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|A Novel of the Tortallan Universe|
|Protagonist||Alianne of Pirate's Swoop|
|Setting||Copper Isles (Rajmuat, 463 HE)|
|Cover Artist||Lloyd Foye & Associates|
|UK Release Date|
|Pages|| 467 (hardcover)|
|Series||Daughter of the Lioness|
|Preceded by||Trickster's Choice|
Trickster's Queen is the second and final installment of the Trickster Series, a duology about Aly, the only daughter of the legendary Alanna the Lioness. It chronicles the events after Trickster's Choice and how they affected the family. Aly is tested as a spymaster in this novel and must help the raka conspiracy oust the Rittevon Dynasty from power.
- "To Bruce Coville, divinely tricky, magically inspiring—one of the best men I've ever known, and
To Mary Lou Pierce
the best Ma in the world"
- —Dedication of Trickster's Queen
Following the events of Trickster's Choice, the Balitang family returns to Rajmuat after their exile. Elsren Balitang is now heir to the throne, and the raka of the Copper Isles are ready for their revolution and to bring down the tyrannical Rittevon Dynasty. Aly, our heroine, has spent the winter months building her spy network (referred to affectionately as "her pack"), and planning her next move against the Rittevon rulers. Aly also receives help from her Tortallan family: darkings from her aunt Daine. She keeps them a secret and puts in them in places she knows will glean information.
In the city, Aly targets Topabaw, the feared luarin spymaster of the Isles. She tricks him into pulling her into his service and feeds him wrong information. She has plans to take him down but the other conspirators don't think she can pull it off... Aly uses her connections in the palace to feed the regents and their spies information about Topabaw, while she feeds Topabaw information about them and that they both have lost faith in each other. He is executed and made an Example. The regents appoint Sevmire Ambau, Prince Rubinyan's personal spymaster as Topabaw's replacement.
Her relationship with Nawat Crow also takes a turn for the worst as he is struggling to find his place in the world as a man and feels she constantly demeans him. Ulasim Dodeka sends him off to a far away to island to help with the rebellion there—much to Aly's dismay.
Saraiyu Balitang proves to be some trouble. Her impulsiveness could get them all killed. Her little sister Dove is a different story, and Kyprioth trusts her to keep silent enough to meet her. The regents begin to notice Sarai's growing popularity and offer her marriage to King Dunevon, which would successfully allow them to control her. Sarai thinks she has no choice but to do it, so she runs away with Zaimid Hetnim, a Carthaki healer whom she loves, with the help of the Graveyard Hag. Dovasary Balitang becomes the new chose queen-candidate for the rebellion.
She is discovered by Taybur Sibigat, the Captain of the King's Guard, but he luckily isn't interested in exposing her—as he knows that spies are inevitable. They begin a very interesting friendship with Aly pretending she doesn't know what he's talking about, and him joking around and knowing that she is a spy. Because of his love for the king, Sibigat is staunchly allied with the Rittevons—but not the regents. On Dunevon's birthday Princess Imajane and Prince Rubinyan hire mages to create a killer storm while Dunevon, Elsren Balitang, and other young boys are out celebrating Dunevon's birthday on a ship. The ship came apart with the first wave, and Sibigat, knowing that the regents killed Dunevon, joins up with Aly's cause. Tortall and Maren also withdraw their trade from the Isles—refusing to do business with king-killers. Nawat also returns, confident in his manhood, and he and Aly rekindle their romance.
As Imajane and Rubinyan declare themselves rulers after Dunevon and Elsren's demise, they are already doing badly in their office. Imajane throws Vurquan Nomru, one of the most powerful men of the realm into Kanodang, the prison. The rebellion's first major act is to release Duke Nomru and several others of the rebellion from the prison, knowing that the Rittevons will actually think the luarin nobility were responsible for Nomru's release.
Since her victory with Topabaw, Aly begins to turn their new king and queen against each other, planting evidence that Rubinyan is having an affair with another noblewoman—specifically Lady Edunata.
The raka conspiracy makes its final move when assassins target Dove when the Balitangs are returning home from the Grey Palace. A large kudarung comes to save her—showing that she is the true queen mentioned in the Kyprish Prophecy. They attack the Grey palace in force at dawn, with Dove flying above them on the kudarung. Ulasim Dodeka dies when he kills Prince Rubinyan; and Ochobu and Junai Dodeka also die in the fighting. Imajane commits suicide rather than face the judgment of the new rulers, and the conspiracy is victorious.
After Dove has taken control of the Isles, Aly informs them of her parentage, but they don't see it as an issue. She marries Nawat after being accepted as Dove's new spymaster, and she becomes pregnant. In the epilogue, a large Tortallan delegation with many members of her family come to recognize the new queen, and Aly meets with them in secret. She and her mother bury the hatchet and become friends.
- Aly of Pirate's Swoop, the protagonist of the duology.
- Veralidaine Sarrasri, sends Aly darkings
- Numair Salmalín, appears in epilogue
- Alanna the Lioness, appears in epilogue
- Tkaa, brings Aly darkings and news from Tortall
- Thom of Pirate's Swoop
- Sarralyn Salmalín
- Nawat Crow, Aly's love interest, former crow
- Ulasim Dodeka, General of the Raka conspiracy
- Ochobu Dodeka, head mage of the conspiracy
- Chenaol, armorer of the conspiracy
- Quedanga, communications, housekeeper at Balitang house
- Junai Dodeka, bodyguard for Aly and Dove, Ulasim's daughter
- Ysul, mage in The Chain
- Vereyu, head of the spies at the Grey Palace
- Bacar, runner (messenger) for the conspiracy
- Pembery, ladies maid for the Balitangs
- Eyun, one of Aly's spy pack
- Kioka, one of Aly's spy pack
- Ukali, spy pack
Nobles and royals
- Saraiyu Balitang, the believed queen mentioned in the Kyprish Prophecy
- Dovasary Balitang, Sarai's 13 year old sister
- Imajane Rittevon and Rubinyan Jimajen, regents of the Isles, and main antagonists of the conspiracy and the raka
- Lohearn Mantawu, called "Topabaw", the feared luarin spymaster of the Isles
- Sevmire Ambau, Rubinyan's personal spymaster
- Dunevon Rittevon, boy-king and youngest son of the late King Oron, the source of Imajane and Rubinyan's power
- Winnamine Balitang, Duchess Balitang, widow of Mequen Balitang
- Nuritin Balitang, Mequen's aunt, leader of the luarin conspiracy
- Vurquan Nomru, powerful luarin noble and duke, member of the luarin conspiracy
- Qovold Engan, astronomer, out of favor with the regents for predicting the eclipse
- Imgehai Qeshi, archpriestess of the Black God, member of the luarin conspiracy
- Genore Tomang, countess, would've supported the Rittevons if they had not been so heavily taxed, turned coat and joined rebellion
- Ferdolin Tomang, son of Genore, count
- Rosamma Tomang, daughter of Genore
- Taybur Sibigat, Captain of the King's Guard
Immortals and Gods
- Kyprioth, Trickster god, patron god of the raka
- Graveyard Hag, Carthaki trickster goddess
- Dawn Crow and Sky, crow gods
- Mithros and the Great Mother Goddess
- Zaimid Hetnim, Carthaki healer
Trickster's Queen was first published in hardcover format on September 28th, 2004 by Random House. Other hardcover editions came out later on October 1st, 2005 by Turtleback Books, and October 11th, 2005 by Perfection Learning. The first paperback of Trickster's Queen was published by Scholastic Australia on September 1st, 2004, and by Random House on October 11th, 2005. The ebook was released on November 30th, 2004, by Random House Books for Young Readers. The audiobook was released on September 28th, 2004 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group (Listening Library). Like Trickster's Choice, the audiobook was read by Trini Alvarado.
Awards and critical acclaim
The book received the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association.