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The Song Of The Lioness Quartet Alana In The Hand Of The Goddess by Tamora Pierce 1: The Lady in the Forest THE copper-h. From Tamora Pierce, the second book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, honored with the Margaret A. Edwards disguised as a boy, Alanna. In the Hand of the Goddess is a fantasy novel by Tamora Pierce, the second in a series of four . Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.

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In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce - From Tamora Pierce, the second book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, honored with the Margaret A. Edwards. Beloved author Tamora Pierce has written a great number of books, including The Song of the Lioness quartet, The Immortals quartet, The Circle of Magic. Editorial Reviews. From School Library Journal. Grades Alanna of Trebond continues her masquerade as Alan in this, the second book in the Song of the.

The sorcery causing the fever was too much for the magic she knew, and in the end she had appealed to the Great Mother Goddess. She had heard a voice that hurt her ears—a woman's voice that sounded like a pack of hounds in full cry, like the huntress urging them on. And she had heard that voice again, only a year ago, when she and Jon were trapped in the Black City.

They had called on the Goddess for help then, and she had told them what to do. Surely you know that you are one of my Chosen. Is it so strange that I have come to you for a time, my daughter? But they will meddle.

All we humans can do is hope they tire of their meddling soon and leave us alone! Alanna clenched her chin stubbornly. But events for you in the next few years will determine your life's course, and you have no living mother to advise you.

The woman picked him up in a graceful hand, stroking his fur with scarlet-painted nails. She only needs a moment or two to adjust to her fear. Emerald eyes caught and held hers, until she swallowed and looked away.

But it won't do me any good to give into it, will it? I mean, you're going to talk to me, and I can't prevent you, so I may as well accept it. You have feared it since you kept vigil during Prince Jonathan's Ordeal during this last Midwinter Festival.

Seeing that it was burning low, she busied herself with putting more wood on the flames. In her mind she saw Jonathan stumble out of that iron-barred Ordeal Chamber, his face grey. He had looked at her without seeing her—Jonathan! Sometimes even now his eyes went dark and blank, and she knew he was remembering the Ordeal. Her voice shook as she said, "He looked like some part of him died in there.

And then Gary had his Ordeal the next night, then Alex, and then Raoul—and they all looked that way. Whatever happened, if it was so bad for them—" She drew a deep breath. And it's the Ordeal he dreams about, though he isn't permitted to tell me more than that. If the Ordeal is that bad, I won't pass it.

I won't, and then it will all go for nothing: It'll be for nothing. You can ride; you can use a bow; you can fight with knife and sword and spear. You can read a map. You manage your fief through Coram while your brother studies. You can write and speak in two tongues not your own; you can heal one who is sick.

I think you must answer your own question—is it worth what you have done? It won't be if I fail. Sometimes I wake up in the dark sweating, and I'm going to scream, except I don't. That would bring Jon into my room, and we agreed he shouldn't, not after we go to bed for the night. And all I can remember of the dream is that they're closing that iron door behind me, and I'm in the Chamber, and I can't see a thing. She added softly, "Would it be so terrible if Jonathan did come to offer you comfort?

He—well, there's nothing like that between us. I don't want there to be. You even fear the love of Myles, who only wants to be your father. Yet what is there for you to fear? A man's touch? Horrified, she put out her hands in a gesture of apology.

I meant no disrespect. I just want to be a warrior maiden and go on adventures. I don't want to fall in love, especially not with George or Jon. They'll ask me to give them parts of me. I want to keep me for myself. I don't want to give me away. Look at my father. He never really got over my mother's death. They told me when he died last month he was calling for her. He gave her part of himself, and he just never got it back. That's not going to happen to me. I may as well hear it now and get it over with.

Alanna froze. Finally she said carefully and very quietly , "I have no reason to fear Duke Roger. None at all. It felt good to say it, after all this time. The Sweating Sickness. It drained every healer who tried to cure it. It struck only in the capital, nowhere else, and Jon was the last one to get it. They knew it had to be sorcerer's work. Thom says Roger is powerful enough to've sent it from as far as Carthak, where he was, and Thom ought to know.

Thom wrote me he was being watched up in the City of the Gods. And last summer—" "Last summer? Jonathan's very responsible about being the Heir; he wouldn't risk his life foolishly. But Roger was wearing a great blue jewel around his neck. He twisted it while he talked to us, and the light bouncing off it made me sleepy, till I stopped looking at it.

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It seemed to me that Roger was talking only to Jonathan, daring Jon to go to a place where Roger knew he could get killed! I tried to, once, but he got angry with me. He loves Roger. So does the King. Roger's handsome, young, clever, a great sorcerer. Everyone thinks he's wonderful. No one stops to think that if something happened to Jonathan, Roger would be the heir. No one but me, that is. She shooed the kitten off her lap. Mostly watch him as carefully as I can. George—the thief—he'll help.

Thom's helping, as much as he can. Time will end your fear of the Chamber of the Ordeal, and your fear of love? Well, who knows what may happen to change your mind? Take this from my hand. This was asking a bit much, even for a goddess. She looked up and met the Mother's eyes with her own.

Slowly, trembling, she reached out and took the coal. It was cold! Startled, she nearly dropped it. Looking at it, she saw that the ember seemed to burn within a crystal shell. There was even a tiny loop in the crystal, just big enough to permit a chain to pass through.

The ember flickered in its shell, its hot red glare fading to a soft glow. The Goddess rose. Duke Roger is only a man, for all he wields sorcery. He can be met and defeated.

But you, my daughter —learn to love. You have been given a hard road to walk. Love will ease it. Much depends on you, Alanna of Trebond.

Do not fail me! Was there more to her new pet than she had thought? The Goddess held out her hand. But remember—I did not jest when I said there are strange tales about this tree.

Do not stray beyond your fire! She stepped away, shaking her head to clear it. Then she raised her hand to Alanna a last time, and she was gone. Suddenly Alanna could barely keep her eyes open. It was a struggle to lay out her bedroll and to bank the fire, but she forced herself to perform the chores.

Thinking about the strange conversation she had just had would have to wait. When she tumbled into her bedroll at last, the kitten was already inside. The kitten replied that he would not snore if she did not. Alanna nodded in agreement and went to sleep, tightly clutching the crystal ember. IT WAS a relief to get back to the palace the next day, back to familiar places and familiar friends.

She still missed burly Coram, managing Trebond for her and Thom until she won her knight's shield, but there was no help for that. With Lord Alan dead and Thom not caring about anything but his studies, this arrangement was for the best, at least until Alanna was ready to begin adventuring. Then she would want Coram with her. On her first night back she was feeding her new kitten his evening meal when she heard voices in Jonathan's room just before he knocked on her door.

It was their private phrase that meant There are people with me.

In the Hand of the Goddess

She hadn't had a long visit with the King of the Thieves since just before her father died, nearly six weeks ago. She was pulling on her boots when Raoul exclaimed, "Great Mithros, a cat! What are you doing with one of those? It probably has fleas. His own sapphire-blue eyes widened. Finally Raoul gulped and asked, "What will you name him? Is it a him? The kitten reached one paw for Alanna, mewing. She took her new pet from Jonathan and set him beneath her left ear—it was his favorite spot.

Jonathan unsheathed his dagger. As if he were knighting the cat, he touched it on both shoulders, then on the head. In the practice yards he claimed a convenient post where he could sit and watch her practice her fighting skills with the other squires and pages. It took him longer to sneak into most classrooms. Myles let the kitten watch from the start, saying cats had the right to learn history as well as anyone. But Alanna's other teachers—most of them Mithran priests—tried to keep her pet out for days, but by the end of each class he had appeared inside.

Finally the masters stopped trying. They even petted the cat absently as they taught.

There was one class Alanna refused to let Faithful come to: Duke Roger's class for those Gifted in magic Alanna and Jonathan, among others. She didn't know what the sorcerer would think of her pet, and she didn't want to find out. For the rest of the time Faithful stuck to Alanna like a small black burr.

Gareth, Duke of Naxen, Gary's father, let Faithful follow Alanna freely when he saw that the kitten took no one's attention away from learning. The sight of Alan with his pet under his left ear soon became a familiar one at the palace.

While Faithful clearly liked Myles, Jon and most of Alanna's other friends including George and would stay with them when Alanna was busy, only she was given the privilege of carrying him on a shoulder. It was a rare, quiet time for the young knights and Alanna.

Gary and Raoul, with the afternoon off, had given their squires Geoffrey and Douglass free time as well. Raoul and Jonathan played backgammon, while Alex—the fifth member of their circle and the only one not secretly friends with George—watched. Gary sprawled in a window seat, thinking of a way to escape a visit to Naxen that summer. Alanna curled up in another window seat, listening to Faithful purr into her left ear and thinking about nothing at all.

Maybe he won't sit on our shoulders because he's afraid of heights. The door opened, and Duke Roger came in. The family resemblance between him and Jonathan was unmistakable, although the Duke's eyes were a darker blue than his cousin's, and his hair brown-black to Jon's coal-black. Both had the fair skin, straight-cut noses and stubborn chins that ran in the Conte line. You are the only one other than myself I trust to go.

Will you? His fur bristled; his back was arched; and he was growling deep in his throat as he stared at the Duke. Alanna tried to pry her pet loose as she said through gritted teeth, "Stop making a scene.

His attention caught, the big man came forward. The kitten twisted to keep his eyes on Roger, growling. Sir, he's never done this before—" Roger drew a little closer, and Faithful slashed at him with unsheathed claws. He looked Faithful over as Alanna tried to work a large lump out of her throat. Or perhaps he knows I have never been a fancier of—" He paused, and Alanna felt her skin turn to ice. Alanna cradled her still-rumbling pet against her chest.

Roger either knew or guessed where her pet came from, but he wasn't saying. That was fine with her. It wasn't quite a lie, and the Duke seemed to accept it.

He nodded to Alex, and they left together. When they were gone, Alanna picked the kitten up and read him an impressive lecture on manners. By the time she finished, Faithful was purring, her friends were laughing, and the whole thing had been forgotten—she hoped.

Alanna - In The Hand of the Goddess

Nevertheless, that night she wrote her brother Thom in the City of the Gods, sending the letter secretly by way of George. Thom was the sorcerer—not she. He should know about Faithful—and about the cat's reaction to Duke Roger. Important matters were to be discussed. Spies had reported the King of Tusaine was considering retaking the Drell River Valley on the Tortallan border, and King Roald wanted to avoid war at all costs.

Everyone knew that Mikal of Danne, the Tusaine Ambassador, had actually come to see if "The Peacemaker" had the stomach for war. The delegation from Tusaine was carefully watched, but its people received the best hospitality Roald could command. As Jonathan's squire, Alanna was very much in the thick of things, serving at secret meetings and accompanying her Prince to what seemed to be an endless number of parties and dances.

Tension was in the air. In the meetings, Ambassador Mikal became arrogant, thinking Roald was weak rather than quiet. Friendly discussions between Alanna's friends and the Tusaine knights grew sharp as each group challenged the other to more and more difficult contests of craft and skill.

Matters finally came to a head during what was supposed to be a small, quiet evening party. Alanna, Gary's squire, Sacherell of Wellam, and Raoul's squire, Douglas of Veldine, served the wine at this gathering, following Duke Gareth's instructions to keep their guests' glasses full and to report anything interesting they might overhear.

Courtiers dressed in their finest chattered and flirted as the three obeyed with enthusiasm, trying to get as much from the Tusaine party as they could. Gary, Raoul, Alex and Jonathan were talking with some of the younger Tusaine knights, when suddenly everyone was looking at the group. Dain of Melor, a Tusaine knight, was sneering loudly, "Fencing!

I've seen what you call 'fencing. Prince Jonathan, our Tusaine three-year-olds handle a sword better than some of your knights! Alanna could tell he was fighting to keep his voice even. Nearly every Tortallan knight—with the exception of Myles, who was watching and drinking—had put his hand on his sword hilt.

The Tusaines gripped theirs, ready for anything. Ambassador Mikal turned to Roger. In the quiet his voice was very clear. The King inclined his head, silently accepting the apology. Mikal added with a sly smile, "I fear I must agree, however. We seem to have done better by the martial arts in Tusaine. Perhaps peace has dulled your fighting edge? She turned. Raoul, standing by the hearth, was shifting slowly into a fighting stance. His coal-black eyes were snapping with fury, and he gripped his sword hilt with a white-knuckled hand.

Frantically she signalled Douglass to look at his knight-master. Her friend hurried over to Raoul and shoved a wineglass in the big knight's hand, talking softly and quickly. After a second's hesitation, Raoul released his hilt with a sigh. But since our honor and our teachers are in question, perhaps we must show you what a Tortallan can do.

I am sure I can prove Tusaine superiority over any man of your court. It would be a brilliant tactical stroke if I could pull it off, she thought. I'm an unblooded squire in Dain's eyes. At least, it would be a brilliant tactical stroke if I won.

She looked the Tusaine knight over. He was a head taller than she was, with broad shoulders and strong arms, but he was overconfident, and he had been drinking. She nodded to let Jonathan know she was game. The Prince smiled icily at the other man. I said 'even our pages and squires. She handed her wine pitcher to Sacherell, who nearly dropped it, and walked quickly over to the group of young knights, her heart thumping with excitement.

Jonathan beckoned to her. The other man gasped and sputtered before he could speak again. I'm sorry to have called you away for nothing—" "By Mithros, I'll do it! He looked—eager, for some reason. Surely he wasn't looking forward to her risking her life? They had been friendly rivals for years—each trying to be better at fencing, archery and the other fighting skills than the other—but it was still friendly rivalry.

She forgot about Alex when she heard the king say, "I think this is something we will all want to see. Ambassador Mikal? Lady Aenne? My lady? Everyone moved down to the court, Myles and Roger walking with the young men surrounding Alanna. Myles was upset and made no effort to pretend he wasn't. Finally she picked the cat up and perched him on her shoulder.

She had made the discovery that her pet's meowing actually sounded like talk to her, and she wanted to hear what he had to say now.

Let the foreigner be stupid, he advised. It shouldn't be hard. And don't get yourself killed! Haven't you ever seen Alan fence? I have—in the Black City.

It isn't the same! Besides, you've got to trust Jonathan's judgment sometime. He doesn't try to get his friends killed. A smile crossed Alex's dark, secret face. Alan's as good as I am. Someday he may be better. Far below ground level, it was cool even in this hot weather.

Torches in brackets on the walls threw light into all corners.

Along one wall three rows of benches were set off from the main floor by a low rail. The courtiers sat down in a rustle of silks, Roger placing himself and Ambassador Mikal just behind the King and Queen. At one end of the floor Dain was removing his boots and stretching himself, joking with his friends. On the other side a quiet Alanna watched Dain, ignoring her friends' talk. The Tusaine wasn't nervous— good for him.

She would teach him how to be nervous. Handing Faithful to Myles, she stripped off her own shoes and put on the tan fencing gloves Timon was holding for her.

She didn't know that she was grinning recklessly, a merciless look in her violet eyes. Jonathan watched her thoughtfully. If he weren't so angry with Dain, he might feel sorry for the other knight.

He knew what Alanna could do when she was forced to it. Duke Gareth joined them. He bent down by Alanna as she began her stretching exercises. I know the type. He'll try to make you angry with insults. Don't let that happen—keep your head. You're good, Alan, but you aren't the best.

You are. And do be careful. Alan keeps his head in a fight. Dain is good, very good. And he cannot always control his temper. I fear this evening will have a sorrowful ending. Alanna fingered the ember-stone nervously under her shirt, wishing she felt calmer. The king stood. Quickly they bowed and saluted each other, then moved until they were just a sword's length apart.

Alanna and Dain obeyed. He bore down, trying to force her sword to the floor. Alanna gritted her teeth and held, the muscles in her arms screaming. Dain's eyes widened; she was much stronger than she looked. He broke away and circled her. It was the custom to yell insults and challenges at an opponent, but she had always thought this was a waste of breath.

She had also noticed that her unusual silence made her opponents nervous. Instead she watched Dain steadily, waiting for the movement of his torso that would give his next thrust away. He whipped his sword down and in. Alanna struck it away and slid her own blade straight toward Dain's heart, ready to pull back if she had to.

Dain stepped back hurriedly, and Alanna lunged back before she went off-balance. The King winked back at Roger. Dain was circling and talking, trying to keep Alanna distracted until he spotted her weakness. He lunged in and back with great speed, searching for her one failure to fend him off. Alanna parried his blows and watched for an opening she could use to knock the sword from his hand: Sweat was trickling down her cheek, making her nervous—what if it got in her eyes?

It was no comfort that Dain's shirt and tunic were soaked through on the chest and between his shoulder blades, or that he was breathing in deep, heavy gasps. Alanna grinned to herself. He should have begun fencing with Coram's big old sword, she thought.

Then he wouldn't be so tired now. Frantic, Dain insulted her ancestors, her mother, her looks. Alanna ignored him, far more worried about the sweat she could feel on her forehead.

The only sound in the big room was the padding of their stockinged feet and Dain's harsh breathing. Alanna spotted a chance and lunged desperately—Dain stumbled back. She tried to wipe her face on her sleeve while he recovered. She wasn't quick enough.

With a yell of triumph the knight darted forward. She stepped back too slowly, and the tip of Dain's sword sank deep into her right arm below the elbow. Cursing her bad timing, Alanna lowered her blade. She had lost. According to the rules, Dain had won by drawing first blood. The fight was over. He lunged for her chest, his eyes wide and crazy. Alanna jumped aside, just missing dying on the Tusaine's sword. Others joined him, yelling "Foul! He circled Alanna, searching for another opening.

Duke Gareth strode forward, his sword shimmering in his fist. He obviously planned to end the fight, and from the look on his face, if Dain got hurt it would be too bad for him! Alanna stopped her teacher with a shake of the head.

A cold, glittering fury filled her chest. She loved the laws of chivalry, and this Tusaine barbarian had just broken them. He would pay for that, and pay well. Slowly she stepped back and away from Dain, painfully transferring Lightning into her left hand. Blood dripped onto the floor from her right arm. I'll have to be careful and not slip in it, she thought as she readied herself.

Faithful yowled encouragement as Alanna lunged forward viciously. Lightning met Dain's sword with a crash. Instantly she pulled away, then thrust in again. The knight blocked clumsily, falling back as she bore in on him. Her sword never stopped moving; she never stopped looking for an opening. There it was! She brought Lightning down, under and up, catching Dain's hilt and yanking the sword from his hand.

It went flying. In his haste to escape, the man stumbled, falling flat. Alanna darted forward to press Lightning's brightly gleaming point into Dain's throat. The Tusaine knight looked up into the coldest eyes he ever hoped to see. And you're lucky I'm a better 'knight' than you are, or you'd be dead. The pain made her short with her friend. He was stupid.

If I killed everyone who was stupid, I wouldn't have time to sleep. It was too much excitement. She wanted to go to bed, and she wanted to heal her arm so it would stop throbbing. You of all people should've known I wouldn't kill him. And I'm not that good a lad.

It was a pawn. The man smiled ironically; before the Black City he had thought Alan of Trebond was a pawn. A Gifted, athletic pawn, but a pawn nevertheless; a pawn who could be moved around by Roger. The Black City—and tonight's bout with Dain—had taught him differently. Alan of Trebond was dangerous. Will we find out in later books?

In this book the time for our MC passes very quickly with her turning from young teenager to young adult in not many pages. Once again I will say I liked all the adventure and thrills these books have to offer as well as one of my favourite female characters in fantasy. Alanna herself remained to be as strong and brave as ever even when her secret was revealed in the end. Even though I saw that coming it still was handled in a very good manner with me wondering what will become of her in the next book.

So in all this was still a good addition to a well crafted series, I just wish the books could be longer so there would be more room for world and character development as those have a lot of potential here. Jun 02, Madeline rated it really liked it Shelves: I was looking at the cover of my library copy of this book before I started it, and saw that on my edition, Alanna is pictured with a black cat on her shoulder. Remembering how delightfully full of wish fulfillment the first book was, I thought to myself, "Oh, she gets a cat in this one.

I bet it's a magic cat. I bet it talks. But I was totally right. Alanna not only acquires a talking cat who also has purple eyes, natch , a deity swoops down to personally give Alanna a magic nec I was looking at the cover of my library copy of this book before I started it, and saw that on my edition, Alanna is pictured with a black cat on her shoulder. Alanna not only acquires a talking cat who also has purple eyes, natch , a deity swoops down to personally give Alanna a magic necklace.

At this point, girlfriend is getting really weighted down with magical swag. She's going to have to start carrying trunks around with her, and I love it. The first book in the series moved quickly; In the Hand of the Goddess moves even faster, flying right through the rest of Alanna's training and ending soon after she graduates. This means that sometimes an entire year takes up only a few chapters, and the lengthy timeline means that the book can sometimes feel like just a string of separate events instead of a cohesive story.

Halfway through the book, we get introduced to a neighboring country, Tusaine, and before we can even catch our breath, Alanna and her friends are being moved to the front lines because suddenly there's a war happening. I expected the war to take up a significant chunk of the story, because apparently I haven't grasped how this works yet, but instead the entire Tusaine conflict lasts about fifty pages before it's wrapped up and never really mentioned again.

I had to finish the book and think back over the entire plot before I realized that the central story of this book is Alanna's continued struggle with Duke Roger, the evil sorcerer from Book One.

I'm happy to report that by the end, Duke Roger view spoiler [is out of the picture - Alanna kills him in a trial by combat, which also accomplishes the job of revealing her gender to everyone, which saves us some time - so he at least doesn't have to become a recurring villain who wears out his welcome hide spoiler ]. The theme of this book is magic: Still not sure where we're going with all of this, but I'm confident that it will be awesome.

The other important aspect of this book: So there's this scene where Alanna decides that for fun she's going to put on a dress and walk around looking like a girl there's a very subtle subplot in this book about Alanna learning that she can be a warrior and look like a girl, and that femininity does not equal weakness, and gaaaaahhhh I love it so much.

For spoiler purposes I won't say which boy ends up putting the moves on her while she's in the dress, but for a minute it's kind of icky, because he's like, "You're fighting what has to be" and "Surely you've realized all along this had to happen" and I was thinking oh god, Tamora, please don't let our protagonist's first time happen after some boy emotionally coerces her into sex, but Alanna sticks to her guns and walks away.

And THEN this crucial scene happens: Alanna is back in her room, and decides, on her own, that she's ready, and that she wants this, so she goes to his room and they have sex. It's so important that the sex is presented in exactly this way - as a choice that the girl makes because she wants it, not because anyone is pressuring her into it - and it's so subtly done that most girls in the target age group who read that scene won't even realize how important it is.

And greatest of all, the sex isn't some great turning point in the story - it's just another part of growing up for Alanna, and isn't made out to be any more important than anything else that happens in the book. Little girls get so many messed up messages about sex growing up, and it's so great that Pierce's books tackle the subject so well, and this book gets an extra star because of it.

In fact and this relates to the previous point the only place where this series still needs to improve is the way it treats female characters who are not Alanna. So far, Mistress Cooper is the only other female of substance, and in this book, we meet the first girl who is Alanna's age.

Her name is Delia, she flirts with the boys and is generally the classic ultra-femme useless girl, and Alanna hates her. This is not great, and even worse, the girl view spoiler [turns out to be a spy for Duke Roger. Hear that, little girls? If you see a girl flirting with a boy you like, it means she's evil hide spoiler ]. At this point in the series Alanna is totally that girl who says that she's "not like most girls" and only hangs out with guys because girls are so bitchy, and I do not like it.

My hope for the next book: Alanna gets a female friend. And more magical swag. Maybe she'll get a dragon next. Dec 06, Yue rated it did not like it Shelves: Im having a little hard time progressing with this book.

In the first place, I chose this book because I was looking for a bad-ass female character and because of the good reviews.

However, Im having troubles liking Alanna. And the story itself. Because in one chapter she is year-old, in the next one, year-old and so on. She starts being Jonathans lover when Im still picturing her as a child, for Gods sake! Another thing why dont like her is because she keeps contradicting herself. First, she says she never is going to love someone, bla, bla. Then, she becomes lover of Jonathan And of course, I disagree with her choice.

Jonathan over George??

Alanna - In The Hand of the Goddess

Well, I finally managed to finish the book. It was MEH. One of the things I don't understand is why everybody likes Alanna so much in the book? When she finally reveals she is a girl to all her friends friends who were deceived for YEARS they were like 'ok, we forgive you'.

Just like that? If this was a book for children it would be ok, but this is a YA book. The same with the rushness of the story, it happens all too fast. So, the first book was good and entertaining, the second I have to think if I'm going to read the rest of the saga View all 10 comments. Jan 19, Erica rated it did not like it Shelves: What happened?? I've read several of Tamora Pierce's books, but had not read the Song of the Lioness quartet and thought it time I start.

I enjoyed the first book, Alanna: The First Adventure. I liked Alan, nee Alanna, in her single-minded determinedness and her unawareness of self and the effect she had on others. I liked the supporting characters. It was light, pleasant and fun so I was eager to read the second book, The Hand of the Goddess. I expected Alan to grow up and have to deal with iden What happened??

I expected Alan to grow up and have to deal with identity issues, romantic issues and other problems that come with becoming a young adult. I expected the book to be less geared to year-olds, as the first had been, and more written with teenagers in mind. These are the expectations I had before reading the boook. I was terribly disappointed. It was like reading a long-volumed shojo manga without the pictures in that the heroine is now a cute, determined girl whose existence is based on a lie, but those who know the truth love her even more because of her lie.

Although she has very little sense of self and almost no discernable personality, she has a strong sense of right and duty and this is how she comes to all her decisions. She is also chosen of the Goddess, who even comes to visit the young heroine, bestowing gifts aplenty.

She manages to snare the love of the two most eligible bachelors in the realm and has to choose between the two. In choosing, it's not so much that she makes an informed decision based on her feelings as she defaults to the one who is more available, falling into his bed out of convenience and because everyone keeps telling her she needs to learn to love.

What about her makes her so endearing to all these men and one woman? Furthermore, everything she puts her hand to leads to success. She is instrumental in winning wars, she thwarts attempts made on her life without realizing they were attempts on her life. She is kidnapped but rescued before anything horrible can happen. And all the inconsistencies throughout the book are wrapped up tidily at the end: I loved Alan's determination and need to prove herself in the first book, when she was just out of childhood and was developing emotionally and physically.

However, in this volume, it comes across as lack of awareness and the inability to react to her environment in a believable way. Instead, she relies mostly on luck, her steadfast friends, the Goddess and the writer's love of keeping her character safe. I was even more disappointed with the continuing villain who is supposedly the most powerful sorcerer around. He's slowly killing the queen, he has everyone under his control, he makes lame attempts on Alan's and Jonathan's lives and then he dies easily.

So much for powerful sorcery. While many of the supporting characters remain interesting, they're not enough to carry the story. I am hoping this book was just a flimsy bridge to get to Alanna's adult life as a knight and I hope her further adventures prove to be more interesting and I hope she grows as a character, otherwise this is going to become a tedious series.

View 2 comments. Dec 28, Kathleen rated it it was amazing Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

To view it, click here. How do I love this book? Let me count the ways. She's not slut-shamed! She's just happy! Because he loves her, and likes being around her, and wants to be around her and doesn't just value her as a romantic partner! Dec 08, Fuchsia Rascal rated it it was amazing Shelves: That being said, although the Immortals Quartet stands as my favourite Tortall series and I relate to Diane more overall And, looking at it critically, I stand by that judgment.

It does have its faults [not all author-related], but its strengths make up for those. I do have a couple of discl 5. I do have a couple of disclaimers for people who are reading it in their post-teen years: The entire series' length was cut in half, at least , due to publishers not believing that a fantasy novel, especially with a female protagonist, would sell well in the years before Harry Potter [author Tamora Pierce has commented on this numerous times throughout the past 15 years].

As a result, the characters, plot, and novelization are rushed throughout the first two books [which, combined, take place over 8 years], which gives the books a juvenile feel. This is a result of publishing [oh, how I wish I could read those original versions of the first two books! If you can get past the juvenile-esque writing of these first two books, you will be duly rewarded, I assure you.

I can't tap into what originally made me declare this book my favourite book of all time. I originally read these books in , pre-Protector of the Small quartet and actually, pre-most-of-the-Immortals-quartet. I came into this series obsessed with Joan of Arc, but already familiar with the world [and slightly with Alanna's legacy] via Wild Magic. I left this series as a feminist activist, thankful that Alanna was a character who presented both masculine and feminine qualities. But, admittedly, I've evolved beyond my 13 year old definitions of feminism in the last 15 years since I originally read this book.

All that being said, it's still my favourite. The strong point of this novel is, in my opinion, Alanna's acceptance of her gender. You might disagree with that but, in my perception, that is what hit strongest. In this book, Alanna becomes more real , fighting her desire for love vs. She has chosen a masculine identity [until her knighting] that will keep her free and safe from harassment and yet, despite this, she explores what it means to be a female and what it will mean after she's earned her shield.

She's an excellent student and squire but that doesn't mean that she knows everything, something she learns fairly quickly during her squire training. Personally, the steps Alanna takes towards accepting her femininity mean the world to me.

At this point, I don't really care about her knight training or her relationship between Jonathan or George. Alanna taught me how to accept both femininity and masculinity, and accept what they meant to me. I can't put a rating on that. What matters is that it made me think about it and come to my own conclusions. What makes a female a female? What makes up masculine characteristics? Alanna shows that you can be a bit of both, honestly. So many feels, y'all.

I thought the first book was alright and picked this up because the entirety of tumblr was shitting themselves over the feminist shit in this book. Let me tell you, there was some shit in this.

And were they feminist? Alanna doesn't want love but because the author deemed it must happen, she's aged up 6 years in only a few chapters. And the creeps trickle in Alanna has "Roger's suite of rooms was located very conveniently for Alanna's purposes. Alanna has 2 love interests. Jon the prince who's sleeping with several women at court and the King of Thieves, George.

At first I was all F Yeah Princes! Alanna felt giddy and was grateful that his tight hold kept her from falling.

She was scared. She suddenly realized she wanted to be the one in his bed tonight. Jonathan stopped kissing her, only to start unlacing her bodice. Alanna shoved him away, teffired. Such feminism. Much girl power. Then we have George, who is much better than Jon, but also has creepy moments of his own, thus making him another creeper and another reason to be disappointed. These include forcing a kiss on her when she can't resist him and drugging her because she needs to rest.

Gee, thanks for considering Alanna's feelings on the matter. These weren't even the tip of the iceberg! You wondered what would happen if her secret of being a woman got out? It's utterly ridiculous. You wondered what the final showdown with Roger would be like? LOL even the most powerful sorcerer in the world is no match for Alanna.

Who's only Just no. While I admire Pierce's desire to write a series featuring a powerful heroine for women, I can't say that the events of this book supported her views.

I admire what she wanted to write, but what this book became was not that. Nov 18, Gianna rated it it was ok. I'm pretty sure "Tamora Pierce" is just the pen name of a precocious child, because this series reads like it was written by and for year-old girls. Let's start with the names: Moonlight, Darkness, Lightning, and Faithful. Then let's get to plot. Things don't happen naturally, they just occur because the author wants them to.

All of a sudden men start falling in love with Alanna for no apparent reason. Alanna will never get distracted by love, but then someone kisses her and she hops I'm pretty sure "Tamora Pierce" is just the pen name of a precocious child, because this series reads like it was written by and for year-old girls.

Alanna will never get distracted by love, but then someone kisses her and she hops right into bed. Anything bad that happens is resolved instantly; there is no danger and no consequences. Other bothersome things: The Duke Roger situation. Alanna goes into his chambers to gather evidence, and then says she can't believe she never suspected him. But she did suspect him! The entire time! From the first moment she met him! The knighthood ordeal.

Spiders and being cold? Sounds super hard. The stuff of legends, truly. All the characters are white except for a mystical, magical Asian monk who is described as "yellow.

Way to stereotype. I started this series because I loved the premise, but I can't take any more. I wouldn't even recommend it to young readers who might not be as easily irritated as I am, because Alanna's romantic relationships are unhealthy, bordering on abuse.

They share their first kiss after Jon rescues Alanna when she is kidnapped by nobles from Tusaine, and they become lovers soon after, although George made it clear to Alanna that he loved her before they went to war. Later on, during a party, Jonathan finds Alanna in the gardens and expresses his feelings, kissing her and attempting to take her corset off. But before he can, Alanna protests and the contact is broken off. Alanna withstands the Ordeal of Knighthood and becomes a knight.

Her twin brother, Thom, presents her with a shield featuring the crest of their home estate, Trebond. When he and Alanna are alone after the ceremony, he shows her that when she is ready to reveal to everyone that she is a woman, the Trebond crest will disappear, and in its place will be the picture of a golden Lioness rearing on a field of red.

In a final showdown against her long-time nemesis, Alanna kills Duke Roger of Conte, her prince's cousin, who is to inherit the throne should anything happen to Jonathan. She does this after finding out about Roger's plans to kill the king, the queen, Jonathan, and even Alanna herself.

During her duel with Roger, he slices through the special corset she wears to keep her breasts flat. It is revealed to everyone that she is very much a woman.Moonlight whickered, backing against the willow. Having gone down with the In fact, this is not the case. There it was! In all respects, then, this female hand and a stylized lightning bolt in his left. This book has everything that annoys me about YA novels. Good manners or no, she was going.

IRVIN from Oregon
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