Saturday, June 9, 2007

The conclusion of the Trickster story

It is interesting to think about how reading a book compares to listening to the audio version. I have read many books by Tamora Pierce, but this one and Trickster's Choice are the first ones of hers I've ever listened to. Of course, the reader makes a huge difference when it's an audio version. For these books the reader was actress Trini Alvarado, and she did a marvellous job, using different voices, accents and intonations. The books were very exciting, and often I would sit in my car when I got to my destination, reluctant to turn off the engine because I wanted to hear what was going to happen next.

The book opens as Aly and the Balitang family return from their exile to the capital city of Rajmuat. There the kingdom is now ruled by the regents of the child king, and they govern with a cruel, paranoid hand. Aly, chosen by the trickster god Kyprioth to help bring about the downfall of the present ruling family and put a "twice-royal" queen (the eldest Balitang daughter) on the throne, has her work cut out for her. The plot unfolds rapidly, throwing Aly headlong into court intrigue, rebel plots, deception, romance, and murder.

Aly is an excellent heroine. She is strong, feisty, intelligent, and fiercely loyal. Her tendency toward over-self-confidence does lead to mistakes. When these mistakes happen, though, she doesn't succumb to self-pity or discouragement -- she picks herself up and keeps on going, and takes to heart any lesson she can learn from them.

This is a wonderful two-book story, with memorable characters and surprising plot twists. I was sorry when it ended, and now I'm thinking of listening to some of my old favorites by Pierce, just to visit her wonderful world again.
Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce (Listening Library, 2004)

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