Trickster's Queen (Aliane)

by Tamora Pierce

Hardcover, 2004

Status

Available

Local notes

Fic Pie

Collection

Publication

Random House (2004), Edition: Hardcover, 467 pages. $17.95.

Description

Aly fails to foresee the dangers that await as she uses her magic to safeguard Dova and her younger siblings, despite knowing that her thirteen-year-old charge might be queen of the Copper Isles when the colonial rulers are defeated.

Language

Original publication date

2004

Physical description

467 p.; 8.18 inches

ISBN

0375828788 / 9780375828782

Barcode

417

User reviews

LibraryThing member fyrefly98
Summary: When the Balitang family is recalled to the capital city after spending a year in exile, Aly is excited - being near the center of the government will make it that much easier to help spread the Raka rebellion that has been quietly fomenting amongst the servants and peasants in the countryside. However, the Raka are not the only ones plotting overthrow; the Luarin nobles are also displeased with the rule of the King's regents. Aly must use all her talents to navigate the two rebellions, bring down a kingdom, and restore the rule of the Copper Isles to the proper hands, all while keeping herself and those she cares about safe.

Review: This book shouldn't have been as enjoyable as it was. Aly spends most of the book acting as spymaster for the Balitangs and the Raka rebellion. However, the problem with acting as spymaster is that you have to sit around collating and distributing information while other people are doing all of the fun stuff, and the problem with writing a book about a spymaster is that your readers have to watch them... sit around collating and distributing information. Not exactly riveting action - and yet, it still managed to hold my attention.

Another reason I shouldn't have enjoyed this novel was that it was pretty predictable. Putting a prophecy in the beginning of your fantasy novel is kind of a double-bind situation. If the prophecy means what it says on first glance, then great, you've just given away the end of your book. But, on the other hand, most readers know that prophecies never mean what they say at first glance, and so will be scouring the text for clues as to the big twist. Even apart from the fact that Tamora Pierce's books all follow the same basic course, I figured out how most things in this novel were going to go from very early on. And yet, I still kept reading, wanting to know how the things I knew were coming were going to go down.

So, the fact that I kept listening, even in the face of predictability and mainly off-screen action, should speak pretty highly for the enjoyability of this book. I think Tamora Pierce's books are essentially YA fantasy comfort food: no big surprises, nothing too challenging, just reliable, solid, entertaining YA fantasy, complete with strong female characters, meddlesome gods, and little hints of romance. I was also thrilled to see the Darkings again. They were one of my favorite things (creatures? characters?) from the Immortals series, and they added some very cute, funny moments to Trickster's Queen. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Not great, but solidly good if you're in the mood for light YA fantasy. Plus, if you've already read Trickster's Choice, this one is pretty much required reading.
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LibraryThing member sara_k
Trickster's Queen is sequel to Trickster's Choice. Aliane, daughter of the spymaster of Tortall, runs away from home in search of adventure and in a fit of temper. Adventure finds her! She is taken by pirates and sold as a slave in the Copper Islands. In Choice Aly is sold to a leading family who is in disgrace. The Trickster God Kyprioth has plans for Aly; her spying skills and quick wits help the family survive and bring power to Kyprioth.

In Trickster's Queen, the family is back in the capitol city and the raka revolution is at hand. Sarai, the expected Queen to be, is anxious at the stress and does not seem solid in her leadership. Aly struggles to keep the chain of rebellion linked, to manage her "job" as maid, and her love life with crow turned man Nawat.

The cost of rebellion, even against a corrupt regime, is spelled out many ways. Innocent people will suffer and die and the rebellion must weigh the costs and benefits. Unfortunately the regime cares only about retaining power. Perhaps the rebels can make this work for them even as they despise the attitude.

Aly is also playing a risky game by keeping secret from the rebellion her ties to Tortall.

A nice series from the author of the Alanna series and the Circle of Magic series directed at older readers.

Strong smart female characters are a signature of Tamora Pierce.
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LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
There are some good points to this book - for example, it leads up well to the final twist, and Nawat grows as a character. However, Aly is still an extreme Mary Sue and the more interesting characters still don't do as much as they could (or should).
LibraryThing member magemanda
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 be more exciting.
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LibraryThing member nimoloth
[Contains Spoilers]

I love this book, as I do any or Pierce's Tortall books. I think this (and it's predecessor) could be my next favourites after The Immortals simply for it's depth and quality of writing that some of the others don't posess as much, even though it's not set in Tortall. The characters are much more complex and developed in this than some of the earlier books, particularly Aly and Dove. I love the complex intrigue of the book, and in fact found it quite confusing at times! All this espionage and court intrigue, and so many names to keep track of!

Aly is a very likeable girl, and this is definitely aimed at readers a bit older than the previous Tortall sets. The author takes Nawat out of this book for about two thirds, no doubt to focus more on the story and Aly without having to fit in romance, but he comes back later and there's all the romance you could want! The other characters were also well rounded and likable, although I found Sarai rather annoying at times (although that's probably meant to be the case). There were also a few moments in this book that brought tears to my eyes, which not many books do. That's a sign of strong writing that makes you really care for the characters. Are the raka based on Indian or African culture? I think it's meant to be Indian, but I mostly see them as African rather than Indian in appearance.

I also didn't always see where the story was going, so there were a few nice (or not so nice) surprises for me.

The epilogue was nice - it rounded things off a bit. It was good to hear about characters from the other books, although it does seem sometimes a bit contrived, but I don't mind! Daine has children - Sarralyn and Rikash. It was interesting that Aly was pregnant and married - quite a different ending to her other books. Settled, family, job...!
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LibraryThing member melissarecords
The sequel to Trickster's Choice. The action in this sequel to Trickster's Choice moves from the country estate of the Balitang family back to the capitol city of Rajmuat. Aly and her raka compatriots continue their plotting to overthrow the luarin-run government of the Copper Isles.
LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
This is very much about how a group of people go about taking power from a set of invaders. This is almmost exclusively politics with a little bit of magic and gods thrown in for interest. Not one of my favourites of hers but interesting all the same.
Aly is an interesting and rounded character and her crises of conscience about the job she has to do and the consequences of her actions are actually quite interesting. It's really a coming of age novel and ends with Aly having to make some serious choices about her future and where she belongs. There were a few characters I would have liked to see more of but you can't have everything.… (more)
LibraryThing member knielsen83
This book was just as fabulous as the first in the two-part series. I really enjoyed the main character - Aly and her adventures through being a spymaster for a would-be queen. There are some great twists and turns and really hits the spot for a fantasy action/adventure novel.
LibraryThing member hailelib
Just couldn't resist stopping by the library yesterday and picking up this book. I started immediately and just finished. Quite enjoyable although the various plot twists were somewhat predictable. As in any revolution some of the important people die but Aly and her chosen mistress come out the other end doing what they were meant to do. For those who enjoy YA fantasy this pair of books is recommended.… (more)
LibraryThing member Fourborne
Too many characters to keep up with. The first book was excellent.
LibraryThing member thelorelei
I actually slightly prefer this book to "Trickster's Choice," because this is where the intrigue gains exponentially in intensity. There are so many things going on at all times, it captivated my attention fully whenever I read it and I'd look up to find that an hour and a half had passed in what felt like twenty minutes. Aly also comes into her own as a talented spy, and as a woman. Whereas in the previous book the characters were all sort of green and fumbling, here they each seem to crystallize in skill and determination. This transformation was accomplished deftly, remaining true to the heart of the characters. I also loved the addition of the darkings, who are just inescapably, ridiculously cute. I can't help myself when they're around.
This pair of books just may be Pierce's most densely woven, and it's a pleasure to see how well she executes such a complicated plot involving prophecies, gods, racism, oppression, colonialism, rebellion, and conspiracy.
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LibraryThing member CeridwynR
Ally is totally my favourite of Tamora Pierce's heroines. I love that she isn't a fighter, but a politician and trickster. I love her manipulative feistiness and that she's trying her best to do what's right, even when she has to do dodgy things to have that happen.
LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
I love Pierce's books, high fantasy young adult works featuring strong heroines and this is among her best set in Tortall. I loved the milleu depicted in this book, which reminded me of Indonesia somewhat. This is the second book centered on Aly, daughter of Alanna from the Lioness Quartet and I like this one even more than the first, Trickster's Choice; in this one Aly becomes a spymaster and I loved reading of all the political intrigue. And I loved how the darklings were featured in this book. I was surprised to find out that among her characters Aly is the one Pierce likes the least. I think she's my favorite, even though Keladry gives her a run for her money. But then I think the very qualities that put Pierce off are exactly what I find attractive. I love Aly's cunning. She's well-named as a trickster who triumphs using her brain and not a sword.… (more)
LibraryThing member CeridwynR
Ally is totally my favourite of Tamora Pierce's heroines. I love that she isn't a fighter, but a politician and trickster. I love her manipulative feistiness and that she's trying her best to do what's right, even when she has to do dodgy things to have that happen.
LibraryThing member Nikkles
A great end to the series. I only wish there were more books to read in it!
LibraryThing member Crowyhead
I kept putting off reading Trickster's Queen, because I loved Trickster's Choice so much and was afraid the sequel wouldn't live up to it. I needn't have worried -- this delivers on all the promise of the first book and brings things to a highly satisfying conclusion. Certain plot "twists" seemed heavily broadcasted to me, but other portions were genuinely surprising, and the whole thing is nicely suspenseful. Aly remains possibly my favorite Pierce heroine.… (more)
LibraryThing member TeenBookReviews
Aly has been chosen by the trickster god Kyprioth to help him reclaim the Copper Isles that once were seat of power. To do this Aly must get the “twice royal” queen of prophecy safely on the throne, which means leading an all out rebellion against the current rulers. One of Pierce’s best books. Readers are introduced to the cast of Trickster’s Queen in Trickster’s Choice and this second book neatly concludes Aly’s tale. Pierce’s world, as always, is well planned and contains details that bring the world to life for the reader. Characters are intriguing and very human and there is a nice twist in the novel that brings about an unforeseen result. I would recommend this book (and any Tamora Pierce novel) to readers who are looking for a good fantasy novel.… (more)
LibraryThing member alwright1
Aly has been working as a spymaster for a group of Raka rebels intent on placing a prophesied ruler on the throne of the Copper Isles. The time for planning is over and the time for action is coming. Aly must use all the skills she learned growing up as the daughter of the Whisper Man of Tortall to keep her charges and herself safe and replace the wicked holders of the crown.

I enjoyed the Trickster books almost as much as I enjoyed the Alanna and Kel books. It seems that even though I have a few books to go in this world, that they are set before the others in time, and I'm going to miss seeing everyone grow up and have families like I have been able to do so far. The characters in these two were a ton of fun, although some of the plot was easily guessed ahead of time. Now on to the Bekka Cooper books.
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LibraryThing member SandyAMcPherson
If you enjoyed the Alanna series, this sequel is even better. Alanna and George Cooper's daughter goes off on her own and has a great adventure in Trickster’s Choice; this is the sequel.
LibraryThing member Rosa.Mill
This is the second of the Daughter of the Lioness books. The majority of the book is spent preparing for war and sowing discord into the Retevon Kings household. The book does address the reality of war and unwanted casualties. Elsren and the young king both die, and while that does actually help the conspiracy, they are all saddened by the deaths of children. The raka do finally realize that if they don't want to be embroiled in constant war after they take over they need to work with as many luarin as possible. In the end Aly does choose to stay with Dove instead of going home.… (more)
LibraryThing member Rosa.Mill
This is the second of the Daughter of the Lioness books. The majority of the book is spent preparing for war and sowing discord into the Retevon Kings household. The book does address the reality of war and unwanted casualties. Elsren and the young king both die, and while that does actually help the conspiracy, they are all saddened by the deaths of children. The raka do finally realize that if they don't want to be embroiled in constant war after they take over they need to work with as many luarin as possible. In the end Aly does choose to stay with Dove instead of going home.… (more)
LibraryThing member JenJ.
I actually didn't care as much for this one as I did for Trickster's Choice. It felt like the first book was all of the character setup and this book was all of the action - maybe it would have worked better as only one book. I also think I was far more interested in Dove as a character than in Aly. Still - great fun. I really can't get enough of Pierce's books. Trini Alvarado who did the Lioness quartet, narrates the Listening Library edition adeptly. One additional note - the tracking is too long with some tracks as long as 8 to 10 minutes. Listened to CD edition. Previously read.… (more)
LibraryThing member Rosa.Mill
This is the second of the Daughter of the Lioness books. The majority of the book is spent preparing for war and sowing discord into the Retevon Kings household. The book does address the reality of war and unwanted casualties. Elsren and the young king both die, and while that does actually help the conspiracy, they are all saddened by the deaths of children. The raka do finally realize that if they don't want to be embroiled in constant war after they take over they need to work with as many luarin as possible. In the end Aly does choose to stay with Dove instead of going home.… (more)
LibraryThing member ElizabethJoseph
4.5 stars.Highly recommended, but read all of the Tortall books in chronological order first.

Song of the lioness
the immortals
protector of the small
trickster's series/daughter of the lioness (this is the second book)
beka cooper
LibraryThing member AltheaAnn
Trickster's Choice
Trickster's Queen - Tamora Pierce

One story, two books.
These are also actually a follow-up to "The Song of the Lioness" quartet, which I haven't read. They are about the daughter of the heroine of those novels, so these do stand alone - but on the other hand, I felt that I was probably missing some of the world-background that had been drawn in the previous books.
These tell the story of the 16-year-old Aly, who has grown up in her famous mother's shadow, but has also been trained in spycraft by her father. Although she's eager to 'grow up,' her parents don't seem to want her to actually work as a spy (this is really a flaw in the book, from my perspective, because why else would they have trained her to BE a spy from early childhood?) Rebelliously, she runs away, is kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave - but, luckily, she is Chosen by a Trickster god to become involved in an incipient rebellion on the colonial islands she is sold into. Therefore, he makes sure she is sold to the Nicest Slaveowners EVER, and she is charged with guarding their children, including two half-breed daughters who just happen to be royalty on both sides of the family. Lots of intrigue and action ensues...
Fun story, with some not-too-overbearing commentary on racism, colonialism, etc, as well as some somewhat-too-obvious Advice For Young Women regarding appropriate relationships and self-respect.
However, Aly is just RIDICULOUSLY competent. There's nothing she can't do, seemingly - and if there was a possibility she couldn't do it, her god-patron helps her out. Her romance (and it is a rather sweet one) proceeds without a hint of a problem... (but maybe I objected to that just because I have been feeling rather bitter about romance this month!) Quite a lot of the events are very much idealized and not very believable - but this is pretty much a fairytale, after all...
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(838 ratings; 4.2)
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