Pierce, Tamora: (114) Trickster’s Queen

Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Queen is the sequel to Trickster’s Choice. Pierce is always entertaining, and I really appreciate that she continues to try different things—here, she has her protagonist up to her neck in running a revolutionary conspiracy. I have to say, though, that I respect the idea of both of these books more than their execution. I reacted to at least two major plot turns not with feelings, but with, “Oh, so that’s how that obstacle is overcome; convenient.” Things were just a little too easy for our protagonists, undercutting the credibility of the gritty revolutionary plot. (This is related to my feeling that Pierce doesn’t convey grief in a way that grips me.) I doubt these will end up in heavy rotation as comfort re-reads, the way that Pierce’s Circle-verse books and prior Tortall books (minus the Alanna series) have.

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  1. I actually got an advance readers copy of Trickster’s Queen at Comic-con last year….and I have to say that I found the denouement a little too pat as well. Also, I was disappointed by Tamora’s pronouncement that she didn’t have to write four-part series any more now that J.K. Rowlings had proven to publishers that kids would read longer books. Now she could just turn two books into one longer one. That was her logic at least. Whereas I was hoping that she would take the time to develop the characters more, and take the plot in more unexpected directions. I really liked Trickster’s Choice, partly because it gave us the view of old favourite characters from a new view, and I felt the set up and character development in that, though more leisurely than some of her past books, was benefitting from that pace. But Queen just gave me the feeling that she was in a hurry to try and tie up all the loose ends in the usual number of words. Yeah, I got some of the endings I wanted, and one that was rather expected, but I wanted more done to achieve it. Still, a decent read, and I wasn’t overly disappointed.

  2. PiscusFiche: about length in Pierce: well, I see what you mean, but I have a feeling that Pierce generally was writing to the length of the story anyway and then just breaking it into pieces where market-necessary. It felt to me like not wanting to confront those complications because they were complicated, not because they’d have required more pages. I’m really looking forward to the forthcoming standalone Circle-verse book, and perhaps we’ll see those extra pages put to good use there.

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