A Guide To The Magical Worlds Of Tamora Pierce

Have you ever found yourself wanting to start a new book series, but haven’t had time to find an author worth your time?

Tamora Pierce has been in the writing game long enough that she’s written something for everyone, whether you prefer knights in shining armor, antics of magical teenagers, or a good-ole spy novel.

Most of her books are set in either the fictional world of Tortall (think of kings, knights, and the appropriate accoutrement) or Emelan (which is more suited for mages of all sort and skill), and written in either sets of two or four.


Arguably the books that Ms. Pierce is most famous for, this quartet follows young Alanna of Trebond as she takes her twin’s place among the knights-in-training of Tortall. Yes, that entails having to hide her true identity in much the same way Mulan had to. Acting like a boy isn’t a problem for Alanna – she can fight with the best of them – but problems truly begin to arise once the boys around her start hitting puberty.

The Song of the Lioness quartet, which begins with Alanna: The First Adventure (http://a.co/gAEskxl), follows Alanna from the age of ten to young adulthood. I’d recommend this series to anyone who enjoys political intrigue, a slow romance, a good deal of magic, and even more fighting. If you like Merlin, this is the series for you.


Set a few years before the events of Song of the Lioness, a prospective reader really doesn’t need to know much information about the world of Tortall before delving into Beka Cooper’s story. Beka is a rough-and-tumble “watchdog,” tasked to watch over the slums of the kingdom. Her job is both that of a cop and a detective; she has to keep the peace among the people and resolve any problems that arise. These problems range from serial killers in the streets, to plots to kill the king. Beka does have some help, however, in her limited ability to speak to the dead.

This series, starting with Terrier, The Legend of Beka Cooper (http://a.co/0V3WVHt ), would be best for those who enjoy watching true crime drama like Criminal Minds or NCIS. If you choose to pick up this series, you’re sure to have a good time. Just keep in mind that it was written for a more mature audience than Song of the Lioness, and the gore level has been adjusted to match.


The Circle of Magic quartet is the first set quartet in a set of books that follows four children – Sandry, Daja, Tris, and Briar – as they learn to handle unique and volatile magical abilities. Each child has their own ghosts and troubles, so it’s no question that there’s going to be conflict between the four of them. Living in one house with their two teachers, they have to learn to live and work together if they have any hopes of ever getting their magic under control and becoming full-fledged mages.

This series is set in Ms. Pierce’s other world, Emelan, and begins with Sandry’s Book:


Each child narrates a book, and an actually diverse cast makes for an experience where everyone can find someone to relate to. If Harry Potter holds a place in your heart, you might want to think about checking this series out.


If any of her works sound interesting to you, I’d highly recommend that you go ahead and check them out. Ms. Pierce’s target audience may be teenagers, but she’s put enough thought and care into crafting the intricately detailed worlds of Emelan and Tortall that there’s bound to be something to catch your eye. You can find out more about Ms. Pierce and her books here:



Emily Brooks
Emily Brooks
Contributing Editor for New Plains Review.

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