How Tamora Pierce Changed My Life

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Today, order I really started thinking of Tamora Pierce. She just won the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Library Association. If there is anyone in this world that deserves that award, what is ed it is her. Her first novel, Alanna: The First Adventure, came out in the early 80s. She continues to publish novels, and they continue to dazzle her readers.

I first picked up one of her books when I was sixteen years old, nine years ago. I picked up Trickster’s Choice at Target, for two reasons. One, it was only about ten dollars, which was great. I was sixteen without a job so ten dollars was awesome to me. Two, there was mention of pirates in the book flap describing the book. I had an unhealthy obsession with pirates back then. Really, it was very, very unhealthy.

Anyway, the book ended up having absolutely nothing to do with pirates except for the fact that it is briefly mentioned in the beginning that the main character is kidnapped by pirates.

But besides that mistake, it ended up being such a fantastic book. I could go on and on about it but I did a Book of the Week post about it AGES ago and you can check it out here.

A few months later, the sequel to Trickster’s Choice came out, Trickster’s Queen, and I fell in love all over again with Tamora Pierce’s writing. Then an amazing thing happened: my love of this two part series gained me a pen pal, Chloe, who I have been writing (yes, snail mail!) for nearly 9 years now. She is a HUGE Tammy fan and introduced me to the fact that the Trickster series was the fourth Tortall series by Pierce.

So I went back and read the Daughter of the Lioness series, the Immortals series, and the Protector of the Small series. Then I reread the Trickster series again. Then I anticipated and enjoyed her new series, the Beka Cooper series, taking place in the past, before the events that we’ve come to know in the other series.

And the fact is, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without Tamora Pierce and her fantastic books in it.

One, there’s the fact that it brought one of my closest friends in the entire world to me. Sure, Chloe and I live on opposite sides of the world; me, in California, Chloe, in Australia. We have never actually met in person. But we’ve been writing to each other for nearly a decade. We’ve read the same books, enjoyed the same movies, and gone through so much together in the world of handwritten letters. I give her books and she gives me books. She is one of my best friends, hands down, and it came from a mutual love of Tamora Pierce.

Tammy also gives me such a confidence in myself and my writing and its because of how long she has been writing. The woman has been around for decades, writing fantastic books, and sure, she’s not turning her books into movies and hitting the red carpet, but she’s been an overwhelming and inspirational presence in the young adult literature and fantasy worlds. She’s always there, and with every single book, she only gets better. She is a force to reckon with and I believe that I can do, because she did it, and continues to do it.

Plus there’s the pure and undeniable fact that she is a FANTASTIC writer. She takes us into a fantasy world that’s both new and yet familiar. She makes you really believe that these places and people and things are all real. You can’t even convince yourself that it isn’t real. Some fantasies that I’ve read before are the same thing over and over again, or they’re just too complicated for me to wrap my head around. I mean, sometimes I just get tired of reading about forbidden romances and fallen angels. It gets old. But Tammy’s stories are unique and familiar and fun.

Her stories are a breath of fresh air when you are surrounded by the same things over and over again. I’m over the love triangles and the fallen angels and forbidden romance, and dark titles with the same black and grey covers over and over again. Honestly, it just gets tiring. I mean, sure, I like the idea of the stories but sometimes the romance just gets in the way and I start to get annoyed.

But Tammy. Oh, Tammy. She creates these fantastic characters. Alanna. Daine. Keladry. Aly. Beka. All of them are strong, admirable characters. Alanna disguises herself as a boy for eight years to become the first female knight in over a hundred years. Daine is a powerful mage, able to communicate and heal animals and shape shift into one as well. Keladry is the first female to come forward to become a knight, with her gender known. Aly becomes the spymaster for a secret rebellion to take back a country from tyrannical and cruel rulers. Beka is a fierce and intelligent force of the Law, helping to solve some of the realms biggest crimes and mysteries with her scent hound, Achoo. These are amazing, strong and fierce women. If there was ever a group of fictional women to worship, this would be it.

Because these women, they do everything in their power to live their dreams and protect their realm. The fact that Alanna disguises her sex for so long and fights and fights, and becomes such a powerful knigh is amazing. Daine uses her powers and her way with animals to fight a WAR, to become a HERO. Keladry goes through years of torment and years of disbelief to become a knight herself, a formidable one, separate from Alanna, her predecessor. Aly is clever, extremely intelligent and 100% committed to helping the raka people take back their country from their terrible conquering rulers. Beka comes from the poorest parts of the capitol city become one of the most successful of the Guard, solving some of the hardest and most mysterious of crimes.

And the best part is…they all fall in love. They all do. And most of them get married, and have that happily ever after. There are mushy moments and exchanges of “I love you”, and sweetness and romance, and even some moments of flushed cheeks by the readers. But these heroines never let the romances get in the way of their goals. When a marriage proposal gets in the way of Alanna’s desire to see the world, she says no, instead of compromising her wishes and dreams. Daine’s love is her partner, her equal and they feed on each other for support, love and strength. Keladry chooses her dream, her determination to become a knight over anything else, over anyone else. She wants love but she can’t let it distract from protecting those who need her. Aly loves someone very much but she doesn’t let her get distracted from her mission, a seemingly impossible task. She waits until she’s completed her mission before completely giving herself over. Beka has her relationships, her flirtations, even a deep love for someone, but she never lets it get in the way of doing her JOB.

Can you see why I’m madly in love with Tamora Pierce and her writing? Can you see why my life, my writing, my passion for books, my outlook, my morals, my values, my beliefs, my strength have been influenced so much from Tamora Pierce? The woman is amazing and creates worlds that you want to be a part of. She creates characters that you wish you could be…and then you realize that, no, you don’t want to be them, because they are unique and they inspire you to be unique, to go out there and be different, and to grab onto those things that you want and dream, everyone else be damned.

I’ve been rambling on for what seems like forever. I could go on for pages and pages, for days and days, because there is no way I’ll ever begin to tell you how important this author, and her books are to me. I only hope that you all have a chance to pick up a book by her and realize how fantastic they are, and how much they can change your life. Besides my dear Queen Rowling, there isn’t an author on this planet that I worship and strive to be as much as Tamora Pierce.

I’ve read a lot of books, and I’ve loved a lot of books. I consume books the way some people consume food, or clothes or shoes, baseball games, even alcohol and drugs. I have a passion for books. But when you get down to it, I have two favorite books.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

and

Tricksters Choice

That should say something right?

Go out there, pick up a book by Tamora Pierce. You seriously won’t regret it. Then come back, and we can talk all about it. I can’t wait for it.

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Tamora Pierce’s Novels

Song of the Lioness Series

Alanna: The First Adventure
In the Hands of the Goddess
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Lioness Rampant

The Immortals

Wild Magic
Wolf Speaker
Emperor Mage
The Realm of the Gods

The Protector of the Small

First Test
Page
Squire
Lady Knight

Tricksters Series

Trickster’s Choice
Trickster’s Queen

Beka Cooper series

Terrier
Bloodhound
Mastiff

and many more series outside of the Tortall universe!

Top Eleven Badass Fictional Ladies

So a couple months ago (actually kind of awhile ago), information pills I did a blog post on the hottest fictional boy characters. I’m a little boy crazy and I probably could have done more than eleven. But I managed to narrow it down.

Unfortunately, viagra order I got some complaints from my small male audience, viagra saying where is the list of hot girls?

So this is the closest thing I can come to this. I mean, I do like girls and I do think every single one of the ladies listed below are pretty damn hot. I also think a ton of them are hot because they are so badass.

I mean, there is something about a woman with a weapon in her hand that is simultaneously sexy and badass.

I know that a lot of you won’t agree with this list. I know you all have your own opinions which is awesome! Unfortunately for you, this blog is called WhataNerdGirlSays and I’m the “girl” in that and I get to pick :)

So enjoy my list and feel free to complain ALLLLLL you want in the comments. I love to hear it, good and bad haha.

MY Top Eleven Badass Fictional Ladies 

11. Elena Fisher

I don’t know how many of you have played the Uncharted games on the PS3, but they are some seriously awesome games. They play well, the stories are fuckin addicting and the characters are so damn real. Half the time, I am content to just watch my boyfriend play because it’s like a movie. Nathan Drake is the main character in these games, kind of a modern day Indiana Jones, who always has a lady by his side and one of those ladies, one that seems to keep appearing over and over again in these games is Elena Fisher. Chloe, the curvy brunette, gets a lot of the fan boys attention but Elena gets my attention. That girl is wicked. She is a journalist, determined to get the story, no matter the cost, and she can handle a gun as well as anyone…and if you need a getaway car, she’s the one to call. Nate Drake can deny it all he wants; he finds Elena sexy as hell and this girl does too.

10. Marion Ravenwood

I don’t care that I wasn’t even born when this movie came out, I mean, my parents were both still in high school when this movie came out. But Marion Ravenwood is easily my favorite Jones girl. She is AWESOME. She is so pissed at Indiana, slaps him in the face and shows absolute disdain for him at times. I really like her because she can hold her own. She can handle a knife and a gun and she’s a tough cookie. No matter what is thrown at her, she relies on herself to get out. After being kidnapped, she doesn’t sit there and think “Oh, I’m just gonna wait for Indiana to save me”, she is clever enough to try and get out of the situation herself. Plus she is so damn sarcastic. I love sarcasm; its a wonderful artform and I love a heroine that can kick ass while having a snarky attitude.

9. Inara Serra

It took me AGES to get into this show. I had heard of it but I didn’t really think it was something I liked. Like Doctor Who, people bugged me enough for me to finally go “Eh, why not?” and I watched it. I figured, its less than 15 episodes and its on Netflix so I can watch it for free. And I am so glad. I went through all the episodes so incredibly fast. And throughout all the episodes, the one character that really caught my eye (besides Nathan Fillion as Captain Mal…hubba hubba) was Inara. Inara is on the ship, Serenity, with the rest of the ragtag crew but she has a slightly different purpose than the other members. Inara is a highly sought after, very classy prostitute. But despite that, she’s so badass. One, she’s gorgeous. Two, she could be on any ship in the galaxy, but she chooses to stay on that one, no matter what happens. And she’s badass in her own right. She’s not always out there in the fight but when she is? I want her on my side.

8. Isabelle Lightwood

Isabelle Lightwood is not the first person I noticed when I started reading the Mortal Instruments. Obviously I noticed Jace Wayland first (HUBBA HUBBA). And then I noticed Clary Fray. Obviously. Clary and Jace are the main characters in this series. But then I started to notice Isabelle Lightwood. Clary gets thrown into this Shadowhunter world at sixteen years old; she has never known anything of it before. You are experiencing this world anew along with her. Isabelle, on the other hand, has been raised a Shadowhunter…and she’s a badass Shadowhunter. She’s brave as hell, and she’s going around, killing demons while wearing short skirts and stilettos. Sexy and deadly. I love the fact that her weapon, her signature weapon, is a gold whip. I mean, can you give her a weapon that is anymore sexy and badass? I have no idea why Isabelle is carrying a flamethrower in the trailer for City of Bones, but who cares? It’s awesome.

7. Katniss Everdeen

Katniss Everdeen is a badass, female character all the way up to Mockingjay. Then she gets whiny. But BEFORE that, she’s badass. She’s too busy feeding her family to worry about boys. I mean, sure, she’s sixteen and its passed her mind. She has hormones, right? And I bet Gale was one hot piece to look at it. But she’s like, “Cool, Gale is hot…I’m hungry”. And that’s awesome. She’s more concerned for survival than anything else. Even when she is in the Hunger Games, and its so beyond obvious that Peeta is head over heels in love with her, she utilizes it to her survival. Now, I’m not advocating using a person who loves but how many of us wouldn’t use that sort of protection when our life is on the line? I admire a girl who puts her own survival above anything else. When her dad died, and her mom gave up, she could’ve curled up in a ball and just let life take her but she didn’t. She remembered what she could do, with plants and hunting (and her badass bow) and she survives. AWESOME.

6. Alianne Cooper of Pirate’s Swoop

Alianne Cooper is sixteen years old, and she’s daughter of the King’s Champion (who is also the first female knight in a century) and the King’s spymaster. Her godmother is the queen and her godfather is the queen. She has adopted aunts and uncles that are the Commander of the King’s Guard, the most powerful mages in the realm and so on. Her brothers are a university student of magic and a page on the path to knighthood. You could say that she has a lot to live up to. And the best part? She totally does, and she almost surpasses them all. She makes the mistake of sailing her boat alone and is captured by pirates and is sold into slavery into the neighboring Copper Isles. When she is given to a family, she realizes that she’s caught up in a rebellion, to take the country back from the tyrannical rulers and give it back to the natives. She becomes the spymaster for the rebellion at sixteen years old and is a pivotal part in its success. And she can handle a pair of daggers pretty damn well.

5. Scarlett O’Hara

Badass. Think about it: Scarlett O’Hara was a young woman, in the South, in the mid 1800s, when women were seen and not heard, there to make good marriages but not much more than that. And Scarlett O’ Hara is opposite of all that. Even in the beginning, when she is sixteen and looking for a husband, she still doesn’t fall into that proper bred Southern woman. She goes for what she wants and she takes whats not hers. Ashley Wilkes doesn’t love her, can’t marry her? Well, then, that’s fine, let’s steal India Wilkes’ beau and marry Charles Hamilton. She’s rash and ferocious and quick tempered and awesome. Atlanta is falling to pieces, the Yankees are coming and she’s like, I don’t care, I want to go and she goes home, even after Rhett Butler ditches her, and her two slaves, a sick Melly, her small child Wade (read the book) and Melly’s newborn. And despite protests amongst all her friends and family, she finds her way back into wealth, doing what she has to do so she is never hungry again. Perfect.

4. Doctor companions

I tried to pick one. I really did. I was like, Rose, duh. But Donna…and Amy! Ugh. So I decided that number four on the list was going to be the four companions of the new Doctor Who series. Rose Tyler is the most badass, taking everything in stride and fixing it. I love Rose because she’s that perfect equivalent to the Doctor; sometimes she’s just one step above him and it’s just awesome. Martha is pretty badass too; she’s a doctor and pretty much saves the world, walking all across it to save it. Donna is one of my absolute favorites: she has such little belief in herself and yet she’s the most important woman in the world. She saves the world! And Amy Pond, oh Amy Pond, the girl who waited. The Doctor’s companions are like Bond girls…except better. Not only are they hot but they are smart as hell and they kick ass. And hell, they keep the Doctor in line and there’s not many who can do that.

3. Clary Fray

I love the Mortal Instruments series. The one thing I don’t like about TMI is the love triangle. I hate love triangles. Please go away. Why do you think that people don’t like Twilight? I know my beef is that I want to tell Bella to shut the hell up about whether to choose Edward or Jacob and just be badass. God. That’s what sets Clary apart. Sure, Simon, plain ‘ol lovable geeky mundane Simon, and Jace, hot, sexy, dangerous Shadowhunter, are fighting over Clary. In my personal opinion, Simon never really has a chance so I don’t know that it was much of a love triangle. But despite Simon and Jace fighting over her, Clary is too concerned on saving her mother, and then saving the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. She comes from Shadowhunter blood, but she’s a mundane, a human, and she’s rushing into vampire lairs to save her best friend and tearing apart ships with powerful runes and making Portals into Idris so she doesn’t get left behind. She creates the Alliance rune, to convince Shadowhunters and Downworlders to work together, against the bad guy, to save the world. And she’s a redhead. I love Clary Fray, she’s awesome.

2. Princess Leia

You know when I decided Princess Leia was the biggest badass ever? When Luke Skywalker walks in to rescue her and she’s like “Yeah? So?” Best. Moment. Ever. She doesn’t know this guy and she’s not falling down at his feet, dying to be rescued. She basically gets herself out of everything. She can handle a blaster like no body’s business, and she runs circles around Luke (ew, he’s her brother haha) and Han. Even when she’s being tortured to reveal the location of the rebel base, she still lies to protect everyone. Her snarky attitude and sarcasm, and her absolute determination to spurn her feelings for Han. She’s fantastic. There’s a part in Empire Strikes Back where she is so concerned on getting everyone else evacuated off of Hoth and its only until Han basically drags her, that she leaves. She is so commited to the rebellion and its awesome; she’s willing to do anything for it. And those buns, there’s never been a hairstyle like that haha.

1. Hermione Granger

Plain and simple, Hermione is the best, most badass heroine ever. You can argue with me all you want. The fact is, she’s smart as hell and she’s never going to dumb herself down for anyone, even Ron. Even though Ron finds her intelligence annoying at times and intimidating at other times, she sticks to her guns and never hides her intelligence and that’s fantastic. And when Ron is an absolute jerk and leaves her and Harry, she carries on. She continues to fight. Her morale is down and she’s sad, and she goes days without saying anything to Harry, but she still fights on, looking for those Horcruxes. And damn, she’s just so smart! She finds solutions to everything and she’s a quick thinker. I don’t know how many times characters in the book are just amazed at Hermione’s brilliance. No matter how many times it happens over the course of the books, you still want to cheer every time she  spouts off a random bit of information or gets them out of a sticky situation. Also, who knew that little dorky Emma Watson would grow up to be so beautiful? Hermione is NOT supposed to be that attractive but she makes it work and its awesome.

So most of you probably don’t agree with my list and that’s okay! Because everyone has different opinions and tastes. These eleven fictional women rock my world and make my palms a little sweaty :) And since I know you all are going to disagree with me, why don’t you share with me your picks! I always love to hear from you guys and I want to know what sexy fictional ladies tickle your fancy :D

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

See you soon!

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