Help me remember YA Fantasy from the 90s
April 8, 2020 12:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find 2 90s YA fantasy novels that are entangled in my memory.

I believe I'm thinking of two different novels, but I may be wrong!

Novel A: Young women disguises herself as a man and is trained as a squire in a conventional fantasy setting. Coming of age, romance. Like a European Fantasy Mulan. I specifically remember the main character having to deal with getting her period and binding her chest while living in a dorm setting with other squires.

Novel B: Young man finds a dragon egg and raises it, set in the desert planet, lots of specific detail about raising the dragon and keeping it hidden from authorities. Maybe Dragonriders of Pern spin-off?

I would have read these in the early to mid-90s, likely a major publisher because I got them from the library.
posted by kittensofthenight to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: *set on a desert planet*
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:56 PM on April 8, 2020

Best answer: Is novel a one of the Alanna books by Tamora Pierce?
posted by azalea_chant at 1:00 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Novel A sounds like Tamora Pierce's Keladry novels (Protector of the Small quartet)? Or Alanna novels?
posted by invincible summer at 1:00 PM on April 8, 2020

Best answer: Most likely the Alanna novels now that memory comes back... I don't think Keladry had to disguise herself, since Alanna paved the way.
posted by invincible summer at 1:02 PM on April 8, 2020

Best answer: A is totally the first Alanna book.

Could B be a book from the Pit Dragon Trilogy?
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:04 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: First book is from the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce featuring Alanna of Trebond.

Second is definitely from the Pit Dragon series by Jane Yolen.
posted by Jaclyn at 1:07 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Wow. Nailed it.

The Wiki pic for Alanna is even the edition I read!

I didn't know either one was a series. Looking forward to diving back in. Thanks everyone!
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:20 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Agreeing with everyone else on book A. "Alanna: The First Adventure" by Tamora Pierce. Exactly the same aspects of it have stuck in my head.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:22 PM on April 8, 2020

For the second try the Joust series by Mercedes Lackey. Or Dragonhaven by Robin Mckinley? Although Dragonhaven is set on an alternate earth, not in a desert.
posted by five_cents at 3:31 PM on April 8, 2020

Your second book is likely one of the Anne McCaffrey Pern books. Pern isn't a desert planet but the dragons and fire lizards favour hot, sandy, nesting spots. My best guesses are:

Dragonsong: Menolly, a wannabe harper apprentice, runs away from home, imprints several firelizards by accident, and is eventually discovered by the authorities and brought back to be a harper, her story continued in Dragonsinger.

Dragondrums: Piemur, a harper apprentice, is marooned on the Southern Continent of Pern and imprints a young fire lizard whilst on a variety of adventures for his master.

These three books were published together as the Harper Hall anthology at one point so that might be the book you're thinking of?

Edit: Ah, much more likely to be the Jane Yolen books. Apologies - I didn't realise that you'd already marked it as the correct answer.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:25 PM on April 8, 2020

Came in to second (third, fourth) the answers of Alanna: the first advanture (and its sequels) and The Pit Dragon trilogy. That Alanna cover was the best - it was also the one I read from the library (albeit in the mid-80s).
posted by jb at 8:11 PM on April 8, 2020

The second one is also most likely to be by Tamora Pierce- as there is a young dragon being rescued and raised by Daine (a young girl or woman) in one of the Alanna -related sequels, I can't recall which one offhand...Wild Magic? Daine has her own book series, The Immortals, in which Alanna is a minor character. And the dragon is Kitten aka Skysong.
posted by Coaticass at 1:10 AM on April 9, 2020

Wild Magic
posted by Coaticass at 1:13 AM on April 9, 2020

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