Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce – Advance Review

Book Jacket:

Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead Tammy’s fans, and new readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy.


Cover to cover, this collection of short stories is simply a delight. As a long standing Tamora Pierce fan, I recognized two or three of these stories, but the bulk of this collection (eleven stories in all) were new to me, and I gallivanted gleefully through the pages.

For those familiar with Tamora Pierce, seven of these stories are recognizably within the world of Tortall, and include many familiar names –  Nawat and Kitten have stories of their own, as do Kylaia al Jmaa, Mimic, and a darking named Lost. And if you’ve ever wondered what happened to that tree Numair turned into a man, you’ll finally get your answer.

For those unfamiliar with Tamora Pierce, these stories are fully enjoyable in their own right and will serve as a lovely introduction to her work. As is patented Pierce, most of these tales take place in a fantasy world, though two of them take place in ours – one in New York City, with a fantasy twist, and one a story based on Tamora’s real life experiences working as a housemother in a group home for teenage girls.

Really the only thing I can say against this collection is that the stories  are, as advertised, short. Jim Butcher once said writing short stories is like having a knife fight in a phone booth, and you can see what he meant here – there is only so much room for Tamora to play with. That’s not to say that these stories aren’t complete or satisfying, because they absolutely are, it’s just that they’ll also whet your appetite for more – I find myself hoping some of the characters in this collection get books of their own down the line. It really boils down to the eternal fan complaint – it was over much too soon!

(And of course, the tease at the end – a peek at Mastiff (Beka Cooper #3), which comes out later this year, had me bouncing in my seat. Holy smokes I want that book!)

Tortall and Other Lands is a fun, savory set of stories – for us Tamora Pierce fans, there is everything to enjoy about this collection, and for those who haven’t read Tamora yet, you’ll be one of us by the time you’re done.

Byrt Grade: A

As Levar Buton used to say – you don’t have to take my word for it…

RT Book Reviews says:

Although a handful of these stories have appeared elsewhere, this is definitely worth picking up. Devoted fans who wondered about minor characters in Tortall, or those curious about Pierce’s writing abilities outside of her fictional universe, will all be thoroughly pleased. Whether you enjoy meeting up with old literary friends or making new ones, this collection has something for everyone! Simply put, it’s outstanding.

YA Books Central says:

All of the stories are beautifully written in the style that Tamora Pierce fans have come to love and enjoy from her previous works. The dialogue between the characters is believable, and at times quiet humorous. There is even a non-fantasy story, based on events from Tamora Pierce’s life, that will have readers captivated. Before now, there has never been a collection of Tamora Pierce’s short stories. This collection of tales is the first of its kind, but I hope it won’t be the last.