Thursday, April 17, 2014

Literary PSA: The Immortals by Tamora Pierce

 Long ago I decided to start a NEW THING: Literary Public Service Announcements. Essentially, I'm going to pimp a book that I read before I started blogging, but that I want to foist upon the world due to its high levels of sheer awesomeness for the good of the public and all that jazz. Instead of me just telling people over and over that they should read something "JUST BECAUSE!!!1!", I've decided to actually explain in a more eloquent fashion just why my favorite books are my favorites.

Last time on Literary Public Service Announcements: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

And now this week's PSA:

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Goodreads

You might have heard me fangirl once or twice or a million times over Tamora Pierce, goddess of YA high fantasy and hero of my childhood. You may even have been around when a few blogger friends and I put together Piercefest, a summer-long blogstravaganza to celebrate her work. You might have noticed me put the Song of the Lioness series, aka the Alanna books and the first series Tamora Pierce ever wrote, and a dozen or so of my Top Ten Tuesday lists.

Tamora's built a huge universe within her books, and the best way to start your journey in Tortall is with the Alanna books. They take place first and really introduce you to all the characters. But today I'm going to fangirl about the second quarter that takes place in and around Tortall: The Immortals. If Alanna was the girl that got me to love kick ass lady warriors and sexy times, then Daine, heroine of this series, is the girl who taught me to love shipping, really good worldbuilding, and maaaaaagic.

The Immortals centers on Daine, 13 at the beginning of the series, 16 at the end. She's a recently orphaned girl from the northern country of Galla who's got such a way with animals that many around her--including Onua, horsemistress of the Queen's Riders, and Numair, love of my life famous and accomplished mage--think she must have some magic in her. And she does! Wild magic! Hence the oh so clever title of the first book.

This is one of those series that really blossoms as it continues. Books 3 and 4 are two of my favorite fantasy books ever. The FEELS, you guys. Tamora's characters are so funny and loveable, and her worldbuilding grows in leaps and bounds in this series. Book 3 takes you to Carthak, a vast and rich empire loosely based on Egypt. Book 4 takes you into the magical Realms of the Gods themselves. Book 4 also happens to include some truly, awesomely, magically epic kiss scenes. In fact, it has the one kiss scene by which I judge all other kiss scenes. The kiss scene that taught me what a kiss scene was. The kiss scene I once did a dramatic reading of for Gaby with no shame whatsoever.


She had been kissed before, over the last two years. ... A moment ago, she would have said she liked kissing well enough.

This was different. Liking did not begin to describe the thunder in her body and heart. Hot sweetness raced from his lips through her body, making her tingle, making the breath come short in her tired lungs, making her knees watery.


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Twelve-year-old Gillian's entire life was changed when she read this kiss scene. I can't even tell you. I'm not even going to pretend that my copy doesn't automatically fall open to this page after a decade of rereading those passages. I JUST CANNOT MY SHIP IS PERFECT

Daine grows from a rough, lonely kid to a young woman in control of her magic, able to communicate with (and even transform into!) animals. Oh, and there are dragons. YES. DRAGONS. There are animal sidekicks galore in this series, including a super judgmental horse named Cloud and a baby dragon named Kitten who is a serious handful. It's just the best. If you've read the Alanna books (which you really should because duh), you get the added bonus of seeing where all those characters are and what they're doing. And then you get the new characters, like powerful, enigmatic Emperor Ozorne of Carthak, who may or may not be Up to Things.

There there are the gods, who are very present in this series, and all the immortal creatures who are suddenly appearing all over Tortall and wreaking havoc.

There are one or two things you maaaaay  have to just... go with, like a pretty major age gap between the characters in my ship, but WHATEVER. These things are allowed in fantasy, okay? They're perfect. Shut up. There are dragons and there's kissing and there are battles and there's a girl who can talk to wolves, okay? THERE ARE DINOSAURS. Why aren't you already reading this?

MOAR COVERS! The ones I grew up with are the first ones. AKA the awesome mass market paperbacks.

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20 comments:

  1. OH MAN I cannot wait to check these out at the library. I'm going to do a whole Tamora Pierce reread (I read pretty much everything in middle school but I don't remember anything) from the Alanna series to this series and anything else she's written. I'm excited :)

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    1. YAYYY! I so want to do a Tamora Pierce reread. Alanna, Daine, Kel, Aly, Bekah. Maybe someday hopefully I'll have the time? Possibly?

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  2. Those mass market paperbacks just gave me all the feeeeeels!! *immediately races downstairs to start rereading Song of the Lioness*

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    1. YESSSS! All my Tamora Pierce books are those mass market paperbacks, and I love them so much. They've been reread so much they're sort of falling apart, but I'll never get rid of them.

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  3. I read these (and the Alanna books) when I was..thirteen? (I think). And I absolutely loooooved them, so much so that I bought all four Alanna books with my first lot of wages when I started working. I still have them somewhere too. Out of both series, though, the Wild Magic series was my favourite. I loved Kitten,and even wanted a dragon as a teenager, simply because of these books!!

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    1. I can't think of a better way to spend your wages :)

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  4. Good to know! I read and LOVED the Protector of the Small series like 10 years ago, and I've wanted to read more of Pierce's work, but there's SO much. I had no idea where to start. This looks like a good place. Especially if books 3 and 4 are your favorite fantasy books EVER ;)

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

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    1. No, start with Alanna!!!! The Song of the Lioness quartet is the first chronologically. This is the second, and then comes Kel's story. It's best to start with Alanna!

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  5. Well, I guess I'm now adding this 4 and the Alanna books to my TBR list!!

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  6. I'm so glad that there is someone out there who is equally obsessed with Tamore Pierce!! I also have a soft spot in my heart for the first covers because they are the ones I first read. I read a lot of her books from the library when I was getting into Tamora Pierce, so when I finally tried to buy all of them, it was super hard to get matching covers... well of the old covers that I wanted so bad. My Protector of the Small quartet is kind of a mixed bag, but I just don't love the newer covers for most of the older books.
    Also, I definitely recommend a reread of a quartet or two one a year. They are such quick small books, so I can't really resist!

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    1. I agree. I am SO attached to those old matching paperbacks! They just seem to FIT for me. And I reread Alanna and Daine last year, and I really want to reread the other Tortall series sometime this year.

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  7. I looooove these books! I definitely remember my twelve-year-old self feeling kind of weird about the age gap between the two characters, but I shipped them so hard I just pretended it didn't exist haha.

    Ugh now I want to go buy and reread all the Tamora Pierce books I don't have.

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    1. EXACTLY. What age gap? Who has an age gap? Nope. Not a problem here. Moving past that.

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  8. God I can't even count the number of times I've flailed over Tamora Pierce on my blog! (In fact, I bet if you search her my search engine just explodes and can't handle life anymore). I finally read her Circle of Magic series! I loved them too (obviously. Tamora Pierce. Nuff said.), but they can't hold a candle to my love for her Tortall series!

    I love Numair, don't get me wrong...but..but George! (Or in my case, Nawat <3<3<3, but I also feel I'm one of the few people out there who actually super loved the Trickster books) I don't think Alanna's kisses were quite as dramatic perhaps haha. God now I just want to reread ALL THE BOOKS. Every time you mention Tamora Pierce I'm doomed! (Actually I think that's how I found your blog in the first place - Piercefest)

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    1. Tamora Pierce is oh-so-flail-about-able (so a word).

      I LOOOOVE GEORGE. AND Nawat. I love all the boys. Don't ever ask me to choose a favorite or I will just cryyyy. I really need to read Aly's books. It's been the longest!

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  9. OMGOMGOMG I LOVE THIS. Tamora Pierce is my all-time favorite author, and I'm hyperventilating just reading this post. I wish I was here for Piercefest!! I have to agree with Elizabeth on George and Nawat, but I have a soft spot for Briar out of all the male characters. Protector of the Small is my favorite series, but only if I have to choose because I LOVE THEM ALL.

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    1. I got a little faint when I went back and reread the Big Kiss Scene so I could transcribe it here. Not hyperventilating, but very, very close. George, Nawat, and Numair are my Tamora Pierce boyfriends and I love them dearly and desperately.

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  10. I loooove The Immortals quartet. Hands-down my favorite of Pierce's series, and Daine is by far my favorite protagonist of hers. This series was actually my introduction to Pierce's work as a whole, and it was a fantastic one (though I do totally see the merits of reading the quartets in publication order). i think I was around 12 or so when I first read this series and I've returned to it many times since.
    The only part I didn't love quite so much was the romance, actually. I like Daine and I like Numair. But the plotline about Daine growing into her powers and all always interested me much more than her romance with Numair to be honest. But Pierce does know how to write some good, swoony romance nonetheless.
    This is making me super nostalgic now. I should go re-read all of the Tortall series now. :) And yay for Daine/The Immortals love!

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  11. Giirrrrllll.... I LOVE these books! Tamora Pierce was my introduction to high ya fantasy, and she is the love of my life! Like seriously, I love all of her Tortallan books! My very favorites though are the Alanna books and then the Protector of the Small quartet then the Immortals. They are just so good, and ugh my heart just can't. I love it all!!! Thank you for reminding me why I love this series so much!

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