I have officially began and finished the first leg of my journey into Tortall. Unlike many of Pierce’s readers I had not read or even heard of her books until about a year ago. I picked up the first Alanna book and then ‘Tempests and Slaughter’. Yeah I had no idea this was such a big world. It was like Robin Hobb all over again.
Well I chose to start with the second series in the continuity but it seemed far more to my tastes. The Immortals quartet follows Veralidaine Sarrasri, who goes by Daine, as she learns she possesses the gift of ‘wild magic’. After the violent death of her mother and being left an orphan Daine discovers she can communicate with animals. As the series progresses we watch Daine grow more powerful, discover her parentage and come up against some new and dangerous folk.
Okay for a start I’m a huge animal person. I’ve been vegetarian 5 years. I stayed with both my cats as they died. In my family if you don’t like our animals, we don’t like you. To find a set of established fantasy books with a female lead who was clever,loved animals, treated them as higher beings AND could shoot a bow? I’m hooked already. My ratings for each book are:
- ‘Wild Magic’-★★★★.5/5
- ‘Wolf Speaker’-★★★★/5
- ‘Emperor Mage’- ★★★★.5/5
- ‘The Realms of the Gods’-★★★★★/5
Nothing really dropped below the 4 stars mark so as you can see I highly enjoyed this series. A few bits had awkward pacing here and there or vision/dreams that were hard to understand but overall it was so good and is now one of my favourite series. I read the whole series since Pierce did intend for her series previous to this to be published as one work so I read this one like I would one big book.
The world building in these books is phenomenal. It’s so rich and expands more with each book I never once felt like I wasn’t in Tortall. Pierce could easily have left the world building as a secondary priority since she had already outlined most of Tortall in The Song of Lioness series but I’m so glad she didn’t. You are still supported and taken on a journey through the world with guidance through fantastic writing.
I feel like Pierce does characters best. Daine is literally me I feel. I’d love to be an Alanna but I’m without a doubt a Daine. She isn’t perfect and we watch her grow as a young woman as well as a mage. She loves animals and gets frustrated easily (all me) which I feel should be more common with teenager characters.
The relationship between Numair and Daine was heart warming and altough I kinda guessed where it was going I was still pleasantly surprised. Daine is also very well equipped to tell Numair when he is wrong and when she is not happy with something. I find in a lot of fantasy books we get the student teacher dynamic where the student might not questions their mentor. Its like a left over from the original heroes journey. Not to say Numair is a great character himself, I loved him as his own character aswell.
I wish I had read these books as a child. Tamora Pierce has gotten a bit of a resurgence the past few years and we didn’t have much access to her books in Ireland when I was young and I’m glad she is more available now to other younger readers as well as older.