In Sarai S Shadow Can She Prove To The World That She Herself Is A Force To Be Reckoned With Nawat Half Crow, Half Man He Wants Aly For His Life Mate, But Will The Revolution Make That Impossible As They Step Into New Roles To Change The Future