person: tamora pierce

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.

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.

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)

Ok, so you know that when it comes to George and Alanna's kids it breaks down like this:
  • Jonathan is the responsible uncle that always sides with your parents because he’s all old and shit, and he’s a parent too. You like him the most when you’re little because he speaks kid and he’s just like your parents so you feel comfortable with him, but when you get older you’re kind of like “eh, just another dad in my life”. Then you realize that despite the maturity he actually knows all your parents’ dirty secrets and once you become an adult he’ll totally just start giving you the dirt and he’s awesome again.
  • Gary is like the chill uncle. A little goofier than Jonathan, but ultimately clearly a responsible grown up, albeit one that teases you and says silly things. Never THE favorite uncle, but always A favorite.
  • Raoul is the quiet awkward uncle that you were kind of indifferent to as a young kid because he had no idea what the fuck to say to you, but then you got older and realized that since he had no clue how to speak kid he would just talk to you like a grown up and it’s so cool. Also since he doesn’t have kids he totally lets you get away with all kinds of bullshit when he’s watching you without even realizing it, further cementing his status as Awkward but Cool.
  • Thayet is the aunt equivalent of Jonathan. A little wilder sometimes, but ultimately the responsible, sensible aunt that is like your other mother.
  • Buri is the Bad Aunt. Similar deal to Raoul, at first she’s not your favorite because you’re too little to know how cool she is. Unlike Raoul she totally knows you’re trying to pull bullshit but she’s egging you on because it’s hilarious. She’s also the aunt that likes to fuck with your parents via you. You idolize her because she doesn’t have kids and therefore she’s not boring like your parents.“Oh yeah, I bet your mom would LOVE a terrarium full of spiders. I’ll help you catch them *evil cackling*”.
  • Numair is the uncle that acts like he’s your older brother. He totally lets you do stuff that any other responsible person wouldn’t, not because he thinks it’s funny like Buri, but because he’s so irresponsible and clueless he has no idea that he shouldn’t. He’s the uncle bandaging you up in the back room saying, “Please don’t tell your mom. I’ll give you $20 dollars if you tell her this was all your idea”. He’s also the uncle that teases you, the kind that tells you your parents bought you at Kmart or that you’re on loan from another family and they’re going to come back and get you any day now. The kind of teasing that starts funny but quickly turns into you dashing around with tears in your eyes yelling “MOOOOOOM AM I PART CHIMPANZEE??” He does this out of love, but mostly because he thinks it’s funny. As the younger sister of two brothers I can tell you it’s important to have family members willing to fuck with you on a regular basis so you grow up with a solid bullshit detector and the properly sized ego. For reasons no one on Earth could possibly explain, despite all this you love him and admire him fiercely, and no matter what happens you always go back for more. He’s also the person that’s the most fun to be around.

I think for the Royal family the breakdown is the same, except Alanna is a cross between Thayet and Buri (but mostly Buri), George is kind of like Buri too, and Numair is toned down more (he seems on way less casual terms with Jonathan than he is with Alanna) whereas Gary is way more tricky and teasing with Jon’s kids (because they’re cousins, so that’s his job).

Or at least that’s my headcannon ;)

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.

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.

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

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



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.