Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Review: Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales, Tamora Pierce

 Fans of Tortall rejoice! If you’ve caught yourself wondering how Ali and Nawat are doing, what mischief the darkings are causing, or whatever happened to Kitten, Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales is for you. Six of the eleven stories in this collection are based in Tortall and feature old friends. The other five tales span from unnamed desert locations to modern-day New York City. Goddesses, talking dragons, warriors, and former trees all have their turn taking center stage.  And, as an added bonus, there is also a sneak peek of Mastiff, the final book in the Beka Cooper trilogy. Whether you are a die hard Tamora Pierce fan, or are new to her world, this is a must-read.

Tortall and Other Lands is a masterpiece, but I’ve come to expect nothing less from Tamora Pierce. Each of the stories from Tortall was like a visit from an old friend. My personal favorite was “Nawat.” The descriptions of what new parenthood is like are priceless. And any story with a darking in it makes me smile.  I loved catching up with some of my favorite characters. But the stories were written so that someone who hasn’t read all of the Tortall novels would still understand them.  The modern stories were a bit of a surprise to me. I didn’t expect the creator of Tortall to write about New York or Idaho, but she did it with the same skill and creativity that I’ve come to expect. Tortall also has a more personal feel since one of the stories (not even fantasy!) comes directly from Tamora’s experiences as a young woman. My only complaint about the collection is that I wish it would have been longer.   

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