Written by the amazing Tamora Peirce. this trilogy is an adrenaline ride from start to finish.
Over the past three years I have been systematically going through her entire library of books. I’ve now read everything she’s published with the exception of short stories and comics.
It was an amazing journey, I feel like I watched her and her world grow with every book. Her encouragement of new authors on her site and her own journey as an author has helped push me towards publishing my own novels.
Below is my review. For more information on how and why I review books read my post here.
With a three book series, it’s easy to fall into the trap of developing too many characters. These books find a perfect number of characters. Enough characters to hide the twist villain, or villains, but not enough to force the reader to take notes.
As for the main character, Beka is strong, intelligent, and great at her job. She has her flaws, that make her human and several attributes that make her feel real.
The secondary characters have lives around the main plots and main character. It’s easy for an author to assume that nothing interesting happens to the secondary characters when the main character isn’t around. That never happens to Mrs. Pierce, it always feels like there’s a novel hiding with the secondary characters, a new and exciting story. It’s never enough to throw you out of the story but it’s enough to feel real.
For characters, I give it 4 out of 5
This trilogy is a departure in multiple ways for Mrs. Pierce and for the world of Tortall. It’s the first Procedural, the first series that doesn’t have a large story arc, and the first to be written as series of journal entries.
Each book flows from one to the other but the stories are separate. Characters and lives flow between each but not mysteries. The procedural aspects of the book are fantastic. After getting used to the slang journal, I found I really enjoyed it.
The only negative I can see was the lack of rest. After the first few establishing chapters it was non stop action. I would have liked a few chapters of rest to let my poor heart rate return to normal.
For what it was, it was good. I give it 4 out of 5.
The story in each of the books was fantastic. Possibly her best work and definitely some of the best books I’ve read.
That said there were a few things that bugged me. Not to go too much into detail but there was one character that felt tacked on and not all that important. Pounce is her magical cat. I found he was a little too powerful and for that reason she needed to find reasons why he disappeared. It was a nice tie in with her first Tortall Series but I found it unnecessary.
The one part of Mrs. Pierce’s writing that I don’t particularly like is her romantic plots. It often feels like her characters just fall into the relationships. I’m not sure what’s missing exactly but I feel it happens too easily.
These are little nit picks that don’t greatly affect my enjoyment.
I give the story 5 out of 5
In my opinion, Tamora Pierce is one of the best Young Adult writers. Her stories are entertaining, intelligent, and well thought out. It’s nice to find an author who doesn’t continuously writes female characters as boy crazy, indecisive dolts.
This series is my favourite for the year so far. They are a lot of fun.
If you have never read a book by Tamora Pierce or if you’ve read everything she’s published, you should enjoy this series. It has enough links to the rest of the series but is completely understandable without having read anything else.
I give it 5 out of 5 for fun
Final score is 90%