alanna of pirate's swoop

Tortallan heroines sorted into hogwarts houses

Alanna is clearly a gryffindor. Brave, idealistic, fond of slaying literal and/or metaphorical monsters.

Daine is a ravenclaw. Curious, intellectually hungry, once stopped her heartbeat to listen to whales.

Kel is a hufflepuff. Loyal, hardworking, pragmatic. Mildly baffled when she gets recognition for doing something she considers her job.

Aly is a slytherin. Sly, clever, would never do something the normal way when she can do it a better way.

Beka is a little harder to pin down, but I think she’s a gryffindor at heart with hufflepuff methodology. She would like to be able to slay the world’s evils in one fell swoop, but knows she can’t. Instead she does her best to stop the small ones.

Hello,” he greeted her as she rushed into the library. “That’s a pretty dress. Are you wearing it for anyone in particular?”
“Yes,” she snapped. “Myself.”
“Ouch. You should be nicer to your king, my Champion.”
“No I shouldn’t,” retorted Alanna. “Duke Gareth says the Champion must always be honest, even when others lack the courage.”
Jon smiled ruefully. “Lacking the courage to speak out has never been one of you problems, I admit.
—  Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce, chapter 7

Tamora Pierce is never going to be my favorite author. There’s a lot of telling and not much showing, and the paragraph long descriptions of every character you ever meet start to get a little tiresome.

But I would like to thank her. 

At ten years old I devoured her books because they gave me something I’d never had before and haven’t had since. A real fantasy series where the protagonists were always girls. Where they worked hard, harder than any man had to in their situations, dealt with the prejudices dealt out to them, and achieved their goals, be it becoming a knight or a spymaster or a guard. Where the romance plot lines were secondary if not nonexistent, but where getting married and having children never made them less successful.

At ten I’d read and loved Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and Eragon, and I still do. And sure, all of those books have fierce female characters, and I love those characters. And though they exist as more than The Love Interest, that’s what people will label them as. What Tortall gave ten year old me was fierce female characters who existed in their own right, and that’s something I desperately needed.

My Alanna piece is up for grabs on my society 6 account!  

The Lioness Rampant series is an incredible series based on Alanna of Trebond, a girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to earn knighthood.  TLR is one of the few books i’ve encountered that actually acknowledges the changes that happen to a woman as she transitions from young girl into adulthood, and is an incredible story about a flawed character fighting to prove herself based on her skills and not her gender.  If you’re looking for a fun, action, fantasy novel, I recommend this series.

All of the Tortall books are fantastic, and i’m so thankful I read them when I did as a child.

*artist note: when you guys tag your reblogs, I adore you.  When you comment in the posts, I fangirl over you <3

I started rereading Trickster’s Choice a couple days ago, and since I reread Lioness Rampant not that long ago, I’m finding the contrast between Alanna and Aly pretty striking:

At the beginning of LR, Alanna is still a relatively new knight and she doesn’t know what she wants to do with that. That ambition that drove her to become the first lady knight in a hundred years is gone and she feels lost now that she’s completed her goal of earning her shield. She’s aimless and wandering and she feels kind of stuck and unable to figure out what she wants do with the rest of her life.

Aly, meanwhile, knows EXACTLY what she wants to do with her life, but because her parents disapprove of her becoming a spy, she also feels stuck. She’s considered a grown woman but she still acts very much the carefree child because she’s bored and restless and doesn’t like the idea of being bullied into a career or a marriage she doesn’t want.

Idk, it’s interesting to me. They’re the only two protagonists Tammy’s really written who’ve experienced frustrations like this regarding their futures, I think. I mean, the Circle kids all have their magecraft and their individual crafts, plus Sandry’s political position as the niece of the ruler of Emelan, which helps keep her busy. Daine spends her whole series either figuring out her powers or dealing with Ozorne and Uusoae’s meddling, and at the end of the war she moves into the palace to be with Numair and continuing providing her services to the crown. There’s never any question of what she’s supposed to/wants to do next, we get the feeling she gets the happy ending she wants. Kel’s completely devoted to her knighthood and beyond that there’s another war, so she doesn’t have time to think about the direction her life is going in even if she wants to (although we don’t get the feeling from the text that she DOES to, because she already knows exactly what she’s doing with herself). Beka’s similarly enamored with her work, and that’s all she ever wants to do - there’s no restlessness there except for when she’s working on a tough case she can’t crack.

So it’s interesting to me that Alanna and her daughter are the only ones who really experience these kinds of internal conflicts regarding their futures, and I know I already said this makes me relate to Alanna more, but it helps me relate to Aly too, and I definitely think this is something that other young adults can relate to, too.

tagged by@not-wisely

Rules: tag some people you want to get to know better.

Relationship Status: Single workaholic with no concept of work-life balance and asshole cat

Lipstick or Chapstick: Both! Burt’s Bee’s lip shimmer is both, right?  (Possibly I should’ve added “commitment issues” to my relationship status.)

Last Song Listened To: Óró Sé do Bheatha Bhaile by Seo Linn

Top 3 Shows: Leverage, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Sense8

Top 3 Characters: Peter Grant (the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch), Alanna of Pirate’s Swoop and Olau (Tortall series by Tamora Pierce), Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan (Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold)

Top 3 Ships: (At the moment) Percival Graves/Credence Barebone (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Thomas Nightingale/Peter Grant (Rivers of London series), Harry Hart/Eggsy Unwin (Kingsman)

tagging: (I’m going to have to echo the fabulous @not-wisely and say that you should 100% just ignore this if you don’t want to, and consider yourself tagged if this is something you’re into) @almost-annette, @umisabaku, @chryselephantinechaos