I was then hooked, I read the Song of the Lioness quartet, The Immortals and... well.. you get the idea. Tamora Pierce is outstanding as a writer for young girls. She write strong female characters that are just that... strong.. female characters... not strong female character TM. Romance does feature in her heroine's lives but it isn't the be all and end all and you're far more likely to find her female characters saving the day by kicking arse and taking names, rather than being saved.
That said however, she isn't always amazing. A reliance on cute animal friends is a real turn off. I could deal with talking cat in the first series, but cutesy poo dragonet was annoying as was every animal protagonist since. Another issue for me is Tammy's choice of loves.. Whilst Alanna actually got to sleep with several different men before settling for her guy.. Daine wound up with her teacher (yep that's right, the man who is several years older than her and in a position of power - very squicky) And Alanna's daughter married a crow turned into a man... (not only was he an annoying character, but I hated every bit of that forced romance)
Circle of Magic, with the notable exception of Melting Stones, is a wonderful world that I would like to live in. The friendship between the four characters and the world they inhabit is outstanding and I prefer it to her Tortall books.
So my author spotlight today is Tamora Pierce because not enough people seem to know of her.