My friend Lindsay and I roomed together out junior year, and seeing as we were both English majors it will surprise no one that our favorite thing to do was share books with one another.
I do not read fantasy. My extent goes to Harry Potter, Twilight, and the occasional RA Salvatore. (I'm sorry- Drizzit is AWESOME.) But I am probably the only person who has graduated in English and has actually never touched Tolkien. (Though I have eaten in the pub he used to write in... they serve the most amazing chocolate cake.)
Anyways... one weekend in college I was struggling for something to read so Lindsay suggested I read a series by Tamora Pierce called Alanna. Well the first is called Alanna. There are four books in total and they are about a girl, who becomes a knight. And they are FABULOUS.
Warning: they are meant for a younger age. The writing is, if you are a critic, a little immature. Maybe a lot immature. And you can read one of the books in about a day.
But you will read them all in four days because when you pick one up it is impossible to not go from one to the other. The characters are so real and so fun, the story line so fast paced and so engaging you never get tired of it.
And they include everything! Feminism (hello- the girl has to become a knight and best all the guys) Magic (her brother is a sorcerer!) fighting, lots of laughs, and the best of all- romance.
Alanna gets to be with the prince AND the Rouge! (The actual king of thieves!) When does that ever happen? Usually you get your choice of one or the other in a novel but she lucks out in getting to be independent and strong, yet she is loved in every way every woman wants to be.
And she ends up with the right man which makes the books all that much more satisfying when it happens- the rouge. I'm sorry- maybe it is just me that is always much more attracted to the dastardly than the majestic. Which would be why Heathcliff is so much more appealing than Mr. Rochester, and as much as we have to be glad that Marianne married the Colonel, part of me always feels sad that it would never have been Willoughby because part of you LOVES him despite. Its why we like Benato more than Romeo. Its why we despise Romeo- and his precious Juliet for that matter.
Anyways- read them. The books are amazing. I have read them three or four times and I am reading them again now. I always forget how wonderful they are until I pick one up one night and at three in the morning I find myself reaching for the second because- well I can't stop now can I? It shows that not every book has to be real literature to be beloved. Or maybe we should just re-think as to what we classify as literature.
And thank you Lindsay for bringing Alanna into my life. :) I haven't been the same since that first read.