Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: In the Hand of the Goddess (Alanna #2) + My Opinion on Love Triangles

In the Hand of the Goddess
Tamora Pierce

"I don't want to fall in love. I just want to be a warrior maiden."
Still disguised as a boy, Alanna becomes a squire to none other than 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...

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's second adventure continues the saga of a girl who dares to follow her dreams -- and the magical destiny that awaits her.

Alanna's journey continues...

That said, it was a good sequel. The story starts off about 3 years after the last one left off, Alanna now a squire to Prince Jonathan and Tortall on the brink of war. Her real identity is still unknown to most of her friends except Jon and George, who become the main love interests throughout the book.

And that's what bothered me.

Now I know there is a huge debate among readers about  love triangles; personally, I think it depends how they're done. Sometimes, it makes sense and written realistically, like the Hunger Games, in which Gale and Peeta fell in love with her because they had each been through so much with her, and let's face it, she's an amazing person. It also tied in well with the plot, everyone's feelings majorly influencing what happens. And the key point (for me at least) is that they didn't sit around waiting for her to choose. I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority here, but I was happy when Gale left. I mean, why should he stick around forever till Katniss will  finally make up her mind and stop kissing them both? What with everything she was going through, and her love for both of them, she might never have done it. And let's be honest, Gale is too independent, strong, smart, and eligible for that. He would have lost all my respect and thankfully didn't.

MY POINT IS, some love triangles are great, and this wasn't one of them. For starters, there is a 7 year difference between Alanna and George. With adults it's not a big deal but the whole time I couldn't help remembering how she was ten when they met and that's creepy. And besides, she was only 18 during the second part of this book.  As for Jon, well, I was rooting for them. He is a great guy and true friend and I couldn't help but love him. The main problem was that they both wanted her and she kinda just...let them. Like, they would be all lovey-dovey and give her a kiss and she would be all 'I don't want to fall in love' but let them kiss her anyway. It seemed beneath her, you know?

Also, I was a weensy but annoyed with the pacing. The book seemed divided into two different plots, with about 2 years separating them, and while the writing flowed wonderfully (hence, only "weensy bit" annoyed) it was a little disconcerting having Alanna in a more mature mindset in the space of a page.

BUT, as mentioned above, it was a good sequel and great writing. The characters are lovable and annoying (making them very human to me ) and the whole thing was an enjoyabele read. Recommended. It may seem middle grade, but be warned, it's not. Grade: 70%

Have a good weekend!


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