Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce portrait image to appear alongside the Tamora Pierce biography.

Tamora Pierce was born on December 13, 1954, in South Connellsville, Pennsylvania. When Pierce was five, her parents moved her and her two younger siblings to Dunbar, Pennsylvania, where her uncle provided her with her first books— Winnie the Pooh and The Cat in the Hat—and fostered her love of reading. Pierce, fascinated by Star Trek and The Lord of the Rings, began to focus on creating her own imaginary lands, unusual characters, and, what other fantasy novels failed to include—teenage female warriors.

In 1976, Pierce moved to New York and, after working a few non-literary jobs to pay the rent, began working for a literary agency. Her agent suggested Pierce rework her 732-page novel for adults into four separate books for teens. Having already told a teenage version of her book to her girls in Idaho, Pierce decided to take her agent's advice. She published Alanna: The First Adventure in 1983.

After publishing her first quartet, Pierce went to work on others. Throughout the 1990s, Pierce wrote her second and third quartets, The Immortals and The Circle of Magic. Critics agree that Pierce's books have made a great impact on young female readers, encouraging them to be strong and to overcome challenges like those faced by the characters she develops. Although courageous, Pierce's characters all have their own flaws which, critics agree, allows readers to identify with them easily.

Pierce currently resides in Manhattan with her husband Tim Liebe, himself a writer and an actor.

Tamora Pierce books reviewed