Study Guide

Alanna: The First Adventure Chapter 2

By Tamora Pierce

Chapter 2

The New Page

  • Alanna's noble sponsor is Duke Gareth of Naxen. He's a serious-looking dude who describes her duties: she'll be a page til she's fourteen, when she becomes a squire. She'll study academic subjects as well as fighting. An older page will help her out at first. And so on. It's all very Hogwartian.
  • Next, Alanna has to get fitted for her page outfit. Eek—again!
  • Oh, whew. Turns out, the grumpy old tailor doesn't need her to undress, just uses a measuring cord to get estimates before giving her some clothes.
  • When she gets dressed for dinner and goes to the main room of the pages' wing, Alanna meets jerk-face Ralon, who insults Alanna's heritage. Alanna insults Ralon right back, and Ralon starts shoving her.
  • Someone demands to know what's going on, and Ralon stops, addressing the newcomer as "Highness." Turns out the guy walking in is Jonathan, the Crown Prince. He tells Ralon to stuff it once another page reveals that Ralon started it.
  • Jonathan is a real heartthrob: three years older than her, with black hair, sapphire eyes, and a regal bearing. Plus, he seems like a nice guy. <3 <3 <3
  • Well, Alanna's too young to get all gooey over him. But still.
  • We also meet Jonathan's friends: a big guy named Raoul, Gary (Duke Gareth's son), Alex, and Francis.
  • Gary offers to sponsor Alan to keep him from getting lost during his first few days, which is super nice.
  • Alanna's first day of classes is intense: reading and writing, math, manners, history, and philosophy. There's loads of homework, and the only exciting class is history, taught by Sir Myles of Olau, who seems like a friendly if sloppy chap. Gah. That sounds like a busy schedule.
  • After lunch comes P.E., by which we mean hand-to-hand combat, shield defense, archery, basic conditioning, horse riding, stuff like that. (No dodge ball or Ping-Pong for these kids.)
  • Alanna's so exhausted enough that she nearly sleeps through dinner, and doesn't manage to finish all her homework.
  • Day 2 finds Alanna super-sore and behind in her studies. More homework is assigned. More physical feats are demanded of her.
  • Aching and embarrassed, Alanna tells Coram that they're going home. She's got the right to choose, and she's not going to take it.
  • Coram tsk-tsks that she's running away, which actually gets Alanna to reconsider bailing on knight-training.
  • She's staying after all!
  • The weeks pass, and Alanna gets to serve Duke Gareth at the dinner table, which is apparently an honor. He then assigns her to Sir Myles, which is cool since Alanna looks up to him (he's an odd duck, but nice).
  • Meanwhile, Gary and Alanna are become BFFs.
  • Soon after Alanna's 11th b-day, Duke Gareth calls her into give her a letter for wizard school after all. JK. Actually, he wants to compliment her performance, and he tells her that she can have a free day to wander the city as a reward—and Gary can come with her.
  • Wide-eyed Alanna gawks at all the city's cool stuff … and then runs into the young guy who winked at her when she first rode in with Coram. He invites her and Gary to an inn for a drink.
  • The guy's name is George Cooper, and he's a thief.
  • But not just any thief: he's the King of Thieves, also called the Rogue. Plus, he has the Gift (the magical one), which told him to keep an eye on little ol' Alan. They all end up becoming friends.
  • Later on, Duke Gareth calls Alanna into his office to ask "Alan" to explain why his father's letter asks how his son Thom is doing.
  • Alanna has a story prepared: their father could never really tell them apart. Duke Gareth knew their father from his time at court, so he buys it, which … yikes. Talk about absent fathers.
  • Alanna's happy that her lie worked…but sad that it worked because her dad actually is that distant and uncaring. It's kind of a raw deal.

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