Fierce Female Featurette: Tamora Pierce: Fighting for Feminism in Medieval Fantasy

By: Jenny Gardner

In February, Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole organized the month-long Fierce Female Blog Tour. Well, it’s time for the fall featurette!

Growing up, many of the female role models were princesses who needed rescuing, or women who were warriors but only counterparts to the male hero. I enjoyed these tales as there is nothing wrong with princesses, but I desired something different as well. Tamora Pierce was the first author I read in youth who broke that trend. My journey into Peirce’s fantasy began with Wild Magic, part of the Immortals series.

In the Immortals series, main character Daine grows from a quiet, nervous, animal-loving, magical child into a leader fighting for magical unity. Her skills reside in wild magic that allows communication with animals and so much more. In a male-dominated world, Daine finds strong support in female friends, employers, and role models, and with that support she rescues herself. She finds herself within her power throughout the series, growing into a formidable and powerful ally for the kingdom of Tortall.

Along the way, Daine meets Allana, a character from another of Peirce’s series. The star of the Song of the Lioness series, Allana, is a knight in a time when knights were all male. She is strong, resilient in her own right. In a tale similar to Mulan, Allana uses trickery to become a knight in place of her brother. Once news spreads of her true identity, Allana becomes legend, an inspiration to children wanting to pursue a different life than expected of them. Daine was one child inspired by her story. If Allana could be a knight, then maybe other paths would be open for Daine in the city. This thought began her travels into a new world of possibility.

These are two of many inspirational stories in the realm of Tortall. Each story creating strong relationships between formidable female characters. Each tale winding through the growth of power and inner strength. Each book showcasing strong female leaders with different personality types. Each series came from the brilliant mind of Tamora Peirce.

Tamora Peirce’s work continues to inspire young minds, with each new publication. Within two medieval worlds, six Tortal series, three Circle of Magic series, and over thirty books, she never stops finding unique new ways to bring strength and passion to her work.

“Without reading, we are all without light in the dark, without fire in the cold.”

~Tamora Peirce~

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