|Alanna's book cover (http://www.tamorapierce.com)
Alanna is a fictional character in a series that Tamora Pierce writes. I love when girls are the main characters because it shows that girls are powerful, too. We just don’t make as much noise about it as boys do. We can do anything!
In the "Lioness Quartet," Alanna is a spirited girl who has a twin brother named Thom. Thom is sent to the palace to be a knight, and Alanna is sent to the convent to learn how to be a lady. Both have violet magic, which can be used for healing and many other things. Alanna did not want to be a lady, as she had already learned archery and horseback riding, and her dream was to become a knight. Thom did not want to be a knight; he wanted to be a sorcerer. In order to follow her dream, Alanna does the unheard of—she switches places with her twin to become a knight. Their dad won't notice, as he doesn't care about his kids, and their mom had died in childbirth.
So Alanna, disguised as a boy, starts training. When her closest friends find out she’s a girl, she keeps going and pushes through, showing perseverance. She becomes a squire to the prince, and finally achieves her lifelong dream of being a knight.
After she earns her shield, Duke Roger, a powerful sorcerer, tries to kill the royal family so he can be king. Alanna fights him, and in the duel he reveals to the palace that she is a girl.
Eager to get away, to give the court time to get used to the fact that she is a girl and a knight, Alanna and her trusty servant Coram and her cat Faithful set out for the Great Southern Desert, where the Bazhir tribesman live. Alanna is then adopted into the Bloody Hawk tribe, and makes her home among them, while enduring the attacks and insults of the tribe’s shaman, or mage. She becomes the tribe’s mage, and has to overcome her fear of using her magic to help three children control their powers so they don’t destroy the village.
After she teaches the children what she knows, her tribe’s headman sets her a task: to follow a map and have an adventure. So she sets out for the far north. On the way, she meets another warrior named Liam, who teaches her about life, and more about hand-to- hand combat, her weakest point. Alanna works very hard on the road, using courage to keep her companions safe from robbers, and other dangers. Alanna continues north, where a blizzard awaits her. Alanna goes in secret, out in the blizzard, overcoming her fear of the cold, to find, battle for and bring back the Dominion Jewel. The jewel is a powerful magical artifact that helps rulers in wars and battles. She bravely works through a lot to acquire this object for her prince.
Alanna travels back to her home with the jewel and her companions. When she arrives, Alanna finds out that the Duke she had slain has been brought back to life. She knows he’s plotting something, but doesn’t know what. His plan is revealed on Prince Jonathan’s coronation, when he uses his magic to make a giant earthquake. His warriors try to kill the new king, but Alanna, the newly named King’s Champion, has her own task. She battles with both magic and physical strength.
Alanna uses many virtues: overcoming all odds to become a knight, doing what no girl had done before, helping her country by bringing back the Dominion Jewel, and finally destroying the biggest threat to her kingdom. She uses endless amounts of bravery in her battles and displays courage by overcoming her fears of her magic, the cold, and the evil Duke. She perseveres in training to become the first ever female knight and first ever female king’s champion.
Most of all, she has taught me that if you set your mind to something, and do all that you can, you can follow your dreams and shine through. I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it, and I know that women can do just as much, or more than, men.