Read Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce Online


When the Balitang family returns from exile in the highlands, Aly once more accompanies them - this time travelling as one of their maids. Chaos and intrigue await the household in the steamy, exotic city of Rajmuat, where Aly must constantly prove to friends, foes and family that she both is, and is not, who she says she is.Such is the life of a spymaster, and a master spWhen the Balitang family returns from exile in the highlands, Aly once more accompanies them - this time travelling as one of their maids. Chaos and intrigue await the household in the steamy, exotic city of Rajmuat, where Aly must constantly prove to friends, foes and family that she both is, and is not, who she says she is.Such is the life of a spymaster, and a master spy is what Aly was raised to be.In Trickster's Queen the intrepid Aly continues her quest to win a wager with the Trickster god and put a rebel queen on the throne of the Copper Isles....

Title : Trickster's Queen
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781865047409
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 592 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Trickster's Queen Reviews

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-06-16 12:07

    $1.99 Kindle sale, November 2017. This is the second half of an excellent YA fantasy duology set in the world of Tortall, featuring Aly, the daughter of Alanna (the main character in Tamora Pierce's SONG OF THE LIONESS quartet of books). Aly has managed to keep, well, most of Duke Mequen's family alive while she was their slave. Now she's freed by the family, but still serving them as they leave the remote island where they had been exiled and head back to the main island of the Copper Islands, into high society where conspiracies and intrigue abound. Full review to come.

  • Amanda
    2019-06-01 10:26

    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.

  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    2019-06-12 08:28

    The first half of the book is considerably slower than book one and seemed much more political, but I loved the inclusion of the Darkings (FUN!) and once things finally picked up, they didn't stop until the end. I have to say the entire story arc of this duology is one of my favorites of the Tortallverse -- seriously, a realm where power is passed down through the women? HECK YES. Gimme that all day long. Dove is probably in my top 5 favorite characters to ever come out of the Tortall world; I would LOVE a book about her after the events of the Trickster books, or even a prequel describing how she and Sarai grew up. Everything about this world is so intricate and fascinating to me.

  • E
    2019-06-05 06:31

    Well, that was disappointing. I had hoped that the story would evolve from the stage that Pierce had set up in the first book, that the rather non-existant stakes that Aly had faced would become something more substantial once the Balitangs returned to Rajmuat. Somehow things managed to come even easier to Aly than before and while I admired the old-school spy games of the first book they now seem to require little effort, relying on magic and gods' whims to do all the work. All the villains are cartoon-ish and fumbling. Aly is once again smarter than everyone and everything comes easily. When things don't go according to her plans it usually somehow saves her from a difficult decision that would otherwise have given the story some dimension and the character some grit.(view spoiler)[The head of the King's guard easily figures Aly out as spy, except of course he conveniently isn't interested in politics and doesn't care as long as she doesn't go near Dunevon, passing up the opportunity to give her a worthy adversary. Sarai just happens to run off with a Carthak to clear the way for her more suitable sister to head the revolution instead of Aly dealing with the fact that the "twice royal" first born she is trying to put on the throne may not be substantial enough to be queen. Elsran and Dunevon die in the mage storm at the fault of the villains when Aly was putting off deciding how to handle the children who were in her way without killing them, something that was actually presenting a dilemma. And Imajane commits suicide as opposed to requiring any sort of confrontation with her.(hide spoiler)] Any time Aly's spy-work would fall short despite her best efforts there is some sort of magical creature, power or deus ex machina (often the deus part is literal) that allows her to see and hear all things. I loved the magic of Tortall in the Lioness books, but here it is overused and Aly hardly has to break a sweat when overthrowing a small country. Other characters thank the god for bringing Aly to them in every other chapter, to the point where I really could have stood to see her taken down a peg...or 10.The only thing that doesn't seem to come easily to Aly is perhaps her romantic pursuits. Nawat changed his disposition since the last book but since it all happened off page it comes across as forced. He is absent for most of the book, and while I really like when character's romantic pursuits are not at the forefront of the story, I felt a little robbed of seeing his character growth that I had so looked forward to. He reappears as a less enjoyable, less original character and we don't even get to find out how he got to that place firsthand. His crow friends also appear less in the story, replaced by jar-jar binks-esque little glob creatures I seriously could have done without. We were told Aly grew as a character, the same way we're told she was a bit frivolous before the pirate raid, though there is a lot of telling and less showing. Without Aly's wager with the Trickster the narrative arc just lost it's compass. (view spoiler)[The ending was very unsatisfying. They just gloss over the ramifications of Aly staying in Rajmuat as Dove's Spymaster. Everything that has happened so far has been in the interest of Tortall and there has been no conflict but Pierce doesn't even have Aly consider what will happen the day Dove makes a decision that may be best for the Copper Isles but bad for Tortall. Where do her loyalties lie then? What happens when she has to play spy vs spy with her own father due to politics? Instead it's written off as a joke in the epilogue "hey dad, get your spies out of the copper isles. Heheh, even though I know you will just get new ones *wink*" with Aly pregnant and married. It just felt dumbed down compared to the Lioness books. (hide spoiler)]

  • Carolynn
    2019-05-24 11:27

    Tamora Pierce was part of my literary diet when I was growing up. The combination of Western fantasy with Western science fiction means that even now I picture the fantasy city with wide boulevards, low-gabled houses, and amber sunlight dappling the warm streets.Malheureusement, growing up one comes to perceive the limitations of such a treatment of the genre.Trickster’s Queen, then, is a painful reread because I approach it this time with a new clarity of vision. It is a story, essentially, about colonialism.I mentioned to a friend how the Daughter of the Lioness stories distinctly map onto the USAmerican presence in the Philippines.Pierce’s Tortall is a place where dogs are trained in Malay, after all – if Pierce can come up with faux-foreign vocabulary for all the other regions of her world, I find it shameless to simply grab Malay wholesale.But, to return to this book: in Trickster’s Queen, the white woman convinces the indigenous peoples to support a mestizo regime because she and only she knows what will save them. She is kingmaker, power-broker, saviour all in one. In the Trickster’s Queen universe, this is unquestionably a righteous happening; Aly is vindicated by the appearance of demigods who hail her for her political and military intervention in the Copper Isles.I find it remarkable how the parallel of the novel’s plot with historical and contemporary USAmerican influences in Southeast Asia could fail to escape readers. The book’s and author’s politics – Pierce has written, for example, short stories whose plot boils down to ‘save the niqabis from themselves’ – are distasteful enough that, if I ever have a nostalgic craving for the Summersea quartets, it’ll be heigh ho, heigh ho to the library instead.

  • Brian Wilkerson
    2019-06-01 12:21

    I have to say I did not like this one as well as the first. My reasons for thus are as follow: 1. the plot wasn't as structured as the first. 2. The villains are so incompetent Aly glides through the plot easily. 3. Things that 'go wrong' are actually helpful for the heroes. 4. Aly's relationship with Nawat feels off. Still a book worth reading but not as good as the first. First my beef with the plot. The story begins with Aly and the Balitangs returning to the capital from their place in the country. The ultimate goal being to overturn the Rittevons and install Sarah as the new monarch, who would then end the slavery of the raka and make the Copper Islands a nice place to live for everyone. After that, though, it kind of muddles along without any kind of climbing action. Aly does her spy thing, Sarah does her social butterfly thing, the Rittevons show off how oppressive they are, and suddenly there's this big battle where the standing government more or less implodes. The first book had this steady progression toward the end of summer where "Aly would win or lose her wage" with the god Kyprioth but this book lacks any sense of progression. Second is the incompetent villains. The first villain, the Rittevon king, dies of old age. His son from gluttony. Neither does anything. The king's daughter is just cold and ruthless and almost a single existence with her husband. They rarely act apart so its hard to see them as two characters. Their spymaster (Aly's counterpart) is old and arrogant and, in a word, decayed. Aly mentally lists all the things he's doing wrong, while he sloppily interogates her, and at the end decides he won't be a threat. While this could have been a bluff to get her overconfident, he really isn't a threat and is later executed by the Rittevons for being so useless. His replacement is worse and never gets their own scene. The ONE person smart enough to figure out that Aly is a spy (possibly a spymaster) for the Raka rebels, and could therefore do a lot of damage to their network, is an anti-villain who really cares for nothing but the harmless puppet king controlled by his older and eviler relatives. Third is the lack of resistance. In addition to the harmless villains Aly doesn't have any other problems except her relationship with Nawat. There are two occasions where she is outwitted or out manuvered but both of them help her cause. Not a HUGE problem as Aly points out how the first one is better than what they had planned and that the second one is unfortunately necessary but still, the fact that these are the only problems with her revolt weaken the drama and the sense of victory at the end. Four is Aly's relationship with Nawat. At the end of book 1 she isn't interested in Nawat's offer of a relationship. At the start of book 2 she's accepted and somehow the tables are turned: she's the one that likes their relationship and Nawat's the one that's pulling away. It's because he wants a serious relationship instead of a casual one but its still weird. It could be seen as a sign of Aly's character development as she didn't want to get too involved with anything (a problem that started off the first book) but seeing her suddenly love sick is too weird. Bottom line is: if you liked the first book than you should give this one a try.

  • Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
    2019-05-21 04:32

    In Trickster's Queen, Aly's role has slowly turned into Spy Master. Yes, she's… what, 18 at this point? And she's working with raka people who have been planing this for generations. But, she has the talent and the skills to be an amazing spy master, and the raka aren't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Unfortunately for us as a reader, this means Aly spend a lot of time reading reports and attending meetings. But Pierce doesn't make this dull or boring. While Aly might not be directly involved in all the events shaping the impending revolution, she is obviously pulling the strings. What I love most about this is when characters who don't know Aly are introduced to her as a spy master, they all guffaw. But Aly proves herself every time. It's lovely. As I said, this wasn't as strong a book as the first. I love how everything resolved and how not everything went Aly's way. Yet… The Darkings. I adore how they are characterized. They are small and adventuresome and just looking for "Fun!". I listened to the audiobook, and they were depicted with adorable tiny, squeeky voices. It was perfect. And yet it was such an easy way for Aly to get everything she needed. It felt a bit like cheating at spying, honestly. I would have enjoyed them more if they had been fed lies that trapped Aly, or if more of them had been caught. Also-- our Royal Baddies were incompetent. They couldn't get their stuff together no matter what. It was weird. The first Rittevon king just dies of old age. Okay, I can forgive that. The next Rittevon king dies from gluttony, which he more or less does to himself in a strange suicide because he doesn't want to be King. ...Weird. So, we get to the newest Rittevon king, a five-year-old boy. Obviously, his mother and father become Regents and they are completely incompetent. Which blows my mind. Rubinyan has schemed and plotted his whole life trying to get to this point. Yet, suddenly with the power of the throne around him, everything falls apart. And Imajane seems to have inherited the kingly line of lunacy. So, one regent is going crazy and doing all sorts of crazy things to make the kingdom fear and distrust her, while Rubinyan is just trying to keep her in line. What? It just makes everything so much easier for Aly and the conspirators.That said, I didn't dislike this book. I was enraptured with the story Pierce wove. Now that they are so close to putting the Twice Royal Queen on the throne, we really get to know the raka conspirators much better. They have grown to trust Aly. We watch they relationships develop and deepen within their ranks, as well as with the other members of the Balitang household. A few characters even took turns I wasn't expecting, and I found that some of my favorite characters by the end of the book were unexpected. In the end, I loved how intelligent this duology is. The relationships, plots, and politics are all well crafted. I even found it exciting, which I didn't expect! The plot had a fluidity that felt real since things couldn’t always go as planned for our conspirators. In the end, this was a great tale and I hope many of you are willing to explore the story. After all, we have a bratty 16-year-old who turns into a strong female spy master. Aly's transformation is remarkable and completely realistic. What is there not to like?

  • Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    2019-06-09 09:34

    I would have read this book right after finishing Trickster's Choice but I'm always afraid there'll be too much rehashing of previous events etc., which gets really annoying. Instead, there's very very little, and what there is is slipped in there naturally. I was rather surprised at the things I'd forgotten, like about Duke Mequen! That was pretty significant, I'm surprised I'd forgotten that.The Balitang family return to the capital of Rajmuat where the formidable matriarch of the family, Aunt Niritin, has things well in hand. The conspiracy amongst the Raka and the household servants, with Aly as spymaster, has some serious clout and Dove on their side. The Regents of the Rittevon boy-king, Dunevon, are suspicious, prickly, unloved and reactive; it doesn't take much from Aly to aggravate their worst points and turn the populace against them, though they certainly didn't need much help for that. Nawat, the crow-man, leaves Aly to help the rebels on other islands and to grow into himself. Gifts from Aly's home make things really interesting.The relationships and politics in this particular volume are handled very well - never boring, even the plotting is exciting. What Pierce did with Sarai and Dove I absolutely love - she's not an author to be boxed in but allows for change and fluidity, and it worked out better than the original plan. I adored the darkings, which were very original and fresh and entertaining. While I did find that Aly's personal thoughts and feelings weren't delved into enough, especially in relation to Nawat, had I been reading this at 14, say, I would have been very satisfied. Probably my imagination was more active at the time and needed less direction?There's great intelligence and craftiness in this duology, as well as enjoyable characters and unique fantasy elements. Highly recommended; just don't be distracted by a few cringe-inducing past tense verbs - "treaded" is NOT a word, the past tense of "tread" is "trod". Grrr.

  • Tawnie
    2019-05-23 06:13

    Grades: 7 to 10 Genre: FantasyNo longer a slave, Aly’s life is still far from simple as she has become part of the plot to place a Raka queen on the throne of the Copper Isles. Over the winter she has become a master of spies for the rebellion. Another complication in her life is her relationship with the half man, half crow Nawat. He wants to solidify their relationship and can’t understand Aly’s hesitation. The family Aly serves is moving back to the city to become part of the court there. Hoping to use the Balitangs return to favor to further the rebellion, Aly makes new contact in the city and starts to move the plot forward. While at first it appears that Sarai, the oldest Balitang daughter, is the one of which the prophecy speaks of, but time makes it apparent that it is indeed Dove who will become the new queen. Aly’s charm and wit continue to make this book enjoyable. The quick moving plot and sudden turns will keep readers interested.

  • Kayla Edwards
    2019-05-27 11:07

    Aly is one of my all-time favorite heroines to hail from Tortall. That she uses her intelligence and quick wit to accomplish everything that she does in astonishing. I love getting lost in the dark and twisty place that is the spy world of the Copper Isles. I've read these books so many times and will continue to do so - I just can't get enough. Highly recommended to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

  • Veeska
    2019-06-10 12:18

    Usually the sequel to a book isn’t nearly as good as the first one, but this was an exception. Possibly I liked this book more than the first one.Pierce continues in her quest to put a half raka girl on the throne, and take down the current rulers who are mistreating the raka. On the way she endangers and saves and endangers again her creations, making a wonderful story.Only a few new people are introduced into this tail, but only a few are needed. If possible, I think this sequel is more action-packed than its prequel, and that’s saying a lot.Pierce even manages to close with a beautiful ending. I’m impressed, because of all the times everyone would get killed and the whole quest is for nothing. But it gets wrapped up marvelously, and everything turns out fine in the end. Of cores, there are a few deaths, but all in all it was great…and a story like that can’t have everyone live. It just wouldn’t be possible.There is a bit of violence, but not any language that I picked up on, and the gruesome scenes aren’t described in vivid detail, so I think this book can even be for youngsters. Just make sure you read the first one, or you’ll be lost to the very end. Unlike some books, there aren’t too many reminders of who this is or what that is. You might want to read them close together so that you don’t forget too much.

  • Channah
    2019-06-14 07:20

    My main problem with the book was the main character- Aly. I thought she'd improve from the first book, but if anything, she got worse.Aly is arrogant, annoying, patronizing- the list goes on and on. Everything she does is right, everything she thinks turns out to be true, and absolutely nothing catches her off-guard. No matter what happens, she knows what to do (a teenager with no field experience) and she's not at all upset. I won't give spoilers with specific examples, but it is incredibly annoying.There's also the way that she just comes into a country and takes over the oppressed nation's rebellion. A sixteen year old servant, and she just waltzes in and takes over. Never mind that we repeatedly see that there were far more qualified leaders of the rebellion (who for some reason have no problem handing over control to someone they hardly know) who are putting much better plans into place without her (not that she's willing to learn from anyone else, of course)- Aly's in charge. Why?, it was necessary for the plot. Best answer I can come up with.Then there's her arrogance and the way she patronizes everyone (including a god... the book would have been so much better if he'd taught her the lesson she desperately needed). Aly is... what, eighteen at most? Yet she goes around calling everyone "my dear" or something equally ridiculous, and she keeps patting everyone on the cheek. Everyone, of course, doesn't mind at all, and at several points says "what a horribly arrogant and innapropriate thing to do, but it's YOU, Aly"... all I could think was "THE Captain James Tiberius Kirk?". Aly is also painfully aware of her body (okay, she's pretty. Okay, she has curves. Okay, everyone she meets falls in love with her. Okay, her character is completely perfect (despite not being anything close to it). Okay- no, wait, nothing about this is okay. News flash, Tamora Pierce- I COULDN'T CARE LESS HOW PERFECT YOUR CHARACTER IS. Good main characters have FLAWS). She's always showing it off and flirting with boys, often instead of concentrating on her work (which reminds me... Nawat, the one character I liked, goes off on some spiritual journey and comes back completely cleansed of all of his likeable traits). I think at some point she even spends a page or so detailing how she couldn't bear to tease boys anymore and she regards flirting for fun as mean and couldn't possibly do it... a scene or two later, she's back to her old tricks, maybe even worse than before.What happened? Where did Alanna go? She was a normal person. Kel was a normal person (aside from unimaginable degrees of awesomeness, but hey, anything's possible). Daine was a normal person. So where did Aly come from, with examples like this? How did this happen? Yes, she could theoretically exist... but only if she CHANGES. There is no character development, making this book painful to read. It doesn't matter about everything else, all I wanted was for someone to smack some sense into Aly. The plot also left something to be desired, but it's been a while and I don't remember exactly. Hopefully an update to follow when I have more time to think about this clearly and can write comprehensively on the plot.

  • Chelsea
    2019-05-30 08:06

    More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm.I wasn't actually planning on reading Trickster's Queen so soon after reading Trickster's Choice, but after a few books that were just "meh," I found myself in a bit of a reading slump. And when I'm in a reading slump, I like to go back to books that I know I enjoy to get me out of it.What struck me immediately upon re-reading Trickster's Queen is its great disconnect from the first book. It picks up several months and much character development after Choice, which Pierce tries to bridge with a couple pages of prologue that is essentially all info-dump about what the characters have been doing in the interim. However, the effect of this is that it feels like this is the third book in a trilogy in which the second book is missing. Most of the development of Aly's relationship with Nawat, which was so sweet and charming in the first book, is just skipped over; so is Aly's building of her position as spymaster for the growing rebellion.On the whole, however, this book has less infodumping than the first one. The prologue is the vast majority of it, and the narrative itself is less interrupted with intermittent infodumps than Choice was. Additionally, I think this one does a better job of building the environment, culture, and overall feel of the Copper Isles. Aly also really has room to come into her own and show off her skills in this book, rather than scampering to use them while also hiding them as she had to in the first book. Tensions come to a head regarding Sarai, and the twist that's hinted at all along finally actually happens. Dove continues to be an excellent character, far wiser than her years, and the integration of many of the side characters is done very well. The other minor flaw that comes to mind is that the end does feel a bit rushed; Pierce lists off a list of casualties, one of which was a major-minor character (if that makes sense) in the first book and then was just brushed aside in the second and then written off as a sacrifice of the rebellion. With all of the build-up to the rebellion, it just seems to be over in remarkably few pages, and then the epilogue just feels a bit off as well, though I can't quite put my finger on why.Overall, this is a good book; I definitely enjoyed re-reading it. However, I don't think that it's as good as the first book in the duology. It feels disconnected from the first part of the story, and the ending also feels rushed and off-kilter with the rest of the book. The body has a good feel and good characters and a good plot, but without a strong beginning or end, I don't think it can be stronger than the first book.4 stars out of 5.

  • Maree
    2019-05-20 08:07

    Quite the fun read. I always like these kinds of fantasy stories, and the world is so rich with detail about the world and lands created. The history of each country, there to explain why certain types of people feel certain ways about one another; it's just so elaborate and just what a spy would need to know about to survive in a rival country.Another thing I like about Pierce is that her girls are full of adventure and believe, like me, that they can do anything. Aly's wits are sharp and she is definitely one with the trickster in her ways.The family she protects is interesting as well. Born of two races, the two older girls don't seem to know much of their heritage, just that people of both races seem to respect them. The elder is what you might expect from a beauty, and the younger what you might suspect from the meek younger sister. But Dove has definitely gotten the brains in the family, even if this revolution appears to be for her older sister. Somehow, I don't think things are going to quite work out the way they all seem to suspect later in the series.The crow part was interesting. I almost feel like it was too much, giving Aly the crows, because it made it so much easier to win. The odds are definitely stacked on her side with them flying about and forewarning her of travelers and danger. I thought it was super cool that she had to learn how to speak to them, though. I wouldn't mind lessons in my dreams about learning another language. That would seriously save so much time.Her crow boy is odd too. I can't quite tell if she likes him or is just constantly exasperated by him. Maybe a little of both?

  • Chelsea
    2019-06-01 07:30

    I'm a huge Tamora Pierce fan. Her Song of the Lioness and Immortals series both count among my childhood-defining books (I feel secure in crediting Alanna with my strange fascination with girls disguising themselves as boys, and Daine and Numair were likely a part of why I like a good mentor/student relationship). So I was really freaking excited when her new series came out. Pierce is great with character continuity, and she likes to bring characters from former series into her new ones, which I love. Plus, the main character, Aly, is Alanna's daughter, which pretty much guaranteed the girl would kick some ass.And she did kick some ass. Too much, really.Alanna and Daine (Pierce's previous protagonists, for the record) were both strong, fully formed characters. They had flaws, and weaknesses, just as they had talents and strengths. Her strong, realistic female characters are a huge part of why I'm such a huge fan.So when I realized that Aly had inherited all of her mother's talents and powers, a long with her father's, plus she had every important or talented person in the entire kingdom fawning over her and teaching her their skills (all of which she excelled at, of course), I was flat out pissed. It's a long fall down from Pierce's earlier protagonists to Aly, and it was a painful landing.That said, the book was fun, I appreciate that Pierce at least got Aly out on her own in the world, and Pierce's flat characters are still good characters overall.

  • Libby Ames
    2019-06-02 12:34

    As usual, Pierce creates interesting characters with depth as well as growth. As a sequel to Trickster's Choice, I liked that she provided plot twists and didn't head in the exact direction she implied from the first book. This book is a fast paced adventure story, but also shows provides an interesting look at political intrigue and the consequences of a weak and ineffectual monarchy.Also as usual, my biggest point of contention with Pierce is the premarital sex between important characters. Thankfully, the events are brief and merely implied (like a PG movie quickly switching to a new scene at the right moment). In spite of the discretion, I don't like the attitude about sex that this presents to the teen reading crowd. I would let a teen read the book, but I would make sure they knew that isn't the attitude that should be considered acceptable.

  • Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
    2019-05-20 04:33

    This and my other reviews can be found at duchess has freed Aly from slavery and now she is spy and leader of the underground rebellion to put a Raka Queen on the throne of the Copper Isles. The Balitang family plus Aly are returning to Rajmuat, and it is Aly job to put Sarai on the throne. This is a very good book but it is a complex story and is very political, however, Tamora Pierce pulls this off. I love a lot of the characters and even the minor people are still really developed. I would recommend Trickster’s Queen to anyone who liked Trickster’s Choice or other Tamora Pierce books.

  • adrienne
    2019-05-22 08:20

    So great! MORE TO COME when I have more coherent thoughts and it's not time to sleep!

  • ak
    2019-05-26 04:28

    This book was good again I love all the books MORE TORTALL BOOKS PLEASE

  • Kathy Davie
    2019-05-17 12:11

    Second in the Daughter of the Lioness young adult adventure-fantasy series (seventeenth in the overall Tortall series) about Aly Cooper, 16-year-old spy for the raka rebellion. If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the Tortall books on my website.My TakeMost of Pierce's stories are written at a children's level. This series is geared more toward young adults simply because of the longer sentence lengths, more sophisticated wording, and the greater reading comprehension required. Do not however let this hold your kids back! This is a fascinating read and much too compelling to put down easily!!I still disagree with Pierce's placing Ulasim in the role of a footman. In most noble or royal houses, a footman is a lower class of servant. It would have been much, much more appropriate to have made him a butler or steward.I very much enjoyed Aly's cheeky responses to people. It would be a good skill to acquire and a great way to disarm people who are angry with you.The StoryThe Duchess has freed Aly from slavery and Aly has taken over intelligence operations for the raka rebellion. A position made easier when Kyprioth takes her in hand, for Prince Rubinyan and Princess Imajane are perfectly comfortable with assassination and betrayal.Fortunately, when the Balitang household returns to Rajmuat from exile, Aunt Nuritin is there to ease their return, but there isn't anything Aunt Nuritin can do about the metaphysical signs of approval.The danger only increases when the Princess commands the Balitang family to the Palace. For the young Duke Elsren to play with the three-year-old King Dunevon and the ladies of the family to return to Court. Under Princess Imajane's eye. Dangerous for Aly as well when she is dragged before the king's spymaster. Even more dangerous when she discovers how extremely competent Taybur Sibigat is at spycraft.At first, the regency is without problem but then the betrayals begin, a situation of which Aly takes advantage, pushing for rebellion.But then Princess Imajane proposes a marriage. A suggestion that sets Lady Sarai off on a dangerous course before a horrible act fans the flames.The CharactersAlianne "Aly" Cooper was recruited by Kyprioth as a bodyguard. Nawat Crow is a crow shifter who took human form in order to court Aly. Tkaa, a basilisk who is friends with Aly's parents, arrives at Court with gifts for the new king. Darkings are small magical beings which can take on any shape and transmit what they hear and see to each other. Sir Alanna and Baron George Cooper are Aly's parents and have been worried sick about her. Aly's brothers are Thom, the family mage, while Alan, her twin, entered page training over three years ago.Duchess Winnamine Balitang's son Elsren is next-in-line to the throne after Dunevon; the duke was killed in Trickster's Choice by the betrayer, Prince Bronau. The duke's half-raka daughters from his first marriage, Saraiyu and Dovasary, and his luarin daughter with Winnamine, Petranne, are back in Rajmuat on Kypriang Island amongst the Copper Isles. Aunt Nuritin Balitang is the de facto head of the Balitang household.Ulasim is the head footman and the commander of the raka rebellion while Chenaol, the family cook, is in charge of weapon procurement for the rebellion. Fesgao is still a man-at-arms and the war leader of the rebel army. Ochobu, a raka healer and mage for the rebels, accompanies the family back from exile along with Junai Dodeka, Ulasim's daughter. Their old healer nursemaid, Rihani, is still with them and a warrior in the raka cause and now Dove's bodyguard. Quedanga, their old housekeeper, comes back to the household and gathers in the gossip and talk of the markets from servants, slaves, artisans, priests, and more. Ysul is the Chain's mage in the Windward District of Rajmuat, Ochobu's equal in power.In Trickster's Choice, Aly began training selected servants to function as her spies and includes Boulaj, Sarai's maid; Pembery, Winnamane's maid; Atisa and Guchol Libo are sisters; Kioka; Eyun; Rasaj; Jimarn; Yoyox; Fegoro; Olkey; Hiraos; Lokak; Ukali; Gian, Elsren's manservant; Dorilize, Lady Nuritin's maid; Wayan, a house messenger; and, Bacar, a footman in another's house. Then there are the ones whom Aly converts, double agents like Vitorcine Townsend. Vereyu is the head of the raka spy network in the palace while Callyn works for the harbormaster.Nobles who are looking to rebel against Princess Imajane include Lord and Lady Wesedi, Lady Adona, Lord and Lady Obemaek, and Lord and Lady Lelin. Baron Qovold Engan is the royal astronomer and the Lady Dove's former tutor in cartography and astronomy. Duke Vurquan Nomru, a former commander of the army, is one of Dove's favorite chess partners. Imgehai Qeshi, Winnamine's father, is a priestess of the Black God. Matfrid Fonfala.Prince Rubinyan Jimajen is married to Princess Imajane, the dead King Oron's half sister. Their three-year-old son, Dunevon, is first-in-line to the throne after King Hazarin. Taybur Sibigat is the new commander of the King's Guard. He also cares very much for the young king. Duke Lohearn Mantawu, a.k.a., Topabaw, is the spymaster for the Copper Isles and a mage. Aly reports her findings to Master Grosbeak. Sevmire Ambau is Rubinyan's private spymaster.A Catharki, Lord Zaimid Hetnim, is one of the courtiers paying court to Lady Sarai. He is also the youngest mage to become head of the Imperial University's Healers' Wing in Cathark. Count Ferdolin Tomang is a wealthy noble also courting Sarai.Kyprioth is the Great God, the Trickster, to the raka and ready to re-take the Copper Isles and put a raka queen back on its throne. Mithros is the Great God to the luarin. He and the Great Goddess, Alanna's patroness, are siblings to Kyprioth, but several hundred years ago, they overthrew Kyprioth and the raka. The Graveyard Hag, a lesser trickster, plans a joke on Kyprioth.The Cover and TitleThis cover with its dark brown background displays the left side of Lady Dovasary's face, almost a mirror twin to the cover on Trickster's Choice. Instead of a brown hood, Lady Dove's hair is gathered behind her neck with a copper chiffony light gathered atop her head and trailing behind.The title is apt as this time the Trickster's Queen is chosen and installed.

  • Lynnet
    2019-06-11 10:33

    Part of my reread of books I didn't like by authors I love. Still meh on this one. Everything just seems to fall in place so easily for Aly. Even the deaths/removals of characters from the narrative that she's upset about end up playing into her hand. She doesn't have to work through her issues with Nawat, she receives as a gift something which makes her spying incredibly easy. She doesn't even really have to go through any personal growth. I did enjoy the brief glimpses of Alanna in both books, and the fact that Pierce doesn't shy away from the type of physical and emotional toll that Alanna's work entails as she grows older.

  • Erika
    2019-05-24 08:18

    In the end, everything was as the prophecy said it would be. Kyprioth losing it was SO FUNNY. And then, the darkings TOTALLY BURNED HIM by saying he was shrieking like Petranne and Elsren- a couple of four-year olds! That was TOTALLY my favorite part of the book. It was the saddest thing ever when King Dunevon and Elsren and all those other poor little boys died in the magical storm. And Taybur Sibigat’s honest love and devotion for his little boy king is heartmelting. I loved this book. The epilogue had me gasping for air. Nawat and Aly had children! They must be SO CUTE. I have so many questions about them. Besides the million questions, this book was AWESOME.

  • Sakina (aforestofbooks)
    2019-05-23 11:19

    THIS BOOK...JUST WOW!!!Rereading this duology has given me a better appreciation of the scope of Tamora Pierce's creativity and writing. This series is so unique from the other Tortall books, and I think that is why it stands out! Compared to Alanna, Daine, and Kel, this book focuses more on the behind-the-scenes of running a kingdom (or taking over a kingdom) - whereas Aly's predecessors are more involved in a hands-on kind of way. That's what I loved about this book. Yes, it's mostly Aly sitting at a desk and going through paperwork and using her mind more than her hands, but it's interesting. It gives you can idea of how countries are run, how threats are identified and dealt with, how rebellions are formed, how strength is found in weaknesses, and how to use people against each other to get to a certain means. It shows you the complexity and the forethought that must happen in order for a successful rebellion to take place. I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!!I have read the other reviews for this book and wanted to address a few things. First of all, some reviewers have said that everything seemed to come too easy for Aly. I have to agree a little that things did seem to happen too smoothly, though that could have just been because Aly was taught so well by her father. And it could also have been because the Rittevons were so slack in their security that it never dawned on them that the Raka could have such a good spymaster. But I'll admit, things could have gone "more" wrong. Maybe one of Aly's informers could have gotten caught, or a close friend turned out to be a spy for the Crown, I don't know. But at the same time, I liked how the story went. It didn't bother me too much that everything came so easy for Aly - it didn't feel that way while I was reading. Aly just felt prepared most of the time - there were those times when she wasn't prepared like with Sarai and Dunevon and the ship, but I loved seeing how her mind worked and how she came up with solutions to problems.A thing I really liked about this series is the role of Kyprioth. Compared to the other Tortall books, the Gods aren't so involved in the main character's lives. Like they pop in now and then, but they don't do much else. Kyprioth was an interesting god - he felt so human and real, and then we were reminded that like the Greek/Roman gods, he doesn't care so much about who dies, as long as he gets what he wants. That scene between him and Aly after the sinking of the ship made me so mad, yet it made so much sense that Kyprioth would do something like that. I think someone argued that he interferes waay to much and makes everything so easy for Aly - I'm not sure if I'd agree with that. He interferes cause that's his nature. He's a Trickster god, he's impatient and doesn't like to sit around waiting for stuff to happen. So he does something and then Aly has to deal with the repercussions. Same thing with the Graveyard and Sarai.Speaking of Sarai...I really started to not like her in this book, but at the same time I understood why she was acting the way she was. Sarai had lost her father because of someone who she kind of had feelings for/loved. She feels guilty and mad and impatient. She wants something to happen and doesn't want to wait. Which makes sense. I think, by this point, she's tired of life as a noble with a constant threat to her life and not being able to speak her mind. So she runs away. It all seems so part of her character, yet it made me mad that she didn't think about what would happen to Winna and Dove and Petranne and Elsren. That she could just leave them like that and not think twice. Also I really liked Zaimid - like A LOT - and was hoping that he and Dove would end up together. So the pairing just didn't seem right to me. But oh well...I should also add, that I forgot a lot of plot twists in this book, so I was genuinely surprised when Sarai left and when certain people died. Another argument made was that we didn't get to see Nawat's character growth and for that I definitely agree. The first time around, I fell in love with Nawat and Aly together, but this time that wasn't the case exactly. Nawat wasn't even there for most of the book, so when he came back all changed, it felt like something was missing. It felt like he changed a part of who he was to make Aly happy, though at the same time Aly came to realize that she can't control Nawat like she did her other boyfriends and she has to let him do what he's good at. So I don't know. I'm stuck here. But they are cute together and Nawat is hilarious and he's still a little crow so I don't know...Someone else said that we don't see Aly's character growth, but we're told it instead. And I don't agree with that exactly. I guess we are told by Aly what her previous dalliances were like with boys in Tortall, and she points out in this book that she doesn't feel that way anymore and that she's more serious. All I can say is that Aly's grown up. She's seen more of the world and seen things that are more important than fooling around and having meaningless fun. I do love how she still uses her flirting skills for her own benefit - it makes her a fun character to read about!I feel like I've bashed this book a whole lot, yet given it a 5 stars anyway. I feel like all these points don't take away from the plot and the creativity. I loved every second of this book! I genuinely had my mouth hanging open multiple times and the FEELS were just too much by the end.Honestly a great way to end the year!!!

  • Margaret
    2019-06-17 04:09

    ugh no. if any of you are thinking about reading it just let me know and i'll tell you how it ends and you won't have to put yourself through it.i think megan whalen turner's books have spoiled me when it comes to political intrigue and overly-competent youngsters.

  • Carolyn
    2019-06-08 12:11


  • Renée Dominique
    2019-05-20 07:10

    Oy. Ms. Pierce, you kill me. I recently completed the Song of the Lioness quartet and The Immortals series, rereading them for the first time since I was a teenager (over a decade) since I was curious to see how they held up. I was thrilled to find that none of their potency or charm had faded with age. The series are both comprised of well-written, fast-paced, and engrossing books, so I took up the Daughter of the Lioness books with the exuberance and confidence that I would love them just as much. To make a long story short (unlike Ms. Pierce's apparent aim in Daughter of the Lioness), I didn't. I have been reading the other reviews and it seems that the ones in the 1-3 star range had the same issues I did: too much tell, not enough show; Aly's lack of character growth; a total absence of tension or fear of danger for any of the main characters. I'm not even finished this book yet and I'm writing my review because it's taking me so long to get through it -- literally, I had all four books in Song of the Lioness read in the time it's taken me to get halfway throughTrickster's Queen. Passages like this convoluted monstrosity: As the meeting broke up, Aly drifted over to Ulasim. "How go things at Galodon?" she asked, curious, though if he refused to answer, she would ask Trick to query Ace, the darking who hid under the chair Ulasim normally used.pull me completely out of the flow of the story (if I ever even manage to get into it at all). I admit that I don't find Aly as insufferable as some other reviewers, maybe because I'm too sympathetic to the plucky/strong female heroine trope, but even with my inherent bias I find it hard to give a half-shit about anything that Aly does, because if reading Trickster's Choice taught me anything (other than how not to develop a character), it's that "Aly Bright Eyes" (please kill me) always gets off scott free. On top of that, while I appreciate Ms. Pierce's inclusion of POC characters in a fantasy setting, the fact that Aly so readily fulfills the "white saviour" stereotype prompts so many cringe-worthy moments as to nullify whatever good that representation could have accomplished. Aly being god-touched notwithstanding, she is a smarmy 16-year-old who has little to no experience in the field, and somehow she still has full-grown men and women who have spent 10+ years of their lives crafting a rebellion "regarding her with awe", calling her a marvel, and describing in nearly parodical detail how amazed they are by her ability to know what is happening everywhere at once and account for it strategically. It is boring as anything to read through and never once feel that Aly's assessments of every single person or situation that she's analyzed will prove to be false, or that somehow she's been duped, or that her instincts were wrong. Although Aly credits the involvement of the gods, and the darkings, with her success as Spymaster in Rajamut, her use and understanding of literally every person's (god, darking, or otherwise) motives and of how to manipulate them is never wrong, and even in the one instance where it is, it amounts to nothing less than a blessing in disguise for her, and ultimately creates no problem that she has to solve or work around. I think someone said it better than me that all the antagonists in this book are set up to either be laughably incompetent or admire Aly so much for her spy game ability that they alternately ignore or praise her for being so slick. The aim of a good spy story is to create intrigue between characters and weave an ever-tightening web of danger as the protagonist attempts to navigate his/her way through it with, in many cases, only their wits to protect them. By neutering the villains in this series and giving Aly a seemingly impenetrable aura of wit, charm, magic, book-learned/inherited strategies, the infallible ability to read and manipulate people, and magical helpers galore, Ms. Pierce has effectively created a spy story with no intrigue, no danger, and no doubt in the reader's mind that our protagonist will come out on top with minimal losses, and a total absence of any profound changes. Despite several (painfully awkward) reassurances in text that "Aly could tell her attitude/behaviour/beliefs had changed", nothing about Aly's actions in either volume speak to that. Overall, this is one dull book series, sorely in need of some multi-dimensional antagonists and some real challenges to shake up the protagonist's world.

  • Forever Young Adult
    2019-06-03 11:15

    Graded By: StephanieCover Story: Is That You, Kate?BFF Charm: ConfusedSwoonworthy Scale: 5Talky Talk: Devil’s In The DetailsBonus Factors: Darkings, World-BuildingRelationship Status: Lady’s MaidRead the full book report here.

  • Beth
    2019-05-19 06:20

    I tripped and fell down a Tamora Pierce rabbit hole this weekend.Here's the thing: Aly was never a compelling character for me. The first book of this duology was weak because it felt purely like setup. This book was weak because everything was so easy. That said, I always liked the final confrontation and I still found it exciting on this reread.Here's what stood out to me this particular time around.1. Man, Aly's parents and godparents are stupid. Why would you teach a really bright young woman all the many ways she can manipulate people, lie, and disappear, and then allow her no way to make use of this talent? Nature abhors a vacuum! Of course she was going to take her talents somewhere they could be used, even if she got there - creatively! And now she's the spymaster for a rival country you aren't officially allied with, while knowing everything about the Tortallan spy system. And you all saunter in to visit like you're okay with that?(I seem to be of the Megan Whalen Turner "we can't have have a treaty without a marriage" school of thought. Marriage to Nawat doesn't count.)2. I liked the minor characters a lot more on this reread. I'd have liked more on Taybur Sibigat! Who is this guy? Why is he so loyal to his baby king? Why do he and Aly have so much more in common than Aly and Nawat? And Ochobu is great, especially when she points out the storm was caused by luarin magic - "That is to say, Crown magic, because any other mage with sense learns how we work. Why do you think Zaimid Hetnim came here? It wasn't to be called 'brown dog' behind his back by the regents." Often Ochobu simply feels like the mage they need instead of a character in her own right, but when she's pointing out key information that rounds out the worldbuilding, she feels much more vital. I like all her contributions about raka magic; I think they quietly demonstrate a lot of important information that descriptions of brute force don't convey as powerfully.3. I can't decide how I feel about Pierce's obvious slavery/race parallels. They're there, and sometimes they're interesting, and sometimes they're problematic, and overall I'm confused.4. I did really like the idea that the rebels were planning to crown the older, more charismatic, much less suitable sister while totally blind to how much better a candidate Dove was - even after Sarai absconded.5. Uh, I don't really like Aly. Or how easily things come to her, or how charming and successful she is. She fails ONCE, and even that ends up being for the best.6. Tamora Pierce is one of the only authors I know who's actually successful at creating a second generation of characters in the same world. And when I say that, I mean the Kel books. The Aly books feel like third generation, and I don't think they're as successful. All these insipid third generation characters spreading out and interacting (Jon and Thayet's daughter along with Sarai in Carthak, for example) don't matter to me. Jon and Raoul and Gary and Alanna, and Kel and Neal and Merric and Seaver and Co., feel so much more alive and important. When the best moments of the Trickster books are the ones where I got to see Jon interact with Alanna, and Kel duel with Alanna - well, the series starts to feel even weaker.

  • Kathrin
    2019-06-05 07:18

    This book is a very effective demonstration of why the Alanna-series works so well. It simply ignores most of what made Tamora Pierce's original series so awesome. The Adventure Alanna's adventures always happen in a very immediate way, with our heroine struggling for the very success of the single pursuit. Maybe the world feels a bit small, as you only get to see what she sees; show not tell. Which is good.Aly, our protagonist in this book, almost never engages in direct conflict. In the first novel, Trickster's Choice, this was somewhat better, as Aly was less omnipotent. But here, we just have our heroine as the spider at the centre of a giant web of information (basically cheap exposition). She is coordinating this giant revolution scheme, which is trying for a sort of game-of-thrones-y feeling with a lot of conspiracies and relativized morals. I appreciate Tamora Pierce trying something different, but we lose the authentic, empathic over-the-shoulder-feeling we had with Alanna and instead get a half-assed, convoluted spy story.The Suspense and the Stakes The Alanna series lives from a very overwhelming world with forces bigger than our heroine. She is very skillful and intelligent, but she has things restricting her, her discomfort of magic, her conflict with her femininity, her constraints as a women in this predominantly male world. The series also has powerful and charismatic antagonists, at most times very personally connected to Alanna.Aly has nothing of all that. She is literally omnipotent. She is intelligent. She knows how to conduct herself socially towards everybody. She controls all the spies of the country and has powerful Dei ex machinae at her bidding. She is even a good physical fighter, even if allegedly, she's oh so different from her mother.She literally doesn't have an antagonist who gets more than a couple of lines in a public setting. Most of the revolution happens in the episodic, boring shenanigans she sets up, mostly attacks on places, stealing stuff, raising public attention. But there are never any stakes since the people who execute those plan's are just named pieces on a chessboard and you can't feel anxious for them. The Personal Drama If you liked Jonathan, George, Myles etc. or not, they always felt like people. The friendships and romantic relationships are natural and heart-warming.Here's the one point I like about this. Our love interest, Nawat, (just one, NO love triangle! In a YA book!) is okay. His and Aly's story is very subtle and the book handles the relationship and sexuality very maturely and calmly. The rest of the relationships are so boring and flat. Sarai and Dove are built just so the story can progress the way it will. (Sarai's the annoying and useless one who's annoyingly the first-born, so the reader can root for the nearly Aly-levels-omnipotent younger sister Dove.) It's bad if the final conclusion of the book is basically reflected in the characterisation.I guess this could make a better movie than a book. You could get rid of Aly's stream of consciousness, both too long and removing all the tension. And you could shorten this thing radically.

  • Alexandra
    2019-06-01 10:11

    It's amazing that a writer can produce books as breathtaking as the first two quartets in the Tortall-verse, and also books as terrible as the Daughter of the Lioness-books.What I love about Pierce's writing is the action, the magic, the diverse universe, and the way that you get to really know the characters.None of that happened here. As someone else already phrased it in another review, "The book reads like an account of someone doing a job - recruiting, reading reports, attending meetings. It just isn't all that exciting."I remarked many times throughout my status updates that this book, and its predecessor, had too many characters. There was no way to keep of all those names - which meant that I didn't grieve for them when they died, and thus, the climax felt flat. The only characters I felt I had really connected to were Dove and Aly.Ah, Aly. Speaking of her: What in the world was going on there? I normally applaud Pierce for her fleshed-out, strong heroines with great character development. But not Aly. I think it's safe to say that the poor girl didn't go through any major changes, from the first page of Trickster's Choice, to the last page of Trickster's Queen. It's true that we were told how she lacked motivation before the whole ordeal, but we only got to see if for a few chapters before she was shipped off to the Copper Isles, and from then on she more or less just took charge. Everything seemed to come to her easily: she already knew how to be a spy, she had the help of a god, and when Sarai eloped, we had another, better suited heir for the throne! The children (Elsren and Dunevon) were killed in a storm by the antagonists, so Aly didn't have to worry about what to do about them either, although she worried about it a lot. Last but not least, Rubinyan was KIA against someone Not-Aly, and Imajane committed suicide before any sort of confrontation could happen. Congratulations, Aly.Only two of the chapters were interesting and had any real action; the climax. Everything else was honestly a struggle to get through.I am personally fearing for the time where I sit down with the Beka Cooper-books, because in my opinion, the Tortall-verse keeps getting worse instead of better. Maybe I'll just huddle with the Song of the Lioness, Wild Magic and Protector of the Small quartets and try to forget that any of this happened.