I grew up reading Tamora Pierce. The first ones I ever read were the Lioness Quartet, then moved on to the Immortals Quartet, and some of the Circle of Magic Quartet. I love them all. Lioness Quartet is about a girl who pretends to be a boy to become a knight. Immortals Quartet is about a girl who finds out she has magic that allows her to speak to animals, right as immortals descend on her world. And the Circle of Magic Quartet is about four very different teens with very different powers and pasts, learning their skills.
Anyway, enough of my rant on all the work of Tamora Pierce. I'm really meaning to just talk about the last series I read. Here is the synopsis of the first, Trickster's Choice:
When Aly, daughter of Tortall's spymaster and famous King's Champion, decides to take a little boat ride to escape from her strong willed mother's plans, she doesn't realize what is in store for her. Captured and sold into slavery in the Copper Isle's, she soon is approached by the god Kyprioth, who offers her a wager on whether she can keep the children of her owners alive for the summer... In the midst of the stirrings of a civil war.
I could not put these books down. When I finished the first one I went right out to get the second. Aly is witty and clever and scheming. She has one of the best personalities I've read lately. But she's not the only character or aspect I found myself loving. Great descriptions, sneaky plans, awesome spy work. I was sad when it ended.