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Tamora Pierce

Biography

Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of fantasy books for teenagers. Her books, known for their teenaged girl warriors and wizards, have received critical acclaim and a strong fanbase.

Tamora was drawn to books from a young age. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, the child of a "long, proud line of hillbillies," her family never had much. "We were poor, but I didn't know it then. We had a garden where my folks grew fruit and vegetables and our water came from a well," she explains. But one thing they did have was plenty of books. So Tamora read.

Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of fantasy books for teenagers. Her books, known for their teenaged girl warriors and wizards, have received critical acclaim and a strong fanbase.

Tamora was drawn to books from a young age. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, the child of a "long, proud line of hillbillies," her family never had much. "We were poor, but I didn't know it then. We had a garden where my folks grew fruit and vegetables and our water came from a well," she explains. But one thing they did have was plenty of books. So Tamora read.

A self-proclaimed "geek," she devoured fantasy and science fiction novels, and by the age of 12 was mimicking her literary idols and writing her own action-packed stories. It was thanks to her father that Tamora began writing. "He heard me telling myself stories as I did dishes, and he suggested that I try to write some of them down," Pierce says.

But Tamora's novels had one major difference: unlike the books she was reading, her stories featured teenaged girl warriors. "I couldn't understand this lapse of attention on the part of the writers I loved, so until I could talk them into correcting this small problem, I wrote about those girls, the fearless, bold, athletic creatures that I was not, but wanted so badly to be."

Seventeen years later, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, a brief career in teen social work and some time spent writing for radio, Tamora Pierce held true to her childhood crusade, and published ALANNA: The First Adventure, the first in a quartet about a valiant, young, female warrior. Pierce's heroine struck a chord with readers across the country and quickly earned her a loyal following.

Pierce is now a #1 New York Times bestselling author. "It's a pretty good life, if I do say so myself. Struggling along as a kid and even through my twenties, it's the kind of life I dreamed of but never believed I would get. Yet here I am, after a lot of work, a lot of worry, a lot of care for details, and a massive chunk of luck, the kind that brought me such strong friends and readers. Pretty good for a hillbilly, yes? And I never take it for granted," she says.

Pierce lives in upstate New York with her husband Tim and their three cats and two birds.

Tamora Pierce

Books by Tamora Pierce

by Tamora Pierce, Julie Holderman, Timothy Lieb, and Megan Messinger - Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 13+

As Tortall’s spymaster, George Cooper has sensitive documents from all corners of the realm. When Alanna sends him a surprising letter, he cleans out his office and discovers letters from when King Jonathan and Queen Thayet first ascended the throne, notes on creating the Shadow Service of spies, threat-level profiles on favorite characters, Daine’s notes on immortals, as well as family papers, such as Aly’s first report as a young spy and Neal’s lessons with the Lioness. 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.

by Tamora Pierce - Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 12+
On their way to the first Circle temple in Gyongxi, mages Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy pay a visit to the emperor's summer palace. Although treated like royalty when they first arrive, the mages soon discover that the emperor plans to invade Gyongxi, posing a fatal threat to the home temple of the Living Circle religion.
by Tamora Pierce - Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 12+, Youth Fiction

This is the third book in the Beka Cooper trilogy, and Beka is a full-fledged Dog now, but it hasn't made her job with the law-enforcing Provost's Guard any easier. On this hunt, she'll need all her resources, from her bare-knuckled fighting skills to her suspiciously intelligent cat, Pounce.

by Tamora Pierce - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult 12+

Alanna of Trebond has triumphed in countless bloody battles, and her adventures are already legendary. Perhaps being a knight errant is not all that Alanna needs...But Alanna must push her uncertainty aside when she is challenged with the impossible. She must recover the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem with enormous power for good --- but only in the right hands.

by Tamora Pierce - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult 12+

Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert of Tortall. Captured by fierce desert dwellers, she is forced to prove herself in a duel to the death --- either she will be killed or she will be inducted into the tribe. As her mythic fate would have it, Alanna soon becomes the tribe's first female shaman --- despite the desert dwellers' grave fear of the foreign woman warrior.

by Tamora Pierce - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult 12+

Still disguised as a boy, Alanna becomes a squire to the prince of the realm. Prince Jonathan is not only Alanna's liege lord, he is also her best friend --- and one of the few who knows the secret of her true identity. But when a mysterious sorceror threatens the prince's life, it will take all of Alanna's skill, strength, and magical power to protect him --- even at the risk of revealing who she really is...

by Tamora Pierce - Fantasy, Fiction, Short Stories, Young Adult 12+

Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring Alanna the knight, Numair the mage, Daine the wolf-speaker, and many more characters both new and familiar.

by Tamora Pierce - Fantasy

Beka Cooper is finally a Dog --- a full-fledged member of the Provost’s Guard, dedicated to keeping peace in Corus’s streets. But there’s unrest in Tortall’s capital. Counterfeit coins are turning up in shops all over the city, and merchants are raising prices to cover their losses. The Dogs discover that gamblers are bringing the counterfeit money from Port Caynn. In Port Caynn, Beka delves deep into the gambling world, where she meets a charming banking clerk named Dale Rowan. Beka thinks she may be falling for Rowan, but she won’t let anything --- or anyone --- jeopardize her mission. As she heads north to an abandoned silver mine, it won’t be enough for Beka to be her usual “terrier” self. She’ll have to learn from Achoo to sniff out the criminals --- to be a Bloodhound.

by Tamora Pierce - Fantasy

Four years have passed since Evvy left the streets of Chammur to begin her training as a stone mage. At 14, she's unhappy to be on a new journey with her mentor, prickly green mage Rosethorn, who has been called to the Battle Islands to determine why the plants and animals there are dying. Evvy's job is to listen and learn, but she can't keep quiet and do nothing. With the help of Luvo, the living stone heart of a mountain, Evvy uncovers an important clue. Now, with the island on the brink of disaster, it's up to Evvy to avert the destruction that looms ahead.

by Tamora Pierce - Fantasy

This fantasy novel from Tamora Pierce marks the return of the four mages who appeared in The Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens quartets. Together, they will try to outsmart and outlast the Empress of Namron, who has set a cunning trap to keep them in her brutal empire forever.

by Tamora Pierce - Fantasy

Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one.

by Tamora Pierce - Fantasy

Aly’s adventure continues...No longer a slave, Alanna’s daughter is now spying as part of an underground rebellion against the colonial rulers of the Copper Isles. The people in the rebellion believe that a prophecy in which a new queen will rise up to take the throne is about to be realized. Aly is busy keeping the potential teenage queen and her younger siblings safe, while also keeping her in the dark about her future. But Aly, who is usually adept at anticipating danger and changes, is in for a few nasty surprises.

by Tamora Pierce - Fantasy

Alianne is the teenage daughter of the famed Alanna, the first lady knight in Tortall. Young Aly follows in the quieter footsteps of her father, however, delighting in the art of spying. When she is captured and sold as a slave to an exiled royal family in the faraway Copper Islands, it is this skill that makes a difference in a world filled with political intrigue, murderous conspiracy, and warring gods.

by Tamora Pierce

Kel has finally achieved her lifelong dream of being a knight. But it’s not turning out as she imagined at all. She is torn between a duty she has sworn to uphold and a quest that she feels could turn the tide of war...

by Tamora Pierce

At the age of 14 and standing 5 foot 10, Keladry of Mindelan is a squire. A squire serves and learns from a seasoned knight for four years, then faces a final test. That final test is the Ordeal, which takes place in a magical room called the Chamber. Does Kel have what it takes to survive?

by Tamora Pierce

Keladry of Mindalen, the first girl to train as a knight since Alanna, is officially a page now, but she's got three more years before she'll be a squire. And those three years are not going to be easy. Kel has to stand up against bullying boys, cruel older sisters, and, as always, the training master, Lord Wyldon!

by Tamora Pierce

When Alanna became the King's Champion, it was decided that girls would henceforth be allowed to train for the knighthood. But ten years have passed, and no girls have come forward. Now, however, someone is about to change all that. Her name is Kel.