In defence of Alanna
bkoch at rz.uni-osnabrueck.de
Sun May 7 10:35:31 EDT 2000
I just have to write this, because the Alanna trilogy touched me deeply
when I read them first (I think I was about 13, 14 then) and about a
year ago, when I reread them (in English ;).
OK, so only the first book made me cry like a baby when I was 22, but
still... there are so many points in there that were / are important to
- a girl makes it in a men's world, even thoughthe odds are against her
- someone with a low self-confidence finds out that there are
(quite a lot of) people who like her
- she learns to accept her special powers and to use them for others
Somehow, I found myself in that first book, then and today: I know that
I'm special in my own way, that through my enthusiasm I made a few
people's lives richer, but deep down inside I'm still not happy about
myself. I am surrounded by lots of men (studying computer science,
working as a programmer), and I think they accept me.
Without Alanna and a few other books that featured amazons or other
strong characters (I fought about Darkover books with my Mom and sister
when I was 14, 15), I probably wouldn't be where I am!
All this may be due to the way that I read books and watch movies: I
tend to be really absorbed, not thinking "this is not real, it's just a
book" all the time. In this, I may be a little childish and not very
analytical in my books, I may not get the message unless pushed to, but
I enjoy reading very much. And, especially when you identify yourself
with a character, you can learn a lot about yourself (Like even in "The
Blair Witch Project" - I'd react exactly like Heather, so it was doubly
So ok, the first book of the Alanna series is great, the next 2 are
fine (maybe because of the romantic things, and again because Alanna
learns a lot about herself - she doesn't think she is perfect, even
though Tamora Pierce may have made her so), and the last book is so-so
- nice to read becuase it cleans evereything up, Jon gets married etc.,
but not a showstopper.
This is of course my own opinion, and I may get flamed, but I love
these books (and my DWJ order isn't here yet, so I can't compare much,
and we only ever got DWJ from the library anyway, but my sister owned
the Alanna series!).
And I always wanted to learn sword-fighting, too!
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