Book Review: Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice

Posted December 30, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice

Trickster's Choice


Tamora Pierce

It is part of the , series and is a fantasy in Paperback edition that was published by Scholastic on September 17, 2004 and has 453 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant, Wild Magic, Trickster's Queen, Wolf-Speaker, Emperor Mage, Realms of the Gods, First Test, Page, Squire, Lady Knight, Terrier, Bloodhound, Mastiff, Daja's Book, Sandry's Book, Tris's Book, Briar's Book, Magic Steps, Street Magic, Cold Fire, Shatterglass, The Will of the Empress, Melting Stones, Battle Magic

First in the Daughter of the Lioness series (if you’re OCD like me, you’ll want to start at beginning; there is a chronological listing of the Tortall books on my website, although, it isn’t necessary to read all these before starting this particular series…*grin*

My Take

Be careful what you wish for…you might get it as Aly finds out. Although it truly is exactly what Aly wanted…if she could just have had a bit more time to get ready for it!

This is a much more, well, intelligent isn’t the right word. The writing in this story is at a higher reading level than the Tamora Pierce stories I’ve read so far — Song of the Lioness and Wild Magic from the Immortals series. Yet again, I kept checking the cover to be sure I was reading a Tamora Pierce!

That said, this is an excellent story! Young adult or adult will find it a fascinating read. Nawat Crow’s courtship of Aly is just too funny as he brings his crow culture with him. There is no end to the action and intrigue — normally, I put a marker in as I read to remind me of events and characters for later when I write my reviews. Trickster’s Choice made me forget; I was too busy racing through to find out what would happen next! It’s funny, exciting, scary, and sad as betrayals and support run rampant.

Involuntary spying for our girl as Aly seeks a way to survive being sold into slavery and escaping it. It’s Aly’s coming of age and the opportunity to learn her own weaknesses and strengths. She also learns more about her parents than she would have ever realized.

Okay, the idea of a head footman just doesn’t work for me. Steward or butler? Okay. But footman?? No.

The excerpts between chapters are interesting lessons in spycraft and magic with most, if not all, addressed to Aly from her father and others.

The Story

Drifting and intelligent, Alianne is bored. Even though she has helped her father with his spy business, her parents refuse to allow her to truly become a spy with all the danger it entails. So when Alianne discovers that her mother, Sir Alanna, intends to make Alianne her next project, Alianne sails off to visit friends. She only plans on being gone until the last day or so of her mother’s visit but the pirate slavers she runs into have other ideas.

Unable to escape, Alianne does everything she can to look unsellable in the slave market at Rajmuat. Unfortunately, Kyprioth wants his people back in power and the Copper Isles worshipping him again, and Aly is his route back.

A major challenge when there is a prophecy claiming that the raka will return to power when a queen of two royal bloodlines appears — and both young ladies fit the prediction. Nor do the raka peoples make Aly’s job easy as they endangering their girls’ very existence with their love.

The Characters

Alianne “Aly” Cooper is the daughter of Alanna and George Cooper. Intelligent and bored, she wants to become a spy. Nawat Crow is a crow shifter intrigued by this human.

Sir Alanna is the King’s Champion, still riding Darkmoon, and married to Baron George Cooper, the king’s chief spy. Neither parent wants Alianne becoming a spy. Her brothers are Thom, the family mage, while Alan, her twin, entered page training three years ago. Maude was the children’s nursemaid and is now the Swoop housekeeper. Aunt Daine, a demi-goddess, and Uncle Numair, a mage, have a cameo role.

Duke Mequen Balitang and Duchess Winnamine with his daughters from his first marriage, Saraiyu and Dovasary, and his children with Winnamine: a daughter, Petranne, and a son, Elsren, live in Rajmuat on Kypriang Island amongst the Copper Isles. The duke, a descendant of the ruling Rittevon house, and his duchess and younger children are luarin while the daughters are half-raka, the people conquered by the luarin. Duke Mequen not only loved his first wife but also treats his raka and luarin servants the same…with dignity.

Ulasim is the head footman and the commander of the raka rebellion while Chenaol, the family cook, is in charge of weapon procurement for the rebellion. Veron, a luarin, is the commander of the men-at-arms; Lokeij is chief hostler and in charge of communications for the rebels as well as weapons storage. Rihani is their healer and nursemaid to the two youngest Balitangs. On Lombyn Island, Visda is related to Ulasim and helps Aly herd her goats when she needs to do her spying; Fesgao, man-at-arms and war leader of the rebel army; Falthin is the castle bowyer who takes Nawat in for his fletching; and, Ochobu, a raka mage. Junai Dodeka is Ulasim’s daughter. A warrior. And now bodyguard to Aly.

Prince Bronau Jimajen, an arrogant luarin who despises the raka, is a close friend of the Duke with a strong desire for power and a very weak character. He is also brother to Prince Rubinyan, who is married to Princess Imajane, mad King Oron’s half-sister. Their three-year-old son, Dunevon, is second-in-line to the throne after Hazarin, the king’s son.

Kyprioth is the Great God to the raka. The Trickster. Mithros is the Great God to the luarin; the god Kyprioth impersonates. He and the Great Goddess, Alanna’s patroness, are siblings to Kyprioth, but several hundred years ago they overthrew Kyprioth and the raka.

The Cover and Title

This is one ugly cover! The title is all about the god’s choice, a Trickster’s Choice of the proper person for the job.