Alanna Book Summary - Alanna Book explained in key points

Alanna summary

Tamora Pierce

Brief summary

Alanna by Tamora Pierce is a captivating fantasy novel that follows the journey of a courageous young girl who disguises herself as a boy to train as a knight. Filled with adventure, magic, and self-discovery, it is a story of determination and breaking gender barriers.

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    Summary of key ideas

    Alanna's Journey to Knighthood

    In Alanna by Tamora Pierce, we are introduced to Alanna of Trebond, a young girl with a fierce spirit and a burning desire to become a knight. However, in the medieval kingdom of Tortall, only boys are allowed to train as knights. To fulfill her dream, Alanna disguises herself as a boy and takes her twin brother's place, who is to be sent to the convent to learn magic.

    Alanna, now going by the name Alan, begins her training at the palace as a page, alongside other boys. She faces numerous challenges, not only in her physical training but also in maintaining her disguise. She befriends Prince Jonathan, the heir to the throne, and George, a charming thief. Alanna also discovers her magical abilities, which she must keep hidden as magic is feared and forbidden in Tortall.

    Struggles and Triumphs

    As Alanna progresses through her training, she faces several obstacles. She struggles with her studies, especially in courtly manners, and has to work harder than her male counterparts to prove herself. She also faces bullies who are suspicious of her true identity. Despite these challenges, Alanna excels in her combat training and earns the respect of her peers and teachers.

    Alanna's journey is not just about physical training; she also learns valuable life lessons. She discovers the complexities of friendship and love, especially her growing feelings for Prince Jonathan. She also grapples with her identity, torn between her true self and the persona she has adopted. Throughout it all, she remains determined and resilient, never losing sight of her goal to become a knight.

    Unveiling the Truth

    As Alanna nears the end of her training, her secret is threatened to be exposed. During a battle, her hand is injured, and her healing magic is revealed. However, instead of being punished, Alanna's magical abilities are recognized as a gift. She is allowed to continue her training and is eventually knighted as Sir Alan of Trebond.

    Alanna's journey from a young girl disguised as a boy to a fully-fledged knight is a testament to her courage and determination. She proves that gender should not limit one's aspirations and capabilities. Her story inspires others, especially girls, to pursue their dreams, no matter how unconventional they may seem.


    In conclusion, Alanna by Tamora Pierce is a captivating tale of a young girl's quest to become a knight in a world that deems it impossible. Alanna's journey is filled with adventure, friendship, and self-discovery. The book not only challenges gender norms but also explores themes of identity, acceptance, and the power of perseverance. It sets the stage for a series of books chronicling Alanna's further adventures as a knight, making it an exciting start to a beloved fantasy series.

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    What is Alanna about?

    Alanna by Tamora Pierce is the captivating tale of a young girl who disguises herself as a boy to fulfill her dream of becoming a knight. Set in a medieval fantasy world, the book follows Alanna as she faces numerous challenges, makes friends, and discovers her own inner strength. It's a story of courage, determination, and breaking gender stereotypes.

    Alanna Review

    Alanna (1983) follows a young girl who disguises herself as a boy to train as a knight in a fantasy world. Here's what makes this book stand out:

    • Through themes of courage and determination, it inspires readers to pursue their dreams against all odds.
    • Featuring strong female characters and challenging gender norms, the story offers a refreshing and empowering perspective.
    • The exciting adventures and unexpected twists keep the storyline dynamic and engaging, ensuring readers are never bored.

    Who should read Alanna?

    • Individuals who enjoy epic fantasy stories with strong, independent female protagonists
    • Readers who are interested in coming-of-age tales with themes of self-discovery and personal growth
    • People who appreciate rich world-building and detailed descriptions of medieval settings

    About the Author

    Tamora Pierce is a renowned author of fantasy novels, particularly known for her strong female protagonists. With a career spanning over 30 years, Pierce has captivated readers with her immersive worlds and compelling storytelling. Some of her notable works include the Song of the Lioness series, the Immortals series, and the Protector of the Small series. Pierce's books have been translated into multiple languages and have garnered a dedicated fan base around the world.

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    Alanna FAQs 

    What is the main message of Alanna?

    Discover courage and strength in the face of adversity through Alanna's journey.

    How long does it take to read Alanna?

    Reading time for Alanna varies. Blinkist summary can be read in minutes.

    Is Alanna a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Alanna is an empowering tale of perseverance and self-discovery, making it a valuable read.

    Who is the author of Alanna?

    Tamora Pierce is the author of Alanna.

    What to read after Alanna?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Alanna, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
    • The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis by Jose Saramago
    • Life and Times of Michael K by J. M. Coetzee
    • The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
    • One of Ours by Willa Cather
    • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
    • A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
    • Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener
    • The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
    • Alanna by Tamora Pierce