This rich guide also includes the first official timeline of Tortallan events from when it became a sovereign nation to the year Aly gives birth to triplets.
Part history, part spy training manual, and entirely fascinating, this beautiful guide makes a perfect gift and is ideal for anyone who loves Alanna, King Jonathan, Queen Thayet, Kel, Neal, Aly, Thom, Daine, Numair, and the unforgettable world of Tortall!
Synopsis from Goodreads
This book came out last year and I've been waiting for it to go on sale to purchase it. I've loved Tamora Pierce since I picked up Page (Protector of the Small #1) when I was 11 years old. I'm a sucker for all of her stories, especially those taking place in Tortall, so a companion novel about George's spy network seemed right up my alley. Nothing about it really surprised me (nor do I think it would surprise other fans), but it's a fun book to have on my shelf.
Great For Fans of Pierce
This book is fully meant for fans of Tamora Pierce's books, specifically those in the Tortall world. I really enjoyed reading about characters being introduced to the world, especially Numair and Diane. Numair's introduction is obviously well-timed as his series has finally reached publication last year (with the sequel coming out later this year); his story was on hold forever, and anyone who has visited Pierce's website over the years has been waiting to find out about his origins since maybe 2001. This is also a really fun book to read for all the annotations that characters "write" in the margins. From George's children, to Numair himself editing some items in Diane's folder, there are a lot of fun tidbits that fans of Pierce will thrill over (I did!).
Few New Plot Points
This book really does nothing to add anything new to the Tortall world. With the exception of the fact that Alanna is pregnant again (ummm....ok....that was pretty random), the book revolves around things a spy should know before (or while) working for George. I did like that we got to see more of his life as a father and married man, but this book very much felt like a way to pander to fans. I assumed this would be the case, but I was still hoping that we might get a little more information about the kingdom, etc. I don't think there's anything wrong with the lack of new storylines because this is meant to be a companion novel, but I still feel like a heads up should be given to those who may be expecting more.
WHERE IS KELADRY???
Don't get me wrong, I know that this book is written by George and is all about his spy work, so it would be weird for Kel to be overly involved since she was never a spy or really involved with the Cooper family, but seriously?! Basically NOTHING about Kel and her friends? I honestly sometimes feel like Pierce is embarrassed by the Protector of the Small quartet because we never get any further information about any of the characters from it (with the tiny exception of Neal -- but even that rarely happens). As someone who loved Kel's series the best, I'm constantly annoyed that we haven't heard anything more about her and her friends. Pierce seems to focus constantly on Alanna/George's family or Diane/Numair, which is fairly depressing. Am I alone in missing Keladry, Neal, and the rest??
This book is a great addition to those who have read the rest of the Tortall books and want a small glimpse into what George's spy network actually looks like. It's especially fun to see his children's involvement (their decoding and homework is always fun to read), but I doubt anyone who isn't in love with the original series will find this particularly interesting. It's a companion, nothing more, so please don't get your hopes up that this is a new book in the Tortall world. That said, I'm happy to finally have a copy on my shelf and it definitely made me go back and reread the original books.
FINAL RATING: 3.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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