Fandom Friday-Tamora Pierce and Tortall

The Fandom Friday is a weekly feature, try with each blog post written by a new contributor.

This is the weekly post where either myself, information pills or a guest blogger, talks about a new fandom. See, I’ve had the experience in my life where I’ve been made fun or put down about my particular fandoms. And that has made me feel pretty crappy. But I’ve also put down other fandoms as well.

So I’ve decided to change that. I’m opening my world up to new fandoms, and the best way to do that is to bring people in to write about various fandoms. I’m very excited about this segment.

If you guys are interested in becoming a guest blogger for the Fandom Friday, feel free to email me at whatanerdgirlsays at gmail.com or contact me HERE

Today’s blogger is…me!

Yeah, no one has volunteered to write a Fandom Friday :( So I’m writing another one.

So if you want to write one, definitely let me know, it’ll be GREAT.

But today I’m going to focus on a fandom that I am insanely passionate about and that has been around for decades and yet, people just don’t seem to know about it.

The Tortall Books by Tamora Pierce

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The Tortall books are all fantasy, young adult novels told in the same realm, the country of Tortall. They are written by an amazing woman by the name of Tamora Pierce, who has been writing books set in this realm since 1983. They are pure fantasy, set in a realm full of magic, knights in shining armor, magical creatures like centaurs and griffins and dragons, and are exciting, addicting and hilarious all at the same time.

There are fives series in the Tortall realm. They are: The Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, The Protector of the Small, The Tricksters and The Legend of Beka Cooper series. 

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The first series is The Song of the Lioness, the first book published in 1983: Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man and Lioness RampantThis follows the story of Alanna of Trebond who is about to go to the convent to learn how to be a proper lady, while her twin brother Alan goes to the palace to learn how to be a knight. However, neither one of them wants this: Alanna is the warrior, and Alan wishes to be a great sorcerer. So they switch places, and Alanna disguises her gender in order to become a knight. The four books follow her adventures as she struggles to hide her identity and to pass all the tasks required to become a knight, and to protect her kingdom.

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The Immortals, first published in 1992, are as followed: Wild Magic, Wolf Speaker, Emperor Mage, and The Realms of the Gods. This series follows Veralidaine Sarrasri, also just known as Daine. Daine comes to a fair in Galla, to escape her home and the devastation that was left behind: her mother, her grandmother and all her animal friends were killed by bandits. But Daine has a secret, and she thinks that it makes her mad: she has a knack when it comes to animals. She takes good care of them, they seek her out, and sometimes, she even feels like she is one. It scares her and she keeps this a secret until she meets Numair, a powerful mage, who tells her that she has Wild Magic, and she has the abilities to heal, to shape-shift and to become one of the most powerful Wildmages ever. As she’s learning this, the country of Tortall is suddenly purged with immortal beings like centaurs, griffins, spidrens and more, and not all of them are friendly. Daine is determined to use her powers to help save the country that has taken her in.

Protector of the Small

The third series in the Tortall realm is The Protector of the Small, the first book published in 1999, and are as followed: First Test, Page, Squire and Lady Knight. This follows the story of Keladry of Mindelan, or just Kel, as she becomes the first girl in over a hundred years to step forward to try for her knighthood, that doesn’t have to hide her gender, like Alanna did. When she gets though, she learns its a lot harder than she had first imagined, especially since most of the boys in her page class are making it very difficult for her to complete and pass all her tasks. Even the training master is making her life difficult, giving her a probation year, something no other page ever has to complete, making her try for knighthood harder than anyone else’s. Then there’s some brewing at the border of the nearby country of Scanra, and a war seems to be coming, and Kel is determined to be ready for it.

Daughter of the Lioness

The Trickster books, first published in 2003, are Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. They follow the story of Alianne, or Aly, who is the daughter of the great knight, Alanna. She is sixteen, surrounded by so many successful people, like her mother, her father, the king and queen, her aunt Daine the Wildmage, her uncle Numair, the greatest sorcerer, her brother Thom who is studying to be a mage and her twin, Alan, is going for his knighthood. But Aly wants to be a spy, and her parents do NOT approve of that for a noble born girl. After a fight with her mother, she takes her ship out to sea to avoid her and gets kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery at the nearby Copper Isles. When she gets there, she stumbles upon an underground rebellion, of the dark skinned raka trying to take their country back from the white skinned luarin. When a god by the name of Kyprioth asks her to keep a pair of half raka, half luarin girls safe, she is thrown in the middle of the rebellion, using her skills to help pull it all together.

Beka Cooper

The last series is the The Legend of Beka Cooper series, which is actually a prequel, and these were written first in 2006, and are Terrier, Bloodhound and MastiffThese follow the story of, you guessed it, Beka, who is an ancestor of George Cooper, who is an important character in the Song of the Lioness series. Beka has joined the police force called the Provost Dogs, and when she first joins, well, she doesn’t really do that well. But she is assigned to the best pair of Dogs there is: Clary and Mattes, and they teach her to become a great Dog. Each novel has a varying story, and Beka has to track down counterfeiters, she has to chase down prince kidnappers and so on. Its told all in journal format, so you get all of Beka’s point of view on her struggles to become a Dog, and to keep her position, and to use her skills to catch criminals, back when women were allowed to do that.

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I first discovered these books when I was 16, when I picked up Trickster’s Choice because it mentioned pirates on the inside cover. I had a seriously ridiculous obsession with pirates back then, and so I decided to read the book. When I discovered that basically all it was that Aly was kidnapped by pirates and they were only mentioned for about two pages, I was confused but I kept reading and I ended up absolutely LOVING the book, and dying for the sequel.

Because of this book, I met my pen pal, Chloe, who I have now been writing to for nine years. She is one of my absolute best friends and I can’t imagine not having this writing relationship with her. However, she informed me that I get a little ahead of myself and that there were THREE series before Trickster’s Choice. So I had to catch up, and I eventually did, though I knew a lot of spoilers because I had gone out of order.

However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying each and every book that I had read. Tamora Pierce is a goddess, and she is an amazing writer who creates these amazing stories with strong, relatable female heroines, way before this golden age of young adult literature even occurred. Tammy was writing about strong female characters back in the 1980s before Hermione Granger or Katniss Everdeen or Clary Fray even existed in the minds of the authors who wrote them.

First off, the characters are all amazing: Alanna, Daine, Kel, Aly and Beka. They are all wicked badass characters. They are knights, and mages, and spies and warriors and detectives. They can wield weapons and track animals, and heal and do magic. They can fight battles, and win duels and take down enemies, through fights or through stealth. They are all wickedly funny, and relatable. You see them struggle with the same sort of problems that any girl from the age of ten to the age of 18 struggles with: first crushes, your first period, getting boobs, losing your virginity, the struggle of your identity, your self esteem and your confidence in how you look. They get to do all these super awesome things but they are just as real as you and me.

And the world of Tortall is so awesome. Its so knights and shining armor like the King Arthur stories but SO much better, because its all so relatable. This is a country that I want to live in, especially because as time goes on, the kingdom becomes more…liberal, if you will. This is a kingdom that cares about the people that live there, and wants to take care of them, and wants them to be healthy and safe and educated. They allow women to enter into the knighthood or the King’s Guard or the Queen’s Riders. They educate all their poor classes. And it just sounds like an awesome place to live. Huge palace, tiny little towns, castles on the edge of the sea, forests, beaches, everything. It sounds WONDERFUL.

So I’ve literally talked your face off now, but these are some of my absolute favorite books ever. Tamora Pierce is my top favorite author, tied with JK Rowling. She is absolutely brilliant and she’s a writer that has been around for decades, and will continue to impress me with every book that she writes. I have never met her, but I hope one day TO meet her, because I’d probably cry with happiness because she’s just so amazing. I recommend these books to everyone, but especially young girls because these characters are great role models and I just think that these books are over looked all the time. I think more readers should be reading these books, instead of others that will remain nameless.

So please, please check these out! You will not be disappointed.

And stay tuned in for more Fandom Fridays!

And check out last week’s on The Lux Series!

The Tuesday Three

You know there is something that I noticed today. And it’s that Tuesdays are worse than Mondays. I mean, prescription sure, hospital Mondays feel terrible after the weekend, especially when your weekend has been awesome. But Tuesdays, Tuesdays are way worse. Tuesdays are like, oh you got through Monday? Well you still have four more days til the weekend! You’re still not even close! Ugh.

Not to mention the fact that it is still in the 80s here in Southern California even though it’s nearly November and meanwhile it’s raging storms on the east coast. Signs of global warming and climate change? I’d say yes.

Lucky for you, my readers, I have the Tuesday Three here for ya to pull you out of those Tuesday blues.
1. Once Upon a Time. Episode 5
So I wasn’t the biggest fan of last week’s episode of Once Upon a Time. I liked Captain Hook, though that was mostly because he was hot. I think adding more characters that fast is a little silly. We kind of have to revisit the ones we already know to see how they are all coping with the curse being broken and the fact that they are still in Storybrooke. And it’s like, okay, another person who is pissed off at rumplestiltskin? Surprise, surprise! He tends to piss a lot of people off…
But this episode was a lot better than the previous week. Mostly because its the second time I’ve felt true pity for Regina, the evil queen. The first time is the episode where you find out what her mother did to her fiancé, Daniel. (Though honestly, her reaction and anger to Snow is so ridiculous and unnecessary). But you feel bad for her. And I felt bad for her again. Because can you imagine losing someone that you loved very much, and you’ve spent years getting revenge for his death and he comes back to life…but it’s not him? It looks like him and feels like him but it’s not. How truly terrible for Regina honestly. And Dr. Whale as Dr. Frankenstein? Not at all what I expected but okay. I’ll roll with it…
2. Walking Dead, Episode 3
Oh wow, yay, I finally actually care about this show! If there was ever a way to discourage people from watching your show, it was having slow and boring opening episodes. Lori still annoys me and Carl with a gun and taking charge doesn’t make me like him anymore than I did before. Which, admittedly, was not a lot. I feel like it’s a repeat of last season but instead of settling on the farm and making the farm a livable, safe haven, they are settling in the prison. They even have that same original dwellers don’t want to share thing going on, Hershel and his family on the farm and the remaining convicts in the prison. It’s just been incredibly boring.
However, this most recent episode leaves the group behind and catches up with andrea and her companion. They’re taken to a settlement where a man known only as the Governor runs the place and with a firm hand and some strict rules. Finally, something interesting! Something with mystery. We don’t know anything about this settlement or the people in it, or this man who runs it. Especially since he claims he is going to save a man’s company of soldiers and instead shoots them all dead. Why is that? I finally feel this spark of curiosity and when I’m curious, I care. Revolution didn’t spark any curiosity at all and so I stopped watching that ages ago.
3. The Mortal Instruments
This isn’t exactly new or anything. I’ve been obsessed with Cassandra Clare and her two book series for quite some time. But every once in awhile I go through this spurts where I’m even more obsessed. I think I’m going through one now because I just reread City of Lost Souls, there is so much talk about the movie (which has been filming and is slated to be finished with filming on November 7th) and the fact that I am dying for a Mortal Instruments tattoo. Big time.
Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that these books are fantastically written and are going to change the world and the way we read books but they’re entertaining and funny and I have a blast every time I read them. And hey, I get a little bit fangirl crazy for Jace Lightwood. He’s sexy, funny, sarcastic and a seriously badass Shadowhunter. And I love Clary Fray, the main character because she hates sitting around and waiting for stuff to go down; she dives right in even though she is an inexperienced Shadowhunter and doesn’t know what danger lies ahead more than half the time. And there’s the fact that she is a redhead. I have a weird obsession with redhead girls :)
But yeah, I’m working on saving some money up for a mortal instruments tattoo and I just bought a shirt I designed that says “Shadowhunters” on the front and “Looking Better in Black since 1294” which Jace jokingl tells Clary that the motto for Shadowhunters is “Looking better in black than the widows of our enemies since 1294”. So good. This sarcastic and dry humor is what makes me love this character.
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So that’s my nerd week in the Tuesday Three. I do hope you enjoyed it and I hope you enjoyed our first ever anime post yesterday. We have a new blogger amongst us who is a big anime fan and will be bringing us anime posts every other Mondays. Keep it nerdy everyone!
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My Top 11 Favorite Fictional Pairings

Today’s post is going to get a little corny. Why? One, sale because I’m in love and I have been for a very, information pills very long time and it makes me feel a little corny. And two, patient this is my blog so I’m pretty sure I’m allowed to do whatever I want.

So recently I finished the third novel in the Heros of Olympus series, Mark of Athena, and one of my favorite pairings in all the books that I’ve read is the Percabeth pairing: Percy and Annabeth. I waited allllll through the Olympians series for those to finally get together and when they did, I was so happy. And now that we’re seeing them as a couple in Mark of Athena….its the cutest thing in the entire world.

I mean, yeah, of course I read books because they are fun and adventurous and I like to be transported into a different world and because books make me think and they give me things to think about and they help me discover my own morals and values. I read for those and so many more reasons.

But, come on, you can’t sit here and tell me that you don’t read books and just wish and wish for so-and-so to finally fall in love with their one true love, so-and-so.

So, since I’m being corny and silly today, I’m going to talk about my favorite book pairings. Some of you will agree, some of you will look at me like I’m crazy person. I’ll repeat what I said earlier, my blog, my rules :D

11. Gemma and Kartik-A Great and Terrible Beauty

The biggest reason why I loved Gemma and Kartik’s relationship was the slow build up of it. Nothing happens until the third book in the series, The Sweet Far Thing. I love that they are from two totally different social circles-Gemma is an English girl, preparing for her debut into society while Kartik is an Indian boy, looking for his place in the world-and yet they fall in love and yet they work together to beat Circe and to create peace in the realms with the magic. They’re relationship is so sweet and every single time they kiss or hold hands or open up to each other, I was squealing all happily. Spoiler alert: right when they finally are together, they finally are going to be together and Kartik sacrifices himself for Gemma…I was dying. TEARS!

“Kartik puts his hands on either side of my face. “To each his own magic,” he says and kisses me again.”

10. Snow and Charming-Once Upon a Time

I love this relationship between Snow White and Prince Charming much better than the original stories or the Disney version (though I do like both! Don’t get me wrong!) One, Ginnifer Goodwin is badass as Snow and Josh Dallas is sexy as hell as Prince Charming. But the best part is, yeah Snow is a damsel in distress and needs the prince to save her. But the more and more you watch the show, you see how much Snow saves Charming as well. You see how much they love each other in the flashbacks in the enchanted forest and its so hard to watch their Maine counterparts, Mary Margaret and David, screwing up over and over. The best moment ever was when the curse was broken and they are finally brought back together. True love conquers all. Sigh.

“Let’s take back the kingdom like we should do all things…together.”

9. Katniss and Peeta-The Hunger Games

One of the biggest reasons that I love this pairing is because Katniss is such a badass and she fights this kind of emotion and affection over and over again. And she is mean as hell to Peeta, even when she is trying to save his life. Oh and Peeta, he is so sweet and he loves Katniss so much. No matter what she throws at him, he just takes it and continues to love her. And for someone who is pretty difficult herself (yeah, I said it), its like, hey, if Peeta can love Katniss even though she is one messed up girl, then a girl like me can be loved too (oh and believe I am).

“I just want to spend every possible minute of the rest of my life with you.”

8. Aly and Nawat-Trickster Series

Aly and Nawat also kind of remind of Katniss and Peeta, but instead of being kind of a bitch, Aly is a lot stronger and has a damn good reason for keeping her distance from Nawat. Nawat is a crow turned into a man and is sweet and loving toward Aly. And Aly has finally found a man who can keep up with her and keeps her interested, but she’s in the middle of a rebellion and she’s the rebellion spymaster. And once they really are together, it works in the best way possible because it’s at the best time for both of them, the right time.

“Nawat turned his head sideways and pressed his lips to Aly’s. His mouth was soft and warm, his breath lightly scented with spices, his smell clean, with hints of beeswax and wood oils from his work. Aly’s usually distant and observing mind focused completely on the feeling of his mouth against hers.”

7. Tessa and Will-Infernal Devices series

Okay, let’s just be clear on this: in the first Infernal Devices, Clockwork Angel, I hated William Herondale with a burning passion and I loathed that Tessa was already so in love with him. He was so mean, so incredibly cruel to her. Then in Clockwork Prince, when you learn that Will is cursed, and everyone who loves him will die, and that’s the reason he is so mean to Tessa, because he loves her so much that he can’t stand to see that happen to her. And suddenly, this girl was on Team Will. That is so insanely romantic and I just wanted Will to get that curse lifted so damn much so he could finally tell Tessa that he loved her. And then you find out he was never cursed and he runs to tell Tessa but its too late, she’s engaged to Jem and I just wanted to cry. I actually might have cried…all I gotta say is, Wlll and Tessa. Will Herondale. They better end up together. I have to wait til March to find out but they better.

“Don’t say that.” His voice was half a whisper. “I love you, Tessa. I love you.”

 6. The Doctor and Rose Tyler-Doctor Who

I know the Doctor is supposed to be free of this sort of thing, but hey, the 11th Doctor marries River Song so whatever. The 10th Doctor is made to be with Rose Tyler. They were meant to be together. They were on the same page the entire time they were together. They had the same humor and they made an amazing team. Majority of my favorite Who episodes have been with Rose and Ten. They have such an underlying romantic relationship, it builds slowly and they never are actually together. But its there, and you’re waiting, every single moment of an episode waiting for it to finally happen. Worst ending for a couple ever…stuck in two different universes.

The Doctor: “How long are you going to stay with me?”
Rose: “Forever.”

5. Princess Leia and Han Solo-Star Wars

I think everyone probably thought that Leia and Luke were going to end up together, you know, before the whole finding out they are brother and sister thing. It seems right. Luke is the hero, the future Jedi Knight and Princess Leia is the princess, the heroine. Han is the scoundrel, the bad boy. And the fact that the bad boy gets the girl is pretty awesome. Princess Leia isn’t exactly the damsel in distress: she can handle a blaster pretty well and she can handle pretty much anything that is thrown her way. If anyone is going to be able to handle Princess Leia, its Han Solo…and vice versa. Plus Harrison Ford is pretty hot.

“Princess Leia: I love you
Han Solo: I know”

4. Mia and Michael-The Princess Diaries series

I started reading this series when I was 13 years old, so I had some crazy weird ideas about relationships and love and all that crazy stuff. I was a bit too young to even be thinking about love, haha. But as I grew older, I started to appreciate Mia and Michael’s relationship more and more. And I wanted it to happen to me more and more. Mia is awkward, nerdy, a good friend, trying to figure stuff out, but freaking out and worrying during most of it. Her favorite thing in the world is writing too. She literally is me. It’s insane how much she is me…except for the whole 5’9 and no boobs thing. And Michael is nerdy too, and he’s smart as hell (can we say majoring in chemistry), tutors Mia in math, musically talented and sweet and ugh, I wanted him bad. So I adore their relationship…and I’ve learned to love it even more since dating my boyfriend. My boyfriend is nerdy, incredibly smart (majoring in math), helps me with my own math homework and is insanely musically talented :D

“Mia,” he said, looking down at me with his dark eyes filled with something I was almost afraid to put a name to, and his chest going all up and down like he’d just been runnin. His hands were in my hair. He was cradling my head. ‘You have to know. You have to know I lo-‘”

3. Percy and Annabeth-The Olympians/Heroes of Olympus

Oh Percy Jackson. I loved him from the moment I read about him. He is insanely loyal from the start, starting with Grover, and Annabeth, and his mother, and everyone in Camp Half-Blood, and then Camp Jupiter and so on. He’s a troublemaker and has that sarcastic wit, which makes him sexy as hell. Plus the whole dark hair, blue eyes thing (see: Jake Kennedy in my new novel). And there’s Annabeth, who is badass, and smart and wants to build amazing buildings and kicks ass. Put those two together, and you have an awesome, awesome couple.

“Afterward, I had the last laugh. I made an air bubble at the bottom of the lake. Our friends kept waiting for us to come up, but hey-when you’re the son of Poseidon, you don’t have to hurry. And it was pretty much the best underwater kiss of all time.” 

2. Clary and Jace-The Mortal Instruments

I don’t know how much more I can tell you, my little followers, how much I love Jace Lightwood. He’s sexy as hell, and sarcastic and funny, in a dry way, and he fights so hard over and over again. And Clary, I want to hate her because I want Jace but I love her too. She is dramatic and all over the place and messy but she’s sixteen-years-old and she is supposed to be. But despite that, she does everything she can to save her mom, and save the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders. And she’s pretty badass with her rune-creating. I was pissed as hell when it came to light that they were brother and sister…and then it came out that they weren’t and they could be together and I was like HELL YES! Man, they were the most dramatic, most tumultous relationship but they were meant to be from the beginning. And some of the stuff that came out of Jace’s mouth just made me want to melt.

“There is no pretending,” Jace said, with absolute clarity. “I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is life after that, I’ll love you then.”

1. Ron and Hermione-Harry Potter series 

All right, all you Harry and Hermione shippers, you can shut up. I wanted Hermione and Ron from the beginning. Harry and Hermione seemed obvious: the Boy Who Lived and the smartest witch ever. There was way too much going on there. I just didn’t see that working out at all. But Ron…Ron is my favorite character in the HP universe and he’s so wonderful and funny and loyal but flawed just like any other normal person in the world. And he loves and adores Hermione but has no idea to tell her or go about it. I mean, isn’t this how we all felt at some point in time when talking to the one we love? He’s so relatable. And Hermione loves him back, no matter the flaws. I waited ten damn years for this to finally work out so I leapt for joy when it finally happened.

“There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.”

What do you all think of my list? Do you agree with some, disagree with others? Do you have some better pairings that maybe I didn’t think of? As always, let me know in the comments.

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