March 26, 2007

Trickster's Choice

By Tamora Pierce
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Aly is the daughter of the famed Lioness of Tortall, Alanna, and of spymaster George Cooper. At age 16, Aly finds herself bored and looking for a direction in life. She would like to become a spy, but both her mother and father react violently in the negative to that suggestion. But when Aly's sailboat is attacked by pirates and she is taken to be sold as a slave, she uses all the spy training her father ever gave her to figure out how to free herself. After being thrown in with some other slaves to serve a duke's family, Aly's plans for freedom are halted when she is visited by the god of the Copper Isles--Kyprioth, the Trickster. He makes her a wager--keep the elder, half-raka daughters of the duke alive through the summer, and he'll send her home. She'll even get help in the form of his favorite birds, the crows. After she agrees to the challenge, Aly finds herself in the middle of a brewing revolution that needs a girl with exactly her skills for planning and spying. The native raka are ready to overthrow the invader luarin people after generations of servitude, and the duke's daughters by his first wife, Sarai and Dove, are the heirs apparent. But even with the family in exile to avoid the king's madness, the girls are in grave danger that is going to take all of Aly's wits to avoid. Filled with political intrigue, plenty of spying techniques, action, and a touch of romance, this well-plotted tale will keep readers riveted to the pages and ready to pick up the sequel, Trickster's Queen. You may also enjoy other stories by Tamora Pierce set in the same world, like her Alanna series about Aly's mother and her Protector of the Small series about Lady Knight Keladry.

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