Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce

1. Alanna - The First Adventure
2. In the Hand of the Goddess
3. The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
4. Lioness Rampant

The first two books in this quartet deal with how young girl Alanna goes against her father's wishes and, hiding her true gender, becomes a page and later on squire, training to become a knight where she'll face her arch-nemesis. Throughout the books she deals with her secrets, her friends and her fear of commitment.

The books are for young teenagers and older fans and are very easy to read. A lot of things happens, the plot is never at a standstill and Alanna is very easy to like as she struggles to be a boy while female feelings and thoughts slowly start interfering as she mature.

In books 3 and 4 Alanna is a knight of the realm, working on finding her own place in life, figuring out what she wants both when it comes to duty and to love. She undertakes some mighty adventures of both self-discovery and action packed treasure-hunting and like the two previous books they are a very good read, especially for the intended young audience who will be captivated by her strength and perseverance and, if like me, learn about what love and friendship really means.

I believe these books were some of the first Pierce wrote and published and looking back as a long time fan and having read nearly everything else by her, they are a bit raw. When I first read them though, at age 14 or so, I could not put them down and Alanna was an absolute hero of mine. Now however I notice small things like, she starts out at age 10, suddenly she's 11, then 12, boom, now she's 16. It is confusing and it is slightly rushed, but these books are not there to paint the complete picture of how knighthood training commences. (Pierce has written the The Protector of the Small Quartet for that purpose.)

Tamora Pierce is a feminist writer (in the good way) and her books with few rare exceptions have female heroines, all proving to this world and theirs that women are not weak and frail creatures that can't tell one end of a sword from another. For an older reader it can get a tiny bit tiresome and a bit stereotypical, but some books you're supposed to just enjoy.

I will grade these 4 books as one, as you can't really read one without the others. I give them 4 stars for being fantastic books with stories you'll remember, for characters you can't help but like and a plot that is never dull.

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2010


  1. First time I heard about this series, thanks for the review. I'd have read it if I were younger I surely I'd have enjoy it.


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