fandom: tamora pierce

Why aren’t more books being turned into TV shows? Just look at how well Game of Thrones and True Blood and Sherlock Holmes adaptations are doing to see how successful that idea would be. Part of the problem with movies is that directors and producers want to put a different spin on the character, but there isn’t enough time so they put in their own lines and spin (DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME THE GOBLET rings a bell), but take out way too many of the character’s trait and end up ruining that character. This is also known as the Ginny Weasley effect.

Please give us the Harry Potter TV show where every character just wants an education but the Golden Trio keeps fucking shit up. Or, give us the next generation, the people who have to go back to Hogwarts after the Last Battle, the children who aren’t really children anymore, who’s scars are shown on their bodies and in their minds and now that they have their school back and struggle with normal everyday teenage issues like getting good grades and crushes and overbearing parents, but also recovering from an entire year fighting a guerrilla war against the Carrows and years of the terror of Voldemort looming over their head.

Give us the Pevensies ruling Narnia after 100 years of neglect and trying to turn the nation into something hospitable even though the oldest boy is only 14 years old and somehow they are expected to heal the damage the White Witch has wrought. Show them finding out Narnia is not alone, there are other nations out there and some are friendly. Some are not. Peter may be High King but the other 3 are still his Co-Rulers, and think of how much they argued in the books. That wouldn’t just magically disappear over time. It would probably increase if anything, the best way to govern, how to collect taxes, dealing with diplomatic and military affairs, and the list goes on and on. Just remember, Lucy wasn’t even ten when the series started. There’s also the matter of growing up and hormones and having crushes but still being rulers of an entire nation. I want to know how exactly the Golden Years of Narnia started.

Give us the Percy Jackson series and how campers have to deal with a new parent and new family and how their lives are upended and now they no longer know who is friend and foe but they still have to learn to trust someone. In the summer they might be around people who understand what they are going through but not in the school year, unless they are a year-rounder. Now that the two Big Prophecies are over, teenagers are going on more and more quests and some won’t make it home and they’re just kids, how do they deal with that? Show us half-bloods that may have the blood of Apollo running in their veins but they can’t sing for shit but they are really good at creating weapons or a child of Hermes who is one of the most genuine and honest beings at Camp Half-Blood because children don’t always end up like their parents. 

Give us Tamora Pierce and girls and boys in training to be mages or knights or Dogs all in one City in a medieval time period, or even a modern one. Or instead of Torall there’s Emelan, and show us stories of teenage ambient mages from Lightsbridge and Winding Circle basically going to a college for learning magic. Just think of all the TV shows focused on colleges and high schools and add magic. This certainly sounds fun to me. What about you? Or show us all of Alanna’s or Kel’s training. There was so much glossed over because there just wasn’t enough time to show everything. 4 years training as a page, another 4 as a squire for both. Alanna, who had to deal with all the pressures of knighthood and adolescence while disguised as another gender and the subsequent reveal. And then there’s Kel, who had to deal with years of hazing and prejudice for going after her dream just because she was a girl. If you think those issues wouldn’t strike a cord with some people then you are wrong.

Please start making them into TV shows, because I don’t just want my characters to have a few minutes of screen time. I want them to grow and develop and have a life of their own, but so often in movies they become unrecognizable in a matter of a few minutes and by the end of the process they are almost unrecognizable.

So give us TV shows instead, because I want to see how the other half lives, and so do millions of other people. And you can’t fully grasp that through movies.

Reasons why Keladry of Mindelan from the Protector of the Small series is one of the best heroines in YA:

  1. Kel is a genuinely good person. Her morality and a sense of good is on par or can even rival Superman’s. Her self-righteousness can even get somewhat annoying sometimes, which is a flaw that actually makes her that much better. You just want her to think something bad once!! But only cause you’re starting to realize that you’re not a very good person yourself, lol.
  2. In the same note, it’s nice to have a kick-ass character who is simply good. Not an anti-heroine, or a sassy back-talker, or possesses a bitchy devil may care attitude. She is polite, nice, respectful individual. In the same breath, she can also kill you with her bare hands… most respectfully.
  3. Kel respects authority. I’m so sick of young adult heroines and heroes who constantly sass and back talk adults because they can or because they don’t think respect is something they should give. A lof of characters flaunt authority, and always get away with it. And somehow it’s supposed to be seen as cool or badass or quirky. Kel doesn’t back talk or disrespects adults. But she does stand up for herself when she believes the adult is wrong… respectfully, without screaming her head off or doing something stupid. Kel is one of the most respectful heroines I know, and sadly… it’s rather refreshing
  4. Because of the last two points people often find Kel boring, because apparently if you’re nice and respectful you’re a boring person. 
  5. Kel stands up to bullies, but she always takes the peaceful approach first. Violence isn’t always the answer, but Kel is not afraid to use it if it means protecting people who can’t defend themselves. She always gave the bullies a chance to walk away first.
  6. Kel deals with sexist and misogynist attitudes through the entire series. She gets called awful names and asked to prove herself over and over. And while she does occasionally lapse into self-pity, it’s understandable, she never once complains about it outloud, because she knows it will not win her any extra points.   
  7. Kel stands up for people who do not have a voice without trying to take away their autonomy. These mostly include servants, animals, and free folk– who are generally unnoticed or abused by the upper classes. Kel accepts Peachblossom who is an abused war horse because she knows if she won’t take him he’ll be killed. She comes to an understanding with him without resorting to changing him. Kel takes in a maid Lalasa and respects her wish not to report her abuser, but she does teach her to defend herself from future attacks. When Lalasa’s abuser is caught and punished, Kel actually tells the king the laws are wrong and need to be changed. Kel rescues Tobe because she knows no one else will help him. Kel makes sure that the convicts are at least fed better so they can be strong enough to fight and defend instead of using them as front-line fodder.
  8. Kel is loyal to a fault. She is the friend you want to have. The one who will fight for you if you need her too. The one who will simply listen. The one who will always be there when you need her.
  9. Kel is good at math. Name me another heroine who likes or is good in math. 
  10. She’s a just a nice, respectful, loyal, kind, smart, kick-ass person. The kind we should all aspire to me. And I wish more  characters were like her.

Headcanon: After the events in Lady Knight, Kel continues to work alongside the Own for many of her assignments. Raoul brings her in often and consults her for opinions and strategies. When Raoul announces his retirement, Kel is the only one who doesn’t realize that she has clearly been groomed for the job of Knight Commander (the few daydreams of following in Raoul’s footsteps having been quickly squashed down knowing how much the conservatives would disapprove). Thus she is shocked when she is appointed commander. She accepts gracefully, however, and one of her first orders of business is allowing women to join the Own.

There is surprisingly little muttering that goes on in conservative circles, not unrelated to the fact that Lord Wyldon is heard actively endorsing the choice.

The Woman Who Rides Like A Man (Tamora Pierce)

#1

This was my favorite cover of the original set I grew up with - the desert palette contrasting with the deep blue of Alanna’s pants and cloak.  (Finally, some pants!)  Even the font works with this background, and the rearing horse gives it a bit of a Calamity Jane feel, which I always felt worked well with the character.

Complaints:

the other hand, the fact that she’s holding what I think is supposed to be a flame backfires and looks like a lotus.  I AM LADY KNIGHT, CHAMPION OF FLOWERS. Also, the horse is still frilly.

Minimalist-formerly-11-year-old-butch disliked this one the least of the original four because of the super-coiffed-ness of both horse and rider (we grew up with the same set).

#2

The first-edition artwork continues to ascend with this awesome daylight desert cover. The detailing again is what makes it shine - the horse’s saddle gear, the skirt. Love the determined expression, the movement in the fabric and tail, the little plume of dust behind them.

Complaints: you could make a horse so expressive and realistic, but the cat looks like the love child of a badger and a beaver?

#3

I’m starting to think of this series as the ‘fairytale collection’ given the colors and drawing style, and in this case, it works. Points for not making the glowy thing look like a lotus, for the unruly mane and the fact that Alanna’s hair looks like a red version of mine (snarly curls ftw).  Also points for book accuracy: glowy sword, cat riding in saddle cup, etc.

Complaints: Minimalist is not amused by the lioness faces - in fact, is rather unnerved by them. Also, the horse is doing some kind of a limp-wristed HEY GIRL HEY with a chin tilt and some side-eye.

#4

Congratulations to Gollum, who is growing into her face and pulls herself up from the trenches! The lightning around the sword is an excellent touch/nod to the book, the horse is in some armor, as she should be, and I’m digging the chain mail sparkles.

Complaints: it’s still Gollum, guys. Even the horse looks alarmed.

#5

The French continue to be the best of the foreign publishers, again showing a nice sense of movement (dust, mane, etc).  It’s a clear image, with a nuanced, slightly different color palette.

Complaints: Probably the weakest showing from this set so far. I’ve given up on the French understanding that Alanna =/= Mulan. Also, wtf is with the cat perched on the horse’s ass?  He’s going to fall. And he’s not going to like it.

#6

Inoffensive, but boring. I like the tent-flap as a reveal, becuase it feels a little like a stage curtain, and this may be the first cover to really get the cat right - that’s a perfect prowl.

Complaints: the font makes it look like a book report, and Minimalist points out that the whole thing looks like a middle-school photoshop job.  Also, for some reason, Alanna looks like a Musketeer, though I can’t tell if this is a good thing or not .

#7

Thailand, when you get it wrong, you at least get it spectacularly wrong and full of badassery. 

Complaints: A Power Rangers villian is riding a dragon towards Agrahbah. The sun looks like a giant nipple.  Take your pick.

#8

Watch your back, Thailand. Japan is coming for you!  This one gets points for being the Lisa Frank Entry of the batch, and decent-if-not-spectacular cat and horse depictions.

Complaints: The jewlery, the borders, the sword that looks like it couldn’t cut anything, the Dunescape - and generally the absence of anything as badass as the Thai version.

#9

Points for..um…having a nice color spectrum from the sky to the land. And for the nifty shin guards on the horse.

Complaints: super-magic-swirly-sparkly-meteor shower! Looking At That Tank Top Makes My Breasts Hurt! White Leggings! And Good Lord Would You Read That Tagline Because This Book Is Totally Not About A Woman Coming Into Her Own As a Knight At All!

#10

OMG, they finally got the Gift color correct. Hallelujah.

Complaints: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Seriously, what conversation led to this f'kakta version of events? Can you imagine it?

“So, what we’re thinking this whole Team George/Team Jonathan approach is really going to appeal to the kids, yknow? I mean, the book is essentially about how she runs away to the desert to escape having to make the choice between them, right? Won’t the readers appreciate having something to root for? 'Cause, I mean, let’s face it - what else are they going to root for? Her?" 

Tamora Pierce is a bloody fantastic writer.

Earlier today I saw a post about how Tammy’s works were actually just a ciswhitefeminist’s fantasy, and how that blogger was disappointed because they used to love her work. For a second I would’ve agreed, but then I sat back and thought about it. (I will point out where this person might be getting this idea later) Hopefully, this will clear the air for any fans who might be doubting their love for Tammy.

She DOES have POC main characters. It sounded like the writer of the former post had only read Tortallan books. Both Daja and Briar are main characters with point of view in her Emelan series. Sandry is too and she’s mixed. Tris can be interpreted as mixed (there really is no reason against it). At least two of the teachers, Lark and Frostpine, are poc as well. Nico is speculated. Her second half of that series also features Evvy’s point of view in several books. The books are filled with people of different cultures.

In Tortall their are several poc characters but they are a bit harder to spot, especially because many people assume characters are white unless specified. FIRST OFF Verrildaine Sarrasi or DAINE is mixed in cannon (could be more obvious but its true). Her hair is an untameable mass of curls are frequently mentioned, and while she does have blue eyes and come from a place called snowsdale or something, her  father is a god so who can be sure. The only thing I remember about her skin might have been freckles which people of darker skin can have. There is some cover art that shows her as pale, but that is usually the book publishers decision not the author.

Queen Thayat is half K'mir, which Tammy describes as
Actually, they’re based partly on the Mongols in that they’re riders, partly on the Montagnard tribes of the central highlands of Vietnam, and a bit on the Maya at least in their facial bones. Their language is cobbled from the Montagnard. You may have some trouble tracking pictures of them down, but they come from similar aboriginal stock to the Laotian Hmong and Meo tribes and the Thai hill tribes. And their armor is a bit like the armor of the samurai, only it’s lacquer over bamboo in layers and cured to an iron-like consistency.
which makes all of her children ¼ K'mir (horselords these are easier to find than I thought they would be). The fact isn’t brought up much after Lioness Rampant but it is mentioned by Onoa (a K'mir) in Daine’s series. Buri is also obviously K'mir.

Daine’s series has great (if mostly male) poc.First off, BAMF-most-powerful-sorcerer-main-love-interest-Numair who is based off of Jeff Goldblum. Sarge, and countless other residents of the castle are. Yes, Ozorne was the villain, but Kaddar was cool! As were the Doi tribesmen. Daine’s series was also hugely about the return of immortals which has many parallels to immigrants/refugees

Keladry’s entire story displays huge respect for the Yamani (Japan) and believes that 90% of her awesomeness came from learning from them (10% from Wyldon). Third and Fourth book include several females Yamanis including the fullblooded Yamani princess Shinkokami who is to marry the crown prince (¼ K'mir) Also the Bazhir were constant side characters.

Where people might get confused: Now Alanna does come in a little western-white-feminist in Woman Who Rides Like A Man, but she learns. She learns so much about the Bazhir and recognizes that their values may be different but they are just as important. Also, I imagine that Aly might be a bit of the white-feminist-hero to many, but the poc people around her aren’t two dimensional, and they definitely aren’t dumb. On several occasions she is reminded of that. Not to mention every other white character in the books are complete asshats. And in case its not clear, all of these books have a huge cast of POC characters. WWRLaM: Ishak, Kara, Kourrem, Ali Mukhtab, Halef Seif, etc. Tricksters: Dove, Sarrai, Junai, Chenaol, Fesgao, Lokeij, Ochobu, Ulasim, Ysul, Zaimid, Etc.

Furthermore, I highly recommend her Tortall and Other Lands short story collection. A crossdressing female and a Islamic (equivalent) girl who wears a burqa cross paths and we readers get both points of view.

She writes queer characters. Remember the black girl Daja from Emelan? She’s gay. Rosethorn? Openly bisexual and not monogamous. Lark? Longterm relationship with Rosethorn and accepts her fully. Pretty certain Frostpine is asexual. There is a trans woman in Bloodhound (although she couldve been written better). Keladry is completely unphased by homosexuality and Lalasa is a lesbian. There is some talk that Keladry is ace. Now I’m all up for more aces, but she definitely had quite a few men who caught her eye, and there was that whole thing with Cleon. However, I still believe that demisexual is a possibility this has nothing to do with me being demi and idolizing her. 

Sure, we can always have more poc and queers in books, but I think Tammy does a pretty bang up job humanizing these people and writing realistic backgrounds. Not to mention how fantastic she writes females in general, and points out so many other issues (classism, education, etc). So if your feeling concerned, reread Tortall, reread Emelan, and reread Tortall and Other Lands. Sorry its long, and I’m probably forgetting quite a few people, so message me if you see any or just want to talk about  Tamora Pierce.

(Edit: thank you everyone who left comments about people I forgot/corrections)

Third watercolour for Sandry’s Book/The Magic In The Weaving!

First

Second

This is still a bit overworked but there are parts I really like of this picture. I’m learning plenty as I go on with this project! I keep teeling myself, ‘Uvumi - patience - it is everything’.

I have to say I don’t think Rosethorn would let the bushes grow up around Lark’s workroom like that, blocking the morning light, but I’d put a tree there looking from the other direction so it had to go in. Also, when I painted the interior of the main room last time I realised I had a window to the outside where the door to Rosie’s workroom should have been.

Rethinking my latest Emelan ‘verse read and- Daja.

black and a woman and gay

tall and broad shouldered and flat chested

ridiculed and scolded by her family for her interest in smithing

cast out and denied acknowledgement of her existence by her people after her whole family died in a terrible accident that left her stranded for days

hated by racists and ignorants for being part of the people who cast her out

afraid to forget her culture and insisting on honoring her religion and family while embracing her love of smithing and craftsmanship

stopping an enormous uncontrollable forest fire as a thirteen year old to save a huge group of the people who cast her out and regard her as cursed and dirty and not even alive

using her new magic that is physically a part of her to do something good and having it backfire in her face and being betrayed by someone she trusted and admired

taking pity on the man who betrayed her and murdered so many and making his death painless

creating things like prosthetic legs and hearing aids along with art

finding love and discovering her sexuality and leaving the woman she loves behind because of principle and morals and how much she loves her foster-siblings

Daja Kisubo, the woman whose heart is strong and bright and as big as her whole body

Yesterday at the renaissance faire, there was a woman jousting.

She was about my age, and unlike me (wonderfully petite, though stocky, at 5 ft tall), she was a giant. They introduced her as a woman, they didn’t bother with some storyline of her hiding herself. And she was beautiful. She rode three times, and each time she ATTACKED on the hit - she never held back for a second. She fell on her last pass, but it didn’t matter. Ever since I can remember, my dream was always to be the knight, not the princess. That dream was intensified by Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series. That dream was kind of dashed by my lack of height, but also by the fact that I’d only ever heard of a couple of women ever jousting, and it had only been in a theatrical, not competitive setting. I’d certainly never seen one do it. GUYS. Yesterday my dream came true, at least in a way. I was too shy to go talk to her afterwards, and part of me regrets that. But by the Gods I hope she knows the impact she had on so many girls in the audience. I CRIED. Openly wept as I watched her joust. Ten-year-old me’s dream was alive again. Goddess bless, Lady Knight.

(and the best part? She rode in green, just like Kel did under Raoul)

Sandrilene fa Toren

I’m in the middle of listening to the Emelan books and am currently on Magic Steps ( Sandry’s Circle Opens book) and am continually impressed with how Tamora Pierce writes a heavily privileged character, who is also trapped by some of her privileges while also blind to them. I think “The Will of the Empress” most explicitly shows Sandry’s blindness to her privilege and position as nobility related to royalty, but it’s subtly all over “ Dancing Steps” too.

Sandry occasionally has to assert her authority in order to view crime scenes and convince Pasco’s family that he does indeed have dancing magic. She does have to assert it but there’s never any instance where she might be in danger for asserting it with a guard, policing force or government official unlike Briar and Tris in their Circle Opens books. No one is going to hit her or torture her for interfering. She never has to count coppers , as seen when she and the provost mages need more silk. The Mage even tells her how nice ( and different) it is for them to just buy what they need for their work. It’s the mage, a middle class harrier mage, who notices that Sandry just gets what she needs, not Sandry herself. Sandry is a step away from royalty and it brings her money and protection.

At the same time, Tamora Pierce also throws in subtle hints abou how Sandry is trapped by her position of privilege. Sandry has to sit ramrod straight as is ladylike. After ripping Captain Quais a new one she knows she must send him a letter of apology later since she is Sandrilene fa Toren and noble ladies are not rude to Provost captains. Tellingly, when Sandry loses her temper and is rude to him, she is behaving like her friend Tris who has the freedom to be as rude as she likes to a jackass without then being expected to apologize ( stepping back into the role of dove like, ladylike behavior). People continually see Sandry as Sandrilene fa Toren the noble before they see her as Sandry a powerful mage. In the original circle books Sandry was constantly coming up against the idea that noble girls don’t spin or weave and even while people don’t say that to her anymore, she’s still coming up against the idea that noble girls are good for naught but to wait on and be married.

I find Sandry a really fascinating character because she is written this way. Tamora Pierce has created a character who is kind, practical, and hard working and then put her in a position of highest privilege. That character then uses that privilege and is occasionally oblivious to it but Pierce also shows how Sandry is also occasionally oppressed by her good fortune ( without ever implying that Sandry’s struggles with her class as an aristocrat negate the many benefits it grants her). It’s a complicated portrait of social class.

The older I get the more I appreciate the circle universe books and the more I am astounded ( and appreciative) that Pierce created complex portraits of social class in a book for children.