Review: Tortall and Other Lands

Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce

Title: Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: Fantasy, Swords and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Bluefire (10th April 2012)

Years ago, the novel Alanna introduced fantasy lovers to the magical kingdom of Tortall. In Tamora Pierce’s subsequent sixteen books set in this medieval relam, readers have gotten to know generations of families; legions of friends, foes, and fantastical creatures; and much about the history, magic, and spirit of this extraordinarily well-drawn locale.

But epics do not always provide the smaller, more intimate tales. Collected here are six wondrous shorter tales from the land of Tortall, featuring previously unknown characters as well as old friends. There are four more fantasy tales not set in Tortall. And as a bonus, there’s one nonfantasy set in contemporary Idaho that proves that Pierce’s multilayered characters, finesse with dialogue, and impeccable storytelling are not limited to worlds inhabited by dragons and magic.

Dive in and get carried away. Few writers can envelop you as completely as Tamora Pierce.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

TORTALL AND OTHER LEGENDS: A COLLECTION OF TALES by Tamora Pierce is a collection of eleven short stories mostly set in the world of Tortall – although two are set in our world. The short stories contain mainly new characters are situations, though there are a couple of familiar faces throughout the collection.

On the whole I really enjoyed this collection, there was only one of the short stories in it that was familiar to me – Student of Ostriches – and I thought that as a whole the collection was quite cohesive. Pierce explored her usual themes throughout the collection, and I found all the stories to be an enjoyable read.

If you are a fan of Tamora Pierce there may be some stories in the collection that you have read before, but Pierce has also included some new stories. As I mentioned before, there is only one story in the collection that I have read before so I really enjoyed the chance to explore new areas of Tortall, and seeing how Pierce wrote a more contemporary story. I really enjoyed the fact that two stories in the collection intersect with one another. I thought it added an extra layer to both of the stories.

I also enjoyed the fact that the stories themselves are told in either first person narration or third person narration. The different forms of narration really worked well. Pierce also did an excellent job of fleshing out the worlds of the stories not set in Tortall.

If you are a fan of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall works, then this is a must add to your collection. These short stories add a new side to an already complex and vibrant world.

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