by Tamora Pierce (Goodreads Author)
I was disappointed in this book. So disappointed in Alanna. She makes very bad decisions,
and has sex at the young age of 16. Seriously??? Why was that even included in this book? That whole storyline was awful, and the romance was so awkward it made me cringe. A couple of kisses and she just hops into bed with the guy. That is NOT okay. I thought this was a middle grade book!! I am NOT HAPPY about this. Urgh.
The rest of the book I liked though. There’s a fantastic storyline about the war with the neighboring kingdom of Tusaine, and it’s all spying and intrigue and battles. Alanna really shines, as she inspires those around her with loyalty. They see how hard-working and caring she is, always putting the needs of others before herself. She uses her limited magic to heal wounded soldiers, and throws herself into battle to protect her friends. I loved her character during those scenes!
The big finale was excellent, as Alanna finally confronts the hidden enemy of the palace of Tortall, the trusted adviser, that wily sorcerer that no one can ever catch in the act. I loved how the intricacies of the magic system played out in this plot! It really came together beautifully for a satisfying ending.
I was not impressed with the Ordeal of Knighthood, since the whole scene went by rather quickly and I didn’t have time to feel how frightened Alanna was. After all that buildup, it fell flat and it wasn’t even scary. It seemed like sloppy writing to me.
Overall, good things and bad things in this book. I am not a happy reader at this point, but I did enjoy a few parts of the story. I will still continue with the rest of the series, but it is with a bitter heart and a word of caution to other readers. I’m just so angry about the terrible romance plot! Gah!