Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Tortall and Other Lands
Tortall and Other Lands is a collection of short stories from the fantasy Queen herself: Tamora Pierce.
There are thousands of reader's out there that recognize this name as being their favorite author. She has written the Alanna series as well as many more books that have continued to exist in the magical kingdom of Tortall. People can't get enough - and for good reason!
We get an even more intimate peek into this intricately woven medieval land and its smaller, but no less fascinating, stories with six tales taking place in Tortall, some of which feature cameos of well-known characters. We also get four stories not set in Tamora's beloved Tortall - two are in historical periods but take plan in unknown towns, one in an anonymous desert, and one even takes place in modern-day New York. Plus, we get a bonus story that isn't even a fantasy at all!
That means Tortall and Other Lands provides us with ten short stories to sweep you away and tickle your imaginations!
Now, I personally haven't read nearly as much Tamora Pierce as I'd like. All I've read is Trickster's Choice, which I though was amazing with its masterful plotting, slow burn, and meaty setting and characters. I purchased Trickster's Queen and have long been dying to read it - but still haven't. It's one of those situations book reviewers get in, where so many exciting books are coming your way that you want to read and need to review, that a book you bought sits on the shelf waiting patiently for you to have a spare few days to read it - and those spare few days haven't come. So, when one of the stories came up in my reading - Nawat - I was immediately horrified by the idea of spoilers for Trickster's Queen - and spoilers it did indeed contain! So, I quickly skipped over that one story - I felt full disclosure was necessary here. I did not read Nawat.
But what I did read was every other story in Tortall and Other Lands. And I am still stunned by how real Tamora Pierce makes Tortall and, well, the other lands! Her writing is so detailed and you just feel like she knows these places inside and out - it is quite something.
These are intelligent, mythical, feminist-bent fantasy stories that fulfill the mind as well as the page. Each one is excellent, but some of my favorites in the collection are The Dragon's Tale, Lost, and Elder Brother.
Some of the tales are adorable, some are funny, some touching - but all of them are empowering. It's a great collection that deserves to sit proudly beside your other Tamora Pierce novels!
***ALERT: Due to continued bibliophile reading overdosing, I am continuing the 5 reviews a week through August. After that, I am absolutely returning to only 3 reviews a week in September and on. So, we'll just think of this as a summer special! Thanks for reading!!!