Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Share (4) : Heroines in Classics

Friday Share is a weekly meme hosted here at Spare Reads to spotlight 1-2 novels at a time based on a particular theme.

Guess what? It's Friday again! "So?" you ask, well, it's time for Friday Share :) I know you have been looking forward to this all week, right? Right? (Don't lie, you know you want it!) 

For this week, I would like to show off two awesome heroines from some classic fantasy novels you may have missed out. Personally, I'm a big fan for strong female MCs. If you add a high fantasy setup to it, I will be happier than ever. So behold my friends, here come Alanna and Sabriel!

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of Lioness, #1)
by Tamora Pierce
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release: Jan 1st 2005 (first published in 1983)
Pages: 274
From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight."

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.

But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins -- one that will leard to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.

Alanna's journey continues...

My Notes:

Recently, I reviewed Defy by Sara Larson. One of the commenters, Lauren, mentioned how the story and setup sounded very similar to Alanna's. She is certainly right. When I pulled up Alanna on Goodreads, I was immediately intrigued by the premise. A world like those in Arthurian tales plus an adventurous heroine who is fierce and determined. I can already tell I would love it. Tamora Pierce is  also a much more experienced and successful writer, I'm eager to see the story and the wonderful world she created.

Sabriel (The Abhorsen Trilogy, #1)
by Garth Nix
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Release: Sep 30th 1996 (first published in 1995)
Pages: 491
Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn't always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether. 
My Notes:

I got this book for Christmas from one of my friends. He has always been telling me how great this book is and perhaps eventually decided such gem must be shared and spread. Garth Nix is quite a notable YA fantasy writer with several famous series under his belt. The Abhorsen Trilogy, or the Old Kingdom series is the best of his bests. I have not read anything from him before, but I'm excited for this opportunity.


  1. I wholeheartedly second both of these recommendations. I read both of these series when I was in high school, and after all these years, they still stuck with me. The Abhorsen trilogy focuses on necromancers, which is really different from what you see now in high fantasy. I actually wish the series was longer, but luckily, I hear Garth Nix is releasing a fourth book in the series this year! I'm so excited for that.

    As for Alanna... Omg, I won't deny that I am a HUGE Tamora Pierce fan. Practically every one of her series feature at least one kickass heroine, and I love the themes in her book. If you like Alanna, you should definitely try the rest of the books set in the Tortall universe. Alanna was her first series, so the writing was a bit juvenile, but it only improves exponentially after that.

    Sorry for gushing so much, but anyway, thumbs up for both of these books.

    1. Haha, I'm glad you like them this much ;) Looks like I need to read them ASAP then!!

  2. I haven't read Alanna yet, but I have read Sabriel, and I really enjoyed it. If you're a fan of strong female MCs, you will definitely enjoy it.

    1. I'm counting on it :P Though my TBR keeps growing bigger and bigger exponentially, so ... we will see. I hope to read them both soon!

  3. Unfortunately, I haven't been all that well read in fantasy classics, so I haven't heard of these two before. They both sound pretty cool. Thanks for posting the goodreads links to them! And great post! :)

    1. Me neither but I hope to change that soon :P They both sound like amazing stories!

  4. I remember reading almost all of Tamora Pierce's books in middle school, and Alanna's series was the one that pulled me in first. I'm definitely going to reread them one day now that you brought them up again :)

    1. Enjoy ;) I bet you will feel so much differently reading it now comparing to before. Oh man, maybe we should buddy read it!

  5. Angel, I'm glad my comment inspired you! I agree with Jackie and Val, I read Tamora Pierce's books when I was younger and they made a great impression on me. The stories have such deep imagination and description and though all of her series feature different characters, they're inter-connected in one world that just draws you in. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on it later, especially since that may be what makes my decision to whether read Defy or not. ;)