mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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Well & truly trapped. (66)

Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce.

The Stormwing crouched down
steel feathers & bloody hands:
gnashed its teeth at her.

Jenny had enthusiastically recommended this; she read it on her e-reader & then went on to buy it, & the sequel, in hard copy. So first off, that happens, huh? Trickster's Choice is the tale of a young noblewoman who becomes a slave & eventually a spymaster. She's helped along the way by a trickster god & a shapeshifting crow. Having said that, you really miss out on the scope & breadth of the story with a short little plot summary like that. Much more germane is Alianne, the character. Tamora Pierce is known for her strong female protagonists, but I've never read her work until now; & now, I agree. She, like Cherie Priest, writes strong characters of varying ethnicities & gender, without any convenient loopholes. The world of Tamora Pierce's creation (& focus of her many different novels) is one where racism & sexism exist, which makes the characters rebelling against that have some bite to it, some teeth. Alianne, the white (sorry, luarin) slave, works with the young noble daughters of a family, themselves of mixed race (half rakka). Those daughters, Dovesary & Saraiyu, get attention, depth, faceting. It isn't just a super-competent main character; it runs the gamut. If excellence is your thing, though-- this is definitely an exercise in "competence porn." The characters are great, & great at things. Easily the most memorable part of the supporting cast is Nawat Crow-- a crow who becomes a boy. His general sort of innocent sociopathic behavior is really charming. It is also very helpful for the reader to have a character on their side, in terms of plot twists. Every reader with a head for plit can see trouble coming from a certain quarter a mile away; the human characters have to play along with the story & not narratively "cheat." & it isn't that Nawat breaks the fourth wall...he's just got common sense & a mean streak.
Tags: books, haiku, pierce, trickster's
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