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Publisher's Summary

Alanna of Trebond is no ordinary girl: her dream is to become a knight. So she disguises herself as a boy and begins training at the palace of King Roald. Alanna quickly finds out that the road to knighthood is not an easy one, but her skills and stubbornness help her become friends with Prince Jonathan and his followers. At the same time, Alanna makes an enemy of the prince's uncle, the overly charming Duke Roger.

Here begins Alanna's first adventure, one that will lead not only to fulfillment of her dreams but to a magical destiny that will make her a legend.

Follow Alanna of Trebond's quest to knighthood in the Song of the Lioness series.
©1983 Tamora Pierce (P)2000 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, an Imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"A lively, fascinating tale." (Booklist)
"Pairing [Trini] Alvarado's vocal talents with [Tamora] Pierce's well written and engaging story makes this a quality audiobook worthy of inclusion in any audio collection." (School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    872
  • 4 Stars
    215
  • 3 Stars
    65
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    601
  • 4 Stars
    167
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    683
  • 4 Stars
    129
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    5
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    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hallie
  • Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • 08-19-04

my favorite

This is the first book in the series that has been my favorite for over ten years. Alanna is a strong female character who fights for what she believes in and achieves her goals. It is a fantastic read full of surprises and characters you come to love, and some you love to hate. I recomend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy and amazing heroines.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

This is an excellent book, the first writing done by it's author. This book is a true measure of her talent, and it's story almost impossible to stop for more than a few minutes. I'm now on the third book and I listened to the second straight through. If adventure, magic, and chivalry are of interest to you then the whole series is a must read. In fact i'm buying the fourth book now, and intend to listen to everything Audible has of hers.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this story and audiobook!

I absolutely love this series, and I'm 23! I discovered Tamora Pierce in middle school and her books have stuck with me ever since. Alanna and her friends are fantastic characters and their adventures are definitely entertaining.
Alanna is such a great, likeable role model!
Unlike another reviewer, I personally love Trini Alvarado's narration of this. Her voice and pace are natural and expressive, unlike the readings done for some other Pierce books, which I found to be too slow. I first heard her on the Trickster books and fell in love. The voices for different characters are quite engaging and consistent, which allows the listener to distinguish between characters while listening. Besides, isn't it fitting that this series have a female narrator?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love this book so much.

What did you love best about Alanna, The First Adventure?

It is about a girl in a mans world, and the author has the decency not to ether emphasise her sex every five minutes or make her into some sort of sexless fighting machine. Alanna is real person. That is what I love about this series.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Alanna is me when I was that age: short tempered and suborn.

Have you listened to any of Trini Alvarado’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Trini Alvarado is a brilliant narrator. This was the very first audiobook I bought back in the day. I think I have listened to it so many times I could recite it word for word, yet I listen to it again and again because Alvarado is just that good.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and I have.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M
  • 03-05-11

Persistence & determination - a great YA book.

Alana & her twin brother Tom have a problem. Alana is to be sent to the convent to learn to be a lady and Tom is to go to the palace to learn to be a knight. The trouble is, Tom hates the fighting arts and wants to be a sorcerer. Alana loves the fighting arts but only boys are allowed to be trained. Determined to get their way, the twins switch places, Tom going to the convent to learn magic, Alana posing as a boy and going to the palace. Thus begins Alana's first adventure.

The adventure follows Alana (known as Alan) as she struggles to fit in with the other boys and overcome her own physical limitations. Being smaller than the other boys and being a girl makes "Alan" fearful that she will never be good enough to win her shield. But she refuses to give up. She meets each challenge with renewed determination. She tries harder, trains longer, and pushes herself to the edge of her endurance to prove that she belongs. She struggles to overcome her fear of using her magic, the truth that she has no control over the changes in her body, and the guilt of having to lie to people she has come to love and respect. In spite of it all, "Alan" manages to earn the respect and approval of most of the people around her... even her enemies.

I ran across this book on tape at the library, when my boys were in their early teens and we all loved it. The pace was fast enough to hold my boys interest but not so juvenile that I got bored. I was very impressed at how the author handled the physical changes of growing up. Touching on the subject, making it a real part of the story without getting overly graphic or involved.

If you prefer more complex adult books, you may not like this series, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the characters, the story, and felt that the reader did an excellent job of bringing the story to life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing narration

We're big fans of the Alanna series. Unfortunately, this narrator does such a poor job that the book seems lifeless, which it most definitely is not. Skip the audio version -- it's a waste of time. Read the book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • W
  • Marina, CA, United States
  • 10-13-05

Good, but a trifle predictable

I listened to Alanna: the First Adventure via my subscription with Audible, and I found this story to be pleasantly entertaining (if at a few times) simplistic.

Alanna is a young girl with red hair and violet eyes. When her father dictates she must enter a convent, she trades places with her brother Thom who is to become a page and eventually a knight.

I read the Alanna series as a teenager and was fascinated by her adventures. Now as an adult some of this story seems a tad predictable. Pierce's writing lacks detail and some of her characters (such as the prince, George etc.) are rather clich? for the fantasy genre. Still, this is a great series of books that young girls and adults will enjoy... I only wish that Pierce had fleshed out her characters a bit more. Although I liked the characters I never got the sense that they were anything other than stereotypes.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Favorite, Then and Now

Alana and her twin brother, Thom, have a problem. Everyone expects them to follow the paths set for noble-born youths. This would see Alanna in a convent, learning to be a lady, and Thom at the palace, working towards his knight's shield. But to Alanna, the prospect of being shut in a convent is unbearable. She is furious that as a girl, she is not allowed to become a knight, even though all she wants is to earn her shield and go on great adventures. She sees only one option. If she and her twin can switch places, the convent also teaching young men to be sorcerers, all she has to do is keep her gender secret long enough for her to prove that just because she is a girl, she can be the best knight Tortall has ever seen. Doesn't sound that hard, right?
I grew up reading and listening to all of Tamora Pierce's series. As a girl, who chafed at the idea that she was inferior to boys or that her gender meant certain expectations, this book was a breath of fresh air. Particularly, Trini Alvarado's performance of "Alanna, The First Adventure," to this day, is the literary equivalent of a comfy chair, a fuzzy blanket, and a cup of warm tea for me. A great read for any young adult who loves knights, adventures, and magic; it is also a great book to return to when you are old enough to analyze and appreciate the way Pierce weaves in lessons about the hardships of growing up as a young woman who wants more then what society tells her she can have.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Suitable for a young listener aged 8-11

The reader detracted from the experience. The story and characters relate to a very young reader. The main character is a girl who has to pretend to be a boy in order to succeed at what she wants to do in life. Not the best message for current generations of women but also shows the obstacles women still need to overcome and how much determination is required to succeed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Old Love Renewed

I loved this. The narrator did an excellent job. She made my love for this story even greater.