Friday, October 18, 2013

Rereading your favourite books: Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen

I've mentioned before that when I get stressed out I binge reread books I've loved.  This week started with Sabriel, but half-way through Lirael it turned into a reread of Tamora Pierce's Trickster's Choice series (which is odd since Lirael is my favourite book in that series, but it's pointless to try and resist reading cravings.  Or any cravings really, which is probably why my cheese mysteriously disappears anytime I drink...)

There's just something...indescribably wonderful about revisiting books that you've really, really loved.  I just finished the Trickster series and at the end I just curled up and sobbed myself silly.  It's a bit cathartic honestly, which is probably why I was craving them.  Trickster's Choice is just everything I love, and it's full of wonderfully snarky quips throughout the book.   Aly is such a delightful main character - she's scheming and clever, she can defend herself but knows that she isn't a warrior the way her mother is, she's attractive and she knows it (but not in an annoying manner).  There's also an ensemble cast which I always love because side characters MAKE a story.  And of course it introduces Nawat, one of my favourite characters of ALL TIME (and I feel like a horrible person because he totally could have made my TTT on the subject as technically he is a crow.  *Sobs* I'm a terrible person, how could I have forgotten him?!)  And he leads to some of my favourite scenes in this book - like where we meet Ochobu, the mage.  These scenes end up being so adorable (and hilarious)!

"Nawat, put that down," Aly told her friend, who had a secured a wriggling fish.  "We're leaving."

"But I just caught it," Nawat complained.  "I knew I could."

"You still know you can.  Let that poor fish go," Aly retorted.  "With all the bugs you've eaten today, you can't possibly be hungry."

She heard a sound and turned, frowning, to see what was the matter with Junai.  Her usually stoic bodyguard was actually trying not to giggle.

"If you only knew how strange that sounds," Ulusaim remarked.  "You sound like her mother."  He nodded at the red-faced Junai.

Nawat sighed and released his captive back into the stream.

Aly shook her head and strapped Ochobu's pack to the back of Cinnamon's saddle.  "Well, he has been eating a lot of bugs," she said, knowing that didn't explain anything.

These lines are often extremely insightful, or just true in a way a human would never thinking of saying.  In an earlier scene, Bronau makes some racist remarks about the raka (the native people of the islands, and the people of the village the characters are currently traveling through).

"Why does he speak of them that way?"  the crow man wanted to know.  "They are humans, just like he is."

"I don't think he sees them as just like him," Aly explained.

"He is foolish, then," said Nawat. "There are more raka than Bronaus."  

There are also constant hilarious lines as Nawat learns about human customs (especially those about courting).

Over the course of the book, you gain an understanding of the political and cultural ways of the Copper Isles, and you absolutely fall in love with all of the characters.  The book isn't all fun and games though, so be prepared to have tissues with you!  (Although I don't think most people are as big cry babies about books as I am, so maybe you won't need then, who's to know)

But where Trickster's Choice is funny, Trickster's Queen is powerful.  In fact, one of my favourite lines in a scene is just so powerful that it's stayed with me since the very first time I read it almost an entire decade ago (oh I feel old now!).

"Look!" Ulasim bellowed, pointing up to her.  His voice rang over the clash of weapons and the shrikes of warriors and Stormwings.  "Look at her!  There!  See our future?  See how we can be great?"

It's not the line on it's own that makes this scene so moving.  It's the scene and what happens before and after this line that makes this impact so amazing.  And it's the knowledge that these people believe so deeply and strongly for this woman, and how much she represents to them.  It's hard to describe but it's really deeply felt, particularly in this scene.  For some reason the scene also reminds me of a line Lokeij spoke about how Sarai reminded him of Gunapi the Sunrose goddess.  I'm not entirely sure why it does, but regardless of the reason it makes the scene even more emotional for me.

Overall this book is darker than the previous book.  It feels like Trickster's Queen is in a way and expansion of Trickster's Choice in that it has a similar plot, just deeper, darker...BIGGER in all ways.  This is not to say it's the better of the two books, as I love both equally...I can't really explain it well.  They are two very different books.  I guess I'd say that Trickster's Queen takes everything from the previous book and stretches it.  Nope, still not making sense.  I give up haha!

 I will note, that despite me calling this book darker, I'll never call Tamora Pierce's works particularly dark.  Overall they are usually balanced more to the happy side of the scale, which is probably another reason I love them.  They might rip your heart into tiny little pieces at times - like the end of this book, for one *SPOILERS* Ulasim, Ochobu, AND Junai??  THE ENTIRE FAMILY?  Really?*SPOILERS* but you know there is going to be a relatively happy ending at the end of the day.

Are any of you chronic rereaders?  I honestly think my biggest hindrance in getting through my TBR is that I keep wanting to reread all of my favourite books!  And I'm always stressed out which is usually a rereading trigger for me, so it's a constant losing battle.  If you do reread, what are your go to books?


  1. Great post!

    Ahh, this duology is so wonderful! I love how Aly is different from Alanna, yet she is just as awesome!

    And, yeah, I am also a big-time rereader. I constantly reread my Tamora Pierce books, along with Harry Potter! The pages are falling out! I even have this rule: If I don't think I will reread a book, don't keep it. So basically, all the books on my shelves have and will be reread!

    Wow, sorry for the long comment! Once again, thanks for the great post Elizabeth :)

  2. I'm totally the same! My books starting taking over so I sat down and had a little talk to myself about how once I've finished a book, I'm either keeping it because I'll reread it or it's going onto bookmooch.

    Somehow my Tamora Pierce books have stayed in tact WAY better than the Harry Potters (I blame my brother). One of our copies of Harry Potter as a huge chunk in the middle where the pages are falling out hahaha

  3. haha I can picture the state of your Harry Potter book! I've seen what little brother (or, in my case, cousin) can do to books! For me, most of the damage to both series in on the spine, and the first couple pages of praise and copyright are um, not attached to the book anymore. However, one of the cover's is bent in half! Oops...

    Is it just me, or do the Tamora Pierce books have spines that are super easy to break?

  4. It is DEFINITELY not just you. At least with her paperbacks, which is 90% of what I own with her. You open it once and...WHAZAM. Especially if you have bad habits like I do and leave a book open on the will ALWAYS be able to find that page for all of time haha

  5. Thank goodness its not just me! It is like magic how fast the spines break :D

    Yeah, I leave my books open on the floor also...


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