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Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce
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720918,808 (4.31)23
Member:alwright1
Title:Song of the Lioness
Authors:Tamora Pierce
Info:Science Fiction Book Club (2002), Edition: Book Club (BCE/BOMC), Hardcover, 568 pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:fantasy, young adult, adventure, Tortall, fiction, collection

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Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce

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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
really engaging YA read that I'm binge reading. girl powered fun. ( )
  mfabriz | Jun 26, 2017 |
I'll always have a soft spot for the SOTL quartet. If I remember correctly, Alanna was the first Tortall lady I came into contact with. She was my introduction to the strong female heroine, and I'll always love her for that. Recently, I've looked back on SOTL (and the whole Tortall series) with more of a critical lens, especially with an eye toward intersectionality.

My biggest worry in the Tortall series has always been race. In Song of the Lioness, Alanna's largest interaction with another culture is with the Bazhir people. The whole Bazhir storyline kinda rubbed me the wrong way, because Alanna and Jon seemed very "white savior" to me. I appreciate that Jon tried to learn more about Bazhir culture, but that his reasoning was "so I can rule them better," was...suspect. I mean, they didn't want to be your subjects in the first place, Jon. Secondly, Alanna's mentorship of the two young Bazhir girls was sweet, but the optics of it was kind of weird.

My favorite part of the series is Alanna's interaction with men. It's the most nonjudgmental thing, and I love it so, so much. Jon is basically insufferable by The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, and only gets a little better by Lioness Rampant. But Tamora Pierce doesn't defend him! Alanna feels a little indebted to Jon at first, but it's clear from the narrative that she shouldn't feel as if she owes him anything. It's his fault for being an entitled, sexist brat! (Sorry, I'm a little opinionated when it comes to Jon.) George has basically respected Alanna from the start, respected her choice to like more stereotypically feminine AND stereotypically masculine things, and that's beautiful. Even her relationship with Liam was cool, because she was allowed to be vulnerable with him. But because he wasn't willing to accept her--her magic or her dresses--they couldn't last. Basically, the message is that you shouldn't let people force you to change. I think that's great.

So I have complicated feelings about this series, but I love it a lot.
  meghanas | Mar 21, 2015 |
Magic, castles, wars, princes, warriors, battles, love. These components, and many more, make up the world of Alanna. She is the first woman knight, more skilled in swordsmanship and sorcery than many other men. This quartet describes the hardships that Alanna goes through to become a knight and the adventures she undertakes after her knighthood. ( )
  JSIS-Reviews | Jun 4, 2014 |
If I had read these books when I was the right age, they would probably have gotten 4 or 5 stars, but I'm a little too old for them now.

These are 4 novels about Alanna of Trebond, a girl who wants to be a knight. Unfortunately, the last female knight in her country lived 100 years ago and her preoccupied father has decreed that she will be fostered out to learn to be a lady. Alanna's twin brother, Thom, forges a couple of letters and Alanna takes his place in the school for knights and Thom happily goes off to become a sorceror. Needless to say, Alanna has to disguise herself as a boy to be accepted into the school and she forces herself to work twice as hard as the other knights-in-training to prove to herself that she's in the right place. She has lots of adventures and saves the kingdom numerous times. Along the way she learns to accept herself as both a knight and a woman and that there is still room in a knight's life for love.

The writing in these books was a little simplistic, but they are young adult books. Alanna's character struggles with the things that most girls her age stuggle with and she was a likeable character. The other characters were pretty one-dimensional, but they were described well enough that I either loved them or hated them. There weren't many I was indifferent to.

I guess I've gotten used to reading big epic fantasies, because after every battle, I was like, "Is that it? This should have gone on a lot longer." There wasn't a lot of transition. Alanna just moved from major plot point to major plot point, which can be a good thing, but I felt in this case it made the books a little choppy.

As I started reading these I kept thinking that my 9-year-old tomboy cousin would love them and I would buy them for her upcoming birthday. But as I read on and Alanna entered puberty and then started falling in love, I decided that I will wait about 5 years. I still think she'll like them, but they did get a little too adult for a 9-year-old.

Overall, these were pretty good books, and I would highly recommend them for tomboys older than about 13 or 14.

And what was the deal with Duke Roger? He came back to life? I couldn't help but feel like the author either didn't want to bother coming up with a new arch-villain, or she felt like he was such a "good" bad guy she just had to bring him back. I got a little irritated when he came back into the story line. ( )
  JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
These are entertaining adventures and I like Alanna as a character, but these are Pierce's earliest books and imo suffer in comparison with her later ones. But that's only because Pierce is that rare author that instead of getting tired blood got better and better with every book, every series. These might still be the place to start a young girl on Pierce--they're the first chronologically and introduce her magical land of Tortall. There aren't--or at least weren't many heroines of the Alanna kind in Young Adult before Pierce came along. Her books are the perfect antidote to the Twilight Saga, with relatable kick-ass heroines who take active roles in their own lives and those around them.

Certainly true of Alanna, who rather than submit herself to a role to which she's unsuited and give up her dreams, disguises herself as a boy to undergo training as a knight. Pierce manages to bring some realism to what might be seen as a far-fetched premise. (She doesn't ignore such things as what happens when you get your period!) These are entertaining books, even for an adult, even if in that regard I rate higher her other "lady knight" Keladry in the Protector of the Small series and the two novels about Alanna's daughter, Aly. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Feb 26, 2011 |
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Tamora Pierceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Newbold, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375825649, Paperback)

The complete saga of Alanna the Lioness from her years as a page–disguised as a boy–to her triumphant adventures as a knight of Tortall and her rise to the highest rank of King’s Champion.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:56 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Alanna of Trebond dreams of being a knight while her father insists that she enter a convent. She trades places with her brother, who is to be trained as a knight and wants to become a sorceror instead. Her experiences along the path to knighthood involve many hard lessons as well as dangerous adventures.… (more)

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