song of the lioness quartet
by tamora pierce
Brief Synopsis: Alanna begins as a 12-year-old girl who doesn’t want to be sent to a school for the magically gifted, but instead wants to become a knight of Tortall. Lady knights do not exist in this mythical medieval world and so Alanna must become Alan. The journey continues as Alanna comes of age, learning about herself and about a country that needs her.
Main: female, POV: third person, Character ages: teen-adult, Genre: fantasy/adventure, Time setting: medieval, Additional info: includes romance, some semi-explicit scenes
Review by Vin
How I found my love for young adult fantasy—the root of that love is identifiably traced back to this series. My sister told me to check out Alanna from the library because she was sure I would like it. Romance novels covered her shelves at the time, so I was skeptical. This book is different she assured me. It was, and I was hooked. (There is a little romance but I hold no grudge over her omission.)
Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet were books without a genre in their day. We found them in the children’s section, yet Alanna offers a teen heroine who out-fences grown men, outsmarts a country that forbids female knights, enjoys a healthy (and steamy) love life and who is necessary to any plan to save Tortall.
dedication to her dream, but her awkwardness at anything else. It’s Prince Jonathan’s good-natured, and somewhat sexy, arrogance. It’s the Thief Lord George Cooper’s dual slyness and smoothness. It’s the magical cat familiar who calls out Alanna so that someone besides the reader is doing so. In short, the strength of Alanna is in the characters whose layers are explored and exposed through the series. The characters have fun with each other, so the readers enjoy their growth and become invested in Alanna’s success.
These characters navigate a world in which fantastical magic plays a key role in Alanna’s quest to save Tortall. The story is entirely approachable, magic notwithstanding. The save-the-world
Gorgeous hardcover edition.
The original in my mind.
Random House mass-market paperback.
So strong is the readers’ connection to the group of characters in the Song of the Lioness that Pierce has created four related series in which these characters’ reprise is heartily welcomed and helps to lure readers into a new story. I highly recommend the Trickster and Immortals series.
The Blue Sword
by Robin McKinley
by Kristin Cashore