Monday, September 14, 2009

Books: Song of the Lioness Quartet

Alanna: The First Adventure
In the Hand of the Goddess
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Lioness Rampant
By Tamora Pierce

These books, copyrights in the 1980s, are great stories of a female heroine.

Alanna is a young noblewoman who wants to be a knight.

Women, of course, are not knights. She trades places with her twin brother, who would much rather be a sorcerer, and goes in his stead to learn the trade of sword play.

She does this by binding her breasts when they begin to bud, and by changing her name to Alan.

Throughout these books, the young heroine experiences much character growth, though she always shows quite a steadfast determination to achieve her goals. She experiences love and in the latter two books has romps with the prince and a few other fellows. Fortunately this is tastefully done and never in detail; they simply retire to bed together.

The book creates an interesting world where many folks are blessed with a gift of some kind of magic - some are healers, some have foresight, etc. etc. Alanna is a healer but she eschews her gift early on. Later she embraces it.

Very good plots, lots of nice character development (Alanna faints a bit too much for me in the latter books, but oh well), and fast-paced reading.

None of the books lagged and I couldn't tell you which I thought was the better book.

Nicely done.

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