From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.
And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.
But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.
Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins – one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.
He looked at her with alarm. "Lass, ye've got to accept who ye are," he protested. "Ye can be a woman and still be a warrior."
"I hate it!" she yelled, losing her temper. "People will think I'm soft and silly!"
"Ye're hardly soft," he replied sharply. "And th' only time ye're silly is when ye talk like this."
I think I’ve read this book and this series at least ten times (this is the fifth time I’ve read it since I started tracking with Goodreads in 2015) and it will forever be one of my favourites.
When I read this for the first time when I was a kid, Alanna was everything I wanted her to be. She followed her dreams and followed her moral code even when it would have been easier to give up or give in. Very few things came easy to her and instead of using that as an excuse, she just worked harder. The absolute drive and determination she had to always be better and to not take anything for granted was, and still is, inspiring.
I’m sure there are some who, upon rereading these books, feel they may not have aged well or don’t speak to them the same as they did when they were younger. I may have protected myself from that by rereading them so often, but they still hold the same magic for me as they did on the first read. They are geared to the young side on the young adult spectrum, but they are my favourite way to be reintroduced to Tortall and the following series in this realm. I find that as you continue reading these series in the order they were published, the books seem to grow with you (if you’re reading them at the age they were geared towards). The world of Tortall is ever-expanding and there are some new ones in the later series that I haven’t gotten to yet, which is the main reason for this particular reread. Also, I’ve never actually written reviews for these books and am excited to get to do that!
So for all the nostalgia I feel when reading Alanna: The First Adventure, this book will always get five stars and I believe they are totally deserved.