Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Would You Recommend? - Tamora Pierce

Being posted early because I'm pretty sure I won't have internet access tomorrow (Friday).

This is a question I get asked all the time working in the bookstore: "What would you recommend for somebody who loved "_________"? (fill in the blank)" Usually I can come up with something, but that something can be a bit of a wild guess if it's not a book or genre I normally read. This is where you helpful people come in. If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

Tamora Pierce has written a number of very popular childrens/teen books suited for various ages and set in at least two very different worlds. I'm more familiar with the world of Tortall, which is the world that the Song of the Lioness Quartet, the Wild Magic quartet, the Keladry books and others are all set in. She's also written the Circle of Magic series, which I haven't read.

What I'd like to know is what else I can recommend to people who've already read these. I've been suggesting The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, which is one of my favorite fantasy novels. I also recommend the Heralds of Valdemar books for older fans of Tamora Pierce, but what else could I suggest, especially for younger readers?


Anonymous said...

Anti-recommendation: McKinley's "Deerskin". It's far, far darker than Pierce's books. I haven't read much of her work as I don't get along with her style, but I'd be happy recommending her "Rose Daughter" to kids who liked Pierce. It's quite different in plot and topic, but a good read.

I'd also recommend they check out Patricia C. Wrede. Especially her "Enchanted Forest" chronicles. They're more humourous than the Alanna books, but strike me as much the same.

With some more trepidation, I'd also recommend Diana Wynne Jones. I'd say "take your pick", but if you want the "multi-book fantasy adventure", you'll probably want to direct them towards her "Dalemark Quartet". All books work as stand-alones, but they're all connected and have a similar grand world-saving theme overlying them. (If they tell you they've already read Wrede, however, definitely mention DWJ's Chrestomanci series.)

Could also direct them to Susan Cooper's "The Dark Is Rising Sequence". It's got a male protagonist (save the first book) and is fantasy set in our world, but it's grand, epic and gorgeous. Also, it draws heavily on Arthurian myths.

Perhaps also Shannon Hale's "The Goose Girl" (and related novels, but I've only read the first) which is about a princess coming into her own strength and saving her kingdom. So not really a Mulan theme there, but...

Some books I'd recommend for older teens (/YA) people asking you this question are:
- The Glass series by Maria V. Snyder.
- "Silver Phoenix" by Cindy Pon.

Both have heavier themes than the Alanna books - I can't speak about Pierce's other books as I haven't read them. "Silver Phoenix" has a Chinese setting which is actually one of the chief reasons I'm recommending it. It's different - good different. It'll challenge them just a touch more than the standard pseudo-medieval setting.

And, uhm, that's me all recommended out. I doubt they're all going to be perfect recommendations, but then... Isn't that normal for books? ^-^ I wanted to give you a link to a thread asking for recommendation of the "I like Pierce's work, what else should I read?" variety I saw somewhere, but I couldn't find it. :/

Unknown said...

Thanks there, libritouches. That's wonderfully thorough.

I also tried Deerskin, and couldn't get through it.

Patricia C. Wrede's bugging me. Were the Lyra books hers? If so, than I did like them a lot.

Haven't read any of the Diana Wynne Jones books, but I've had a few people asking for them lately.

Read the Susan Cooper's but I'd forgotten about them, it's been so long. That was one of my favorites as a kid though. Thanks for the reminder to read them again some day soon.

If you do find that thread again, I'd love to get a link.

Thanks for commenting.

fantasylover12001 said...

Well, for fans of Pierce...that's difficult because I have yet to find other series/writers that are entirely like her books. But I'll take a crack at it.
For younger readers I'd go with The Enchanted Forest Chronicles as others have reccomended already and also perhaps The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley. It's very different from Pierce (fairytale reference kind of thing) but there are many strongwilled females in it and the main characters are two girls so they may like that.
I also would maybe reccomend the Young Wizards series which has a strong female lead and of course anything by Diane Wynne Jones...just because. Also, they may like Gail Larson Levine's stories (Ella Enchanted and whatnot).
For older fans...Graceling most definitely, and also His Dark Materials by Phillup Pullman. As well as maybe things like Princess Ben.

Unknown said...

I'd forgotten about the Diane Duane books, and the "So You Want To Be A Wizard" series. Those were so good (as were The Book of Night With Moon and it's sequel).

Don't know much about the others, but I'll definitely keep them in mind.
Thanks for the recommendations, fantasylover.

Anonymous said...

May I ask why you didn't get through "Deerskin"? Because I'm curious like that. ^-^

I think Wrede wrote the Lyra books, yes. (I don't get along well with either Pierce or Wrede, I'm afraid, so haven't read all/much of their work.)

I hadn't thought of Gail Carson Levine, but I can see them working as recommendations. Be careful with her shorter stories, though. "Ella Enchanted" is wonderful, but she has a series with fairytale retellings of about a hundred pages ("The Fairy's Mistake" is part of it) that aren't nearly as good. You definitely only want to recommend those to young readers. And perhaps not at all if the people asking are already reading Pierce. (They're fun and fast, but they're also fluff.)

Also, thread!

(I have no idea why searches never give me what I want to know the first time I run them...) Enjoy!

And apologies it took me half-a-month to reply...

Unknown said...

To be honest, I've forgotten why I didn't finish Deerskin.

Thanks for the thread link, and half a month or more, it really doesn't matter.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...