I wish I would have read this for the first time as a kid rather than as a 27 year old. I have a feeling I would have lost my damn mind over it back then. But somehow I have managed to miss all twenty million bajillion of Pierce's books.
As it is now, I enjoyed this book, but the writing is very simplistic, obviously tailored for younger people, and this was pre-Harry Potter, back when publishers thought all kids had ADD and wouldn't read anything longer than 200 pages, with large print. Lots of stuff was glossed over that I would have liked to have seen elaborated on. It's a short book, and it covers over two years of Alanna's life. The chapter that got the worst of this was the last, "The Black City," with a rather intense battle that comes out of nowhere and is over almost as soon as it starts. But the main draw of this series is the characters. Alanna herself is a badass, and the male characters are just as awesome. Now I have to track down and devour the remaining three books, which isn't as easy as it sounds because my library is being a total butthead about it.