Read The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce Online


A reissue of the classic fantasy quartet: The Song of the LionessNewly knighted, Alanna rides the desert in search of adventure. Captured by the Bloody Hawk tribe, she must challenge ancient tribal customs if she ever hopes for freedom. But how can she convince the tribe to change, when their powerful shaman cries hourly for her execution? Tradition demands that she proveA reissue of the classic fantasy quartet: The Song of the LionessNewly knighted, Alanna rides the desert in search of adventure. Captured by the Bloody Hawk tribe, she must challenge ancient tribal customs if she ever hopes for freedom. But how can she convince the tribe to change, when their powerful shaman cries hourly for her execution? Tradition demands that she prove her worth in a magical duel ... to the death....

Title : The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780590198899
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 228 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man Reviews

  • Norah Una Sumner
    2019-02-11 08:58

    I just want to burn this book and then make myself forget about it.This book is a synonym for horror. The whole book is like one big unfinished draft ready for its editing. The concentration of whiny-ass characters reached its maximum in this book. Alanna is the ultimate Drama Queen that can't make up her mind - does she want to have passionate sex with George or Jon? Of course, everything turns out great for her and she's a freaking hero while her brother becomes a fanatic lunatic. One of the biggest characteristics of this book is the "let's change these characters completely" or the famous "doing the 180". The plot is dull. The action is non-existent. I wanted to shoot myself during most of this miserable book. Overall, this is one of those "I want to pull a Barney Stinson" kind of books again.

  • Margaret
    2019-02-16 11:26

    I was 12 when I discovered the Song of the Lioness quartet, and they made a massive impression on me. At that point in my life it was amazing to find a series of books with such tough, relatable heroine. Alana was everything I wanted to be: strong-willed, compassionate, driven, and dead set on living on her own terms. It's been a decade since I first read these books, and they still stand up pretty well. Alana still strikes me as an excellent role model for teenage girls, and she's as endearing to college-aged me as she was to preteen-me.That being said, I have one massive problem with "The Woman who Rides Like a Man". There's an uncomfortable degree of cultural insensitivity in Alana's dealings with the Bashir (a desert tribe who adopt her). The tribe is othered to the point of Orientalism, their customs little more than a caricature of Middle Eastern culture. I was also discomfited with the fact that Alana was portrayed as a white savior, swooping in and bringing massive "moral" changes to the Bashir's traditions. It struck me as a blatant display of cultural imperialism.The Woman who Rides Like a Man has it's issues, but those problems can be the starting point for some great discussions. Because it raises questions about gender roles, moral relativity, and cultural issues, it could be a great selection for a teen reading group.

  • Madeline
    2019-02-11 09:04

    Based on what I've read on Goodreads, the general fan consensus seems to be that this book is the weakest of the quartet. I enjoyed it just as much as the previous two books, but can see why people tend to list it as their least favorite. The story takes place almost entirely in a single location, as Alanna goes to live in the desert after graduating as a knight (and killing Duke Roger) at the end of Book 2. The people she falls in with are the Bazhir, who we met briefly in Book One when she and Jonathon went to the Black City, but the people and their culture is explored in much greater depth here. I'm not objecting to the single setting here - honestly, it was kind of nice to have the narrative slow down a little, instead of racing from one place to another and covering two years in two hundred pages - but it gave this book a very different feel than the previous two. Compared to the previous books, the pace of this one feels practically glacial, with the timeline of the whole story covering just a few months. After seeing how quickly Pierce moved through plot points in the previous books (hey, anybody remember that time we went to war with Tusaine?) I found myself wondering just how long Alanna was planning to hang out with the Bazhir. The majority of the book, it turns out. But to be fair, she has a lot to do. In the beginning of the story, Alanna falls in with a Bazhir tribe and they eventually accept her as one of them and then she becomes their shaman, because this is a Tamora Pierce book and Alanna of Trebond is a fucking boss at everything she does. She spends most of her time training three Bazhir kids in magic, and two of them are girls, and all of the tribespeople are like, "But a GIRL can't do magic or be a shaman!" and Alanna is like "Prepare to have your minds blown, Noble Savages!" As you can guess, the Bazhir stuff wanders into uncomfortable territory more than once. At best, they're fulfilling the Noble Savage trope and giving Alanna guidance like this is some Eat Pray Love white woman on a vision quest bullshit, and at worst they're just flat-out Orientalist stereotypes. There's a whole ceremony to make her an honorary Bazhir, and even though the scene itself is perfectly fine, all I could think about was thatsuper racist number from Annie Get Your Gun. The whole storyline is very much a White Savior cliche, right down to Alanna smashing her way into a culture she has almost no understanding of and insisting they change their ways immediately. The only thing that redeems this storyline is the two girls she trains as shamans - they ultimately change most of the Bazhir's views on women, so at least the people making strides to change the culture are actually from that culture. So that wasn't great. But everything else that happens here is awesome. Jonathan shows up halfway through the book and proposes to Alanna (Jonathan, honey, how many way will this not work?), and then proceeds to go full Joffrey, turning into an entitled little shit who seems to have forgotten the last eight years when Alanna was his best friend and fellow squire. They have an explosive fight where Jonathan yells at Alanna that she needs to start acting more feminine and she basically tells him to go fuck himself, and then she flounces off to go have sex with George Cooper for a while, because fuck you, Jonathan. It's glorious. My biggest wish for the previous book was for Alanna to make a female friend, and Tamora Pierce has answered my prayers. After two books of believing that she was the exception to the rule that girls are silly and weak, Alanna meets a goddamn plethora of women who defy that stereotype. In addition to the two Bazhir girls she trains in magic, Alanna also meets George's cousin Rispah, a female thief who was so awesome in her few scenes that I immediately started imagining her and Alanna going on a Thelma and Louise-style roadtrip together. She almost makes up for Delia, who you'll remember from the last book as that dumb slut who flirted with Alanna's friends and turned out to be working for Duke Roger, because girls who flirt with your boyfriends are always full of dark magic. Delia is still here, and I'm kind of hoping that she's going to be the main villain in the next book, just so she has something fun to do.It's not the best book in the series, but overall The Woman Who Rides Like a Man is another great Alanna adventure, full of excitement and magic and swordfights and sex with cute boys and fantastic conversations like this, which all little girls need to study and remember:"'You are a terrifying creature,' the Voice told [Alanna] solemnly. 'You do not take your place in your father's tent, letting men make your decisions. You ride as a man, you fight as a man, and you think as a man-''I think as a human being,' she retorted hotly. 'Men don't think any differently from women - they just make more noise about being able to.'As Coram chuckled, Mukhtab said, 'Have you not discovered that when people, men and women, find a woman who acts intelligently, they say she acts like a man?'"

  • Jaime Arkin
    2019-02-09 08:10

    I opened this book sailing along on a certain ship... a ship that I'd been on since book 1 ... I was convinced my feelings were never going to change! BUT THEN THINGS HAPPEN!! And these things weren't making me happy ... NOT AT ALL HAPPY JON!! And Alanna reacted just exactly how I expected she would ...I thought I was fine... Because George...AND NOW ... I don't even care, I ship Alanna with anyone she wants to be with. As long as they respect her as a knight and allow her to go on her adventures and experience life and everything it has to offer and figure out what she wants. If you can do this, I will ship you with her... I promise :)

  • Jessica
    2019-01-21 09:18

    The entire Song of the Lioness quartet is absolutely brilliant. What a great, uplifting series for young girls - it's smart, funny, brave, and terrifically exciting. I read this when I was in middle school, but I still get pleasure from re-reading it even today.

  • Kim
    2019-02-11 09:09

    I love this series because it features a strong female protagonist. In fact, all of this author's work is centered around young women, which I appreciate after reading so much Harry Potter (which I love, but which lacks balance between good male and female characters, at least in the early books). Some of the other collections get repetitive, but Alanna's story stays compelling through all four books.

  • Alissa
    2019-01-30 14:58

    More adventures in store for Alanna after the conclusion of the second book in the series. A new phase of her education and a new phase of her growth as a human being, a woman and a knight. The desert setting is nice, but Alanna-turned-teacher was a bit boring after a while. On to the last book. Highly recommended for any pre-teen.

  • Sanaa
    2019-02-09 11:12

    [4 Stars] I really enjoyed this one! It may be my favorite in the series so far! I'm glad I'm finally getting a chance to dive back into this world. I also just loved learning about the Bazhir and their traditions and overall just seeing Alanna out of a court setting! Also, can I just say girl power! Go Alanna!

  • Michelle
    2019-02-02 14:06

    In book three of the Song of the Lioness series, Alanna has just received her Knight's shield and is anxious to be off on an adventure of her own making. Accompanied by the steady Coram, who trained her as a young page, Alanna feels ready for any eventuality. Heading southward, Alanna and Coram are attacked by murderous desert dwellers and are eventually rescued by the equally enigmatic Bazhir people who offer her two options: fight one of their own warriors and join the tribe or be killed. Wisely, Alanna fights and awes group with her fighting skills and compassion - except for a notable few members of the Bloody Hawk tribe. Despite all the tradition and prejudice against women, Alanna is slowing welcomed by the group, eventually becoming the tribe's newest shaman and training three youngsters to carry on her in place.Even though she has escaped the confines of palace life, Alanna is confronted with the reality of determining her relationship with Prince Jonathan while the ever comforting presence of George, the King of the Thieves, silently keeps watch over her. All of Alanna's friends are wonderful but George has always been a standout for me. This book finally showed a little more personality in Jonathan and, for good or bad, made for a more interesting character.Wherever she goes, Alanna draws attention. It's probably the whole red hair, purple eyes, warrior maiden thing she has going on but it really works for her. I'd probably stop in my tracks if she crossed my way too. That said, I love how she is constantly faced with difficult challenges where there really is no easy answer. Alanna faces each situation with maturity and intelligence that I can't help but admire. But above all, she is loyal to her friends and to the vows she made as a knight and it shows in everything she does. I am so enjoying this series and I can't wait to see what is up next for Alanna in the concluding volume, Lioness Rampant.

  • Sakina (aforestofbooks)
    2019-01-31 12:23

    It's amazing how your opinions change as you get older. I still love this book (and this series) as much as I did the first time around. But it's definitely eye-opening. Jon really annoyed me in this book - he has gone a bit cocky and proud because of who he is. Just like Thom! I honestly didn't quite remember much about Thom's role in this book, and realizing who he's become makes me so sad. Jon also makes me so sad, because like Alanna said, he is a good person at heart, but he's just let all this royalty and "nobleness" get to his head and has forgotten that not every woman is at his beck and call and will accept/do whatever he wants. Alanna being with him constantly kept him somewhat grounded, but I'm hoping he remembers (I think he does later on) that woman have their own rights and thoughts and opinions. And he shouldn't need Alanna constantly near him to remember that. George I remember why he's so perfect for Alanna!(I feel kind of pressured to finish all of Tamora pierce's books before the end of the year because of the challenge, which sucks because I feel like I've rushed through this series and not drawn it out as slowly as I should have. I feel like there are so many important lessons that I should have thought over more, but I'm glad I own the book so now I can reread it as many times as I want)

  • Beth
    2019-01-27 11:11

    As an aside, I read this on the plane, too, on my must-be-3+-years-old Nook Glowlight. If I'm tied into the B&N ecosystem, there's really no newer ereader option, is there? I heard that the black refresh doesn't appear on newer ereaders, but I've also read a few downer articles about the future of the Barnes and Noble ebook platform, and I'm a little worried. Onto the book! I only have two highlighted notes, so I'll mention those and then talk about my general impressions of the book.First, I did not like this: "A skinny man wearing the green robes of a Bazhir shaman, or petty wizard, threw back his hood. His scraggly beard thrust forward on a sallow chin." Yeahhhhh. He must be evil because he's sallow and can't grow much of a beard! Appearance dovetailing with character is my least favorite means of description. Plus: a petty wizard? And here I thought shamans were exactly like mages, only Bazhir! The rest of the book only does its absolute best to convey that impression.Second, I really, really liked the entire section where Jonathan discussed becoming the Voice. I thought it was unlikely, though I did like that the magic of the ceremony means all the Bazhir know exactly what to expect from Jonathan and how he'll do. At least there's that. Otherwise, isn't it a little insulting to invite a non-Bazhir outsider to become the final voice on their court systems and questions of history and tradition? What I did really like: the way Jonathan talks about becoming the Voice, as something that will be vital to his future kingship, highlights something so interesting about this series - there's a very traditional medieval perception of honor and duty. These are nobles who reach for power, because it's their currency and ultimately their obligation to their families, but also have an eye toward its responsibilities. They're not careless or stingy or power-mad. It's what makes them such good heroes, that they are very clearly of their world, even as they represent the best of it. I'm also fascinated with the idea that Jonathan's restlessness is cured by the acceptance of this tremendous responsibility. That more than anything is a sign he's going to be a great king. Showing, not telling! HURRAH.It's odd that the Voice ceremony feels more - I don't know - difficult? Real? - than the Ordeal descriptions. Maybe it's because Jonathan has to slice his own arm open. Maybe because there's so clearly a heavy aura of magic, while the Ordeal just feels like a series of nightmares.I also really liked the evolution of Amman Kemail. Here's someone who doesn't abuse the system to challenge Jon initially, but who really has valid concerns. And then he's gracious in defeat and wise enough to recognize that Jon "will do" as the Voice. I LIKED HIM. I hope he sends his kids to Corus to become knights. SPEAKING OF, remember the Bazhir in the Kel books? Isn't knighthood training only for nobles? The Bazhir don't seem to have a traditional feudal structure, so who exactly qualifies, and why?What I also like about Jon in this book: how peremptory he is! Sure, it's frustrating for Alanna, incredibly so - and it's not the easiest to read about, either - but here's a guy who's a prince and knows he's going to be king one day. Having him be Mr. Nice Guy wouldn't quite ring true. Plus, I love it when Alanna shouts at him.Alanna fascinates me in this book. Not just because she made up the most randomly phrased spells, and they worked (how much magical theory has she ever learned? Not much) but because she not only forces the tribe to accept her, but to accept her students, and her position is so matter-of-fact. I don't know how she thought she'd be successful at that, especially since she really doesn't know much about their history.You know, I remembered this book as the desert book. I didn't remember how much it sets up Lioness Rampant. Thom particularly - and Claw - and Josiane, I suppose, though she's so tertiary she's almost unnecessary. Which, confession time, is my favorite book of this series. CAN'T WAIT.

  • April Sarah
    2019-02-18 14:13

    I love that the pacing of this book finally slowed down a bit. You got to see some depth to some of the characters and see how they process things. Alanna really starts to come into her own. But I won't lie, this one has always left me extremely frustrated with most of the male characters.Video Review:

  • El
    2019-02-13 07:22

    Oh, this series.In this installment, Alanna has become a knight and goes off to the desert where she spends some time with the Bazhir culture, and a whole lot of whiteness happens to them. For those of us who were all "But these are all white characters!" during the first couple of books, rest assured because there are some not-as-white people here, and there called the Bazhir. Well, they show up a bit in the last book, but here we get to learn about their culture in more detail. Alanna is there and meets some new people and actually makes friends! They aren't all in love with her like a lot of her previous friends have been, but there's a mutual respect.And so Alanna then teaches them a bunch of stuff they don't know and becomes their shaman and teaches them about the ways of the world. Basically, she's doing missionary work. And it's just as unsettling to read about as any true missionary work is.As far as adventuring goes, this is sort of the extent of it. Alanna doesn't go off into wild flights of fancy, and essentially stays with the Bazhir throughout the story which is unlike the first two books when she'd throw down for any little thing, and I think a lot of readers disliked that about this book. I thought it was fine, but you know, I'm not as invested in these stories as some readers are.In other Alanna-news, she is well-versed in the ways of the sexual world by this book. She and Jonathan are hot and heavy through most of the story until he's all "Can't you be more like a lady? I like ladies" which of course is basically another way of saying "You're so much prettier when you smile." Yeah, fuck you, Jonathan. I don't care if you are a prince. Shut your trap.But there's still that George guy waiting in the wings, so for those of you who have been wanting that to happen, rest assured again!Shamans and sex. That's pretty much this story.I'm not a big fan of the title here. Alanna is called "the woman who rides like a man" a lot, and that's supposed to be a good thing, but it's annoying, like hearing "you run like a girl" or "you throw like a girl." It's not helpful at all. I get that Alanna was blowing the Bazhir's mind by showing them all the things girls can do that are just like the things boys can do, but it's still an unfortunate title all around. The Woman Who Rides Like a Woman would be confusing, but also would have a better message, if you're just going by the title and not reading the book (which happens more than you think since kids are growing up reading titles on a bookshelf, trying to find one that appeals to them).Anyhow, Alanna is still amazing at everything (sex included), and now I am just about to begin the fourth book to see what kind of shenanigans Alanna gets into.

  • Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
    2019-02-17 07:20

    Each book is better than the last, and that's saying a lot considering how much I've enjoyed each previous book. I like the decisions Alanna's made up to this point, but most especially as of the end of this book, though I think she should probably check in on that brother of hers…Can't wait to start the final book, though I'm already wishing it didn't have to end. ;0)

  • kris
    2019-02-17 08:14

    [first read: 3 January 2008]Alanna, knighted and revealed, heads south to begin her stint as a wandering knight, eager to forget the unrest at court over her deception and also her slaying of the King's cousin in combat. In her first year as a knight, she joins and instills change upon the desert-dwelling Bazhir; witnesses Prince Jonathan become the Voice; swaps one Royal lover for another; and begins to understand herself as Alanna instead of Alan. 1. Still don't like Jonathan. NOT SORRY. (Although, I must acknowledge that this is an interesting and realistic situation to place your heroine in: Alanna is in love with an unsuitable man. How the situation solves itself--some yelling before the parties separate indefinitely--is also realistic but definitely not fulfilling.)2. I HATE that George feels like a rebound in this. Absolutely the text tries to make it not so, bit I'm sorry, it all screams REBOUND--especially because Alanna invites him to bed IMMEDIATELY after finding out that Jonathan had moved on to another woman. LKJDFKJ 3. I guess the gist of my feelings is this: I like Alanna and her adventures. I like the world. I like this lady knight struggling to find her place and how to use her voice in a world that has no place and no ear for her. I like all of that. I hate the romance so much though that I could throw things! I hate that Alanna has so little agency! I hate that Pierce has problematic approaches to gender and race! 4. Is it important that George gets a chapter from his POV? OF COURSE IT IS. 5. THOM WTF (Part of me rebels against Thom's looming fall because his story--one of isolation and pride and idiocy--is one I feel rather keenly (especially as a isolated prideful idiot myself?). As much as I adore Alanna's fumbling connections and heart, part of me wonders what Thom's story would look like. (Not that we need another asshole boy-sorcerer story, but.)

  • Katie
    2019-02-17 07:27

    Super-into my re-read now! I really like how the relationships with Jon and George are developed. I guess I said that before, but everything's unfolding in a way that makes sense, which (also repeating myself) feels rare in YA.And I like Alanna growing to accept herself and who she is.Re-read January 2016Uh, I think I said everything in the comments of Kris's review.

  • Rachel (Kalanadi)
    2019-02-07 10:26

    I am always proud that Alanna turned Jonathan down. He's a spoiled,presumptive ass in this book, at the same time that he is brave, intelligent, and a leader. But Alanna calls him on his attitude, and throws off the responses that in some way the fight is "her fault". And it heartens me that Pierce shows what brats hormonal, hot-tempered teenagers can be - before they become respected adults.

  • Jana
    2019-02-07 10:58

    3.5 starsReview can be found at

  • Mara
    2019-02-09 07:27

    Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I've never been a big fan of the these covers, because they have character impersonators on them. This may be my least favorite. Is the character impersonator supposed to have jaundice? She doesn't look well at all. The horse is pretty, at least.Characters: My opinion of Alanna is rather lukewarm; that is, I neither like her nor dislike her. She doesn't exactly have The Attitude, and at times she expresses a very strong and believable personality. But other times, she turns into a puddle of tears for no reason, which totally makes her look pathetic and immature. She wants to be a brave warrior woman and she's crying over a few hurtful words someone threw at her? Sorry, not buying it. Nevertheless, while she's trying to prove something to everyone, she never goes around with a "I have to prove women are equal" attitude, and for this I can at least be thankful. In some ways, Alanna is a believable knightess; in other ways, she seems very young. As soon as Alanna and Jonathan started sleeping together, I lost all respect for them both, but especially Jonathan because he also slept with other court ladies. Whatever sliver of liking I had for him was demolished in this installment entirely. He's rude and chauvinistic and temperamental and assuming and arrogant. It's like he had a complete personality change simply because the Author needed to create a bit of drama between them and give Alanna a reason to refuse his marriage proposal. George is still pretty awesome, though he, too, starts sleeping with Alanna. But I still rather like him. The other characters of this story I didn't care about either way.The Romance: Jonathan wants to marry Alanna, but Alanna doesn't want to live the life of a courtier, let alone a princess. George is utterly devoted to Alanna, but she's too busy sharing Jonathan's bed to notice, and so he quietly waits. You can tell which guy I'm supporting, can't you? In truth, I don't really care. George is an interesting character, but I mostly like him because I'm desperate to like someone. I can't like Alanna because she's two-dimensional, and Jonathan is a jerk. And once he makes an appearance in the story, the romance takes a pretty prominent place in the plot, which also means Alanna turns into a puddle of tears and storms around and makes stupid mistakes and pouts. At the same time, none of the relationships feel very developed. They're bland.Plot: Having earned her shield, Alanna has taken to the road to do some questing, to prove to herself and other people that she has every right to carry her rank as a knight of the realm. Her travels take her into the desert, where a nomadic clan takes her in as one of their own. One thing leads to another, and she's soon the clan's shaman as well as one of their warriors. While the plot of The Woman Who Rides Like a Man is a little less meandering than the other two, it still doesn't have much a purpose. Alanna's adoption into the clan, which should be a huge moment in the story, takes place right at the beginning. And her becoming shaman is very anticlimactic. The majority of the book is spent with her learning her shaman duties and training her replacements, as well as casting out the evil in a new magic sword she's found. Oh, and something about Jonathan becoming the next representative of all of the desert tribes. Which, of course, then leads to romantic drama. Alanna spends a lot of time feeling guilty for slaying Duke Roger, even though she totally did the right thing, and then she has hysterical moments when she's quite convinced that she'll never be rid of his memory simply because she sees symbols that are similar to the ones that had been on his staff. Seriously, this book makes the whole battle between Alanna and Duke Roger out to be this huge, epic event that spanned the last two books, which is a gross exaggeration. Duke Roger was hardly important. So yet again, Readers are left with a book that has no definite plot and meanders through one event to another.Believability: I shouldn't be addressing any form of believability, but there is one thing that kept bothering me: the nomadic peoples treat women totally as second-class citizens, and yet they welcome Alanna into their midst as a fellow warrior with hardly any dither, and they also welcome her endeavors to change the way of things for the women of the tribe. Deep-rooted tradition is not that easy to change; not even in a fantasy land.Writing Style: Third person, past tense. Once more, I am not impressed with this Author's writing style. People praise her world building and descriptions to high heaven, but I haven't seen anything special in it at all. It's not bad exactly, but it's mediocre and not at all what I would expect of someone who gets such high praise for style.Content: Alanna sleeps with Jonathan, and later George, but Readers are not treated to any details (thank goodness).Conclusion: Apparently Alanna's twin brother has taken a turn towards arrogance and messing around with dangerous magic. I had no idea he tended towards this. Is everyone getting a personality change? Apparently. There's nothing epic about the end, and therefore there was nothing epic about this book. A bit better than the last one, it was still pretty dull and could have had a lot more happen. More importantly, it could have had an actual plot.Recommended Audience: Girl-read, fourteen-and-up, fans of slow fantasy.

  • Shera (Book Whispers)
    2019-01-25 08:59

    It has come up a lot in discussions about Young Adult books: How unrealistic the romance is. How it's insta-love and the girl never thinks of how the relationship will affect her. If she really loves about the guy, and what she doesn't love about him. (Oh, my! The male love interested isn't REALLY perfect.) How being with that person will affect her life and goals. Most importantly, how she wants to be treated by and because of that person.I always say I've read books where it is considered and it made for a great read. But then I could never remember the titles! Well Woman Who Rides Like a Man goes there. It shows how Alanna knows herself, well enough that she doesn't want to just rashly throw her future away for an ideal/fantasy. Romance isn't the entire focus by any means. Alanna is dealing with how to accept magic into her life. Becoming a teacher and a revolutionist for women. Better yet readers finally get a good look into the Bahsir. They're a fascinating people and I enjoy how change slowly comes to them. Inspired by their respect of Alanna. Alanna learns she can't take care of everyone. The new characters of the Bahsir are really fun to get to know and a few old favorites. There's plenty of time to flesh out other characters that are much beloved. Though unfortunately some of Alanna's Knight friends aren't here. Thom isn't getting much page time, and I think Alanna is going to be super shocked by what is transpiring. Or at least she should be! It bothers me a bit how unworried and uncaring she seems about what her brother does. I feel like because he's her brother—twin brother—there's very weird disconnect between them. I thought maybe it was because they both have issues letting people in, but they're both supposed to have loved each other immensely. There's still one more book to fix it. Overall I love this follow-up. Alanna is an amazing character and while her fears of the royals and palace politics are her latest fear, she's finding her own footing as the first Lady Knight in over a century. It's wonderful to see how much she's grown and that she's still fearless in her life choices. That love isn't just instant forever. People change and you never stop learning and growing. Oh, and the action is pretty awesome. Sexual Content: Some sex and sexual humor. This is a book written in the 80s, so it's all clean and vague on the sex scenes themselves. So no worries. 4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it. Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.

  • Andree
    2019-01-19 15:09

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure this one holds up, even against my memories.I remember not liking aspects of this when I first read it (cough... the romance... cough), but I feel like I like even less upon reread.The good? Most of the Bazhir camp. Alanna finally finding a home of sorts, and a little bit more of her centre, and what she wanted. Sir Myles adopting Alanna. That's a delightful scene. I also really enjoyed the scenes in Corus towards the end, the ones from George's POV.The less than good? Man is the plotline with Jonathan problematic. I mean, I've never liked him as a love interest for Alanna (a friend, yes, absolutely, but the second it turned romantic the relationship sours for me). I mean, I get it, he's young and he's immature, and he's chafing against his responsibility, while also embracing it and learning to wield it responsibly. I can respect some of it. But his complete disregard for Alanna's opinions/desires wears more than a little thin. (view spoiler)[And the way it ends sort of sours Alanna's subsequent rebound to George. I mean, George is better for her in about a million ways, but the way their relationship progresses, it feels very underdevelopped and unearned. I think I needed a few more scenes along the way of them falling for each other, and outside of the context of the love triangle with Jonathan. (hide spoiler)] To reiterate, really don't lie how TP does romance at all in these.I'm also not thrilled with how ambition is treated in this. There are more than a few examples of it. (view spoiler)[Alanna being completely unconcerned with Thom just taking her gift is problematic, and honestly makes no sense. Even she (blinded by her love for him as her twin) should have immediately realized that given that he's taking it willy-nilly with no warning, he could have taken it while she was in battle and needed it, or while she was using it to keep the Voice of the Bazhir alive. Her lack of follow-up is absolutely irresponsible, and completely out of character, given how private/protective she is of herself about anything else. (hide spoiler)]Lastly, a lot happens in this book, and much of it feels somehow glossed over? i think part of it is that it is very much a set-up for Lioness Rampant, and so was never really intended to be its own story. But I don't know, I just didn't enjoy reading it much this time around.

  • Jason
    2019-01-30 07:11

    It feels like the series increases in its juvenile sensibility. Maybe it’s because Alanna’s youthfulness made sense when she was a tween, and now that she’s an adult her relative lack of maturity (and the author’s lack of maturity in her writing) seems jarring and not as it should be. (view spoiler)[Also…so she whines when he’s too ardent in his affections, she whines when he’s willing to treat her as just a friend. She whines when the prince wants to marry her, she whines when she thinks he’s found someone else. Aren’t you supposed to be adventuring, not…emo-ing about your dumb love life? Boo.He only has a little magic, and it’s the ability to feel her presence cuz they’re such True Loves? Ugh. (hide spoiler)]I’m also annoyed about how the main characters are made to be almost constantly perfect, with their only occasional pointed-out flaws being acting like annoying a-holes. I would like to see them be more like humans. And maybe for Alanna to not have everything always turning out great for her, with things consistently turning out badly for anyone who might dare to not worship her. Like her apprentice pointing out that it’s unfair how she has like a million Super Magical Items is a sign of his being a fool? So if readers might feel the same way, clearly they’re being foolish.Not sure what happened to the feisty, fascinating protagonist of the first book (by the second, she’d already gone partway into a boy-obsessed perfect snowflake who had things land in her lap just to make the story Cooler rather than her earning them through merit shown on her part…but only partway).

  • Julie
    2019-01-26 12:14

    I just love Alanna. She is a great character: feisty, cranky, spirited, and yet kind and brave and vulnerable. I'm really enjoying this series and look forward to the final book of the quartet.Also, George Cooper = awesome.Also-also, I was explaining the plot of the Alanna series to my brother, about how Alanna's brother took her place at the convent in order to learn sorcery."But he never pretended to be a girl.""Well that's good... if he did, book three would be called The Man Who Rides Like a Lady."A note: I want to point out the excellent contrast between this series/book and the Narnia series, specifically The Horse and His boy. Both prominently feature cultures obviously inspired by the Arab and nomadic cultures of the Middle East. The difference is, Tamora Pierce portrays their culture in a positive way and consistently presents them as being equally valid to any other culture, despite their different ways of doing things. In The Horse and His Boy, C.S. Lewis spends the whole book using every negative description or phrase he can while describe the Calormene culture (the food is too spicy, everything smells funny, their curved blades are wicked, their dark faces are sinister, etc. etc. etc.) making it SO clear he has a severe superiority complex about his culture (England) versus other cultures. Ugh. Thank you, Tamora Pierce, for not being like that.

  • Alexandra
    2019-02-08 10:21

    It was alright. The thing that bothered me the most was the character development. It seemed like everyone changed drastically for no clear reason at all. I don't understand Jonathan anymore or why he suddenly turned into a spoiled prince even as he took on a new responsibility selflessly. I didn't like how Alanna immediately went to bed with George after she heard that Jon found a new princess. And she said it wasn't rebound? That it's "what should've happened between us a long time ago"? I'm sorry but that just doesn't fly with me. I've taken a peek at the ending and realize that I am, for the hundredth time, rooting for the wrong guy in the love triangle again, so that's annoying, but I also wish the romance was handled better. At times it seems all the relationships are more casual than anything else. Why are they sleeping with each other so easily? Is this part of the custom, I wonder, because the setting's supposed to be medieval? Thom also suddenly changed into this Roger 2.0 except without being subtle about it. In the last book he still seemed like a very nice guy. I hope there's an explanation for this.

  • ★ℕłℂØℓҾ★ (Nix)
    2019-01-22 10:15

    This is my least favorite of the series, probably because of the fact it focuses more on the development of Alanna's magic than being a knight. Alanna becomes shaman of a Bazhir tribe after killing the old, evil one. She then proceeds to turn the tribe on its ear about female conventions and trains 2 girls and a boy as her replacements. It's a fun and interesting adventure for Alanna's first as a knight, but it doesn't live up to the knighthood ideal for me. Alanna seems to be waiting for something in this book, and I am too.(view spoiler)[ I'm happy about the development between her and Prince Jonathan in this book. He starts acting very entitled and pompous, and his assumption that she'll return to Corus as his queen is ridiculous. I'm glad she's smart enough to see that and finally pursues more in George Cooper. Her romantic ventures aren't over yet, though! (hide spoiler)]*For the record, any romance in these books is rather subtle and tastefully written. There are no explicit details, making it a pretty widely acceptable young adult series, in my opinion.*

  • ambyr
    2019-01-28 10:16

    These are books it is impossible for me not to view through a nostalgia lens. There's a lot here that might raise my eyebrows coming from a more recent release, including the depiction of the pseudo-Arabs and Alanna's white savior role. And the pacing is odd--as with all Alanna books, I find my memory filled in a lot of interstitial material that simply doesn't exist in the book's actual bare-bones narrative. But I love Alanna and her story too much too care.Man that cover is awful, though. I always forget just how awful.

  • Forever Young Adult
    2019-02-06 12:05

    Graded By: StephanieCover Story: ShamanicBFF Charm: YaySwoonworthy Scale: 4Talky Talk: Um…Bonus Factors: Feminism, Criminal Intrigue, AdoptionAnti-Bonus Factor: Jerky BoyfriendsRelationship Status: It’s ComplicatedRead the full book report here.

  • Andrea
    2019-02-11 08:03

    I still seriously love this series. Overall this book felt a bit calmer than the first two. In this installment, Alanna is already a full knight and is off on her adventures with her trusted manservant Corvin (? so clueless on spelling sorry). Unfortunately, she gets inducted into a tribe and has to take over as shaman due to bad circumstances. However, I think being a teacher forced Alanna to learn things about herself and her gift that she wouldn't have otherwise. Sadly, my respect for Prince Jonathan was reduced in this book due to (view spoiler)[ how he dealt with Alanna's refusal of marriage and the fact that he assumed her answer in the first place. WHAT A MESS(hide spoiler)]. George, however, is as loyal and charming, and I love him a lot. Alanna is going to need to make some choices about her love life real soon I think. Side note: Faithful is still a perfect fluff and I love him.

  • Annisa
    2019-01-30 12:02

    The third book of the Song of Lionness. The start of Alanna's adventure as Alanna of Trebond. It gives another rich view of the world of Tortall. The Bazhir and their names and culture remind me greatly of Middle Easterners, making me wonder of the fascination the fantasy writers seem to have with them. Unlike most fantasy books I've read, they or those whose traits drawn from Middle East were not made as one-sided or easy villains, but they were drawn fairly as people with their own values and cultures. This makes me happy and relieved.Just like most adventures in discovering oneself, being in a foreign environment helps to understand oneself better. This also happens to Alanna who starts to make peace with the parts of herself that is a woman and a sorceress. It is fascinating to watch.The only complaint I have is the way the relationship between Alanna and Jon is handled. I could see the matter of principles coming between them. I cannot imagine Alanna being satisfied as a consort to a royal, regardless of her feeling to Jon. She would be an interesting Queen, but I don't think it's the life what Alanna wants or suited for, though it'll be an interesting compromise if she choose that life, especially that Alanna seems to be a better knight to Jon and Jon as the future king needs his best knights by his side. Alanna being his consort will restrict her from serving her duty. I know this differences will come to a head. Alanna's reaction towards the idea of marriage and marriage to Jon is easy to understand, but it is Jon's that I have difficulty with. Through the early books, he gives the impression of a calm and level-headed person. He took everything in stride, through all the surprises Alanna thrown at him and treated Alanna in a good balance of a knight and a girl, but in this book, somehow he appears as though he lost that balance. He might be proud, but he is pretty clear-sighted. His attitude and actions throughout the book doesn't make sense at all.If the author wants to show how changed Jon is, she made a bad job of it if it is a mean to make Alanna realize that Jon is not for her. There are many ways, true, but turning Jon into such an arrogant ass to make Alanna to turn from him is the poorest way. It just doesn't sit fine by me, too much an one eighty. However, the possible explanation would be that neither Alanna or Jon has truly seen or understand each other, considering the wrong assumption Jon taken and the inability of Alanna to trust Jon to take care of himself. It can be blamed if the story is taken from Alanna's point of view that Alanna is too enamored of Jon to see him clearly, but this story took many points of view, enough to get a good sense of Jon's character. I'd like to this settled better in the last book.

  • Tani
    2019-02-06 08:02

    I first read this quite a while ago. Ten years, I'd say, give or take. I did not particularly enjoy it, to be honest. I think it was me. At that time, I struggled with putting together a good mindset for young adult/middle grade books. I was 20 then, and I wanted more complexity from my characters and stories at the time. But everyone ranted and raved about the Alanna books, so I felt like I had to give them a try. I slogged through the first three, and then gave up. A few years later, I tried some of Tamora Pierce's other books - her Circle of Magic, her Beka Cooper series, and the Protector of the Small series - and enjoyed them much more. Then I had the opportunity to see Tamora Pierce herself speak at a convention about a year ago, and it cemented that I really wanted to try and read all of her books. Alanna seemed like the ideal place to start. Needless to say, I've been enjoying these books a lot more than I did the first time. This one was still the weak link in the chain, though. The story felt more disconnected to me than the previous ones did. Things happen, but they don't feel like a cohesive whole. Since these are some of Tamora Pierce's earliest books, I guess I can understand some pacing issues. I think my original discontent also partially stemmed from my crush on Jonathan. He doesn't act very well in this book, and I think that made it harder for me to read. George is better, but I'm not a huge fan of the romance between him and Alanna. The age gap is quite hard for me to deal with. So I think that was a big factor in my original dislike. I didn't mind those things as much this time around, so my enjoyment was definitely more. Still, I feel like the Alanna books are definitely weaker than some of Tamora Pierce's later offerings. I hope to finish up my read of this series really soon, and move on to some of her other books.