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The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness #3)

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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  44,642 ratings  ·  783 reviews
From Tamora Pierce, the third book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, honored with the Margaret A. Edwards Award.

Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert of Tortall. Captured by fierce desert dwellers, she is forced to prove herself in a duel to the death—either she will be killed or she will be inducted into the tribe. Although she triumphs, d
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Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published December 8th 2009 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 1986)
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Disappointing - Didnt meet my expectations.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Margaret
I was 12 when I discovered the Song of the Lioness quartet, and they made a massive impression on me. At that point in my life it was amazing to find a series of books with such tough, relatable heroine. Alana was everything I wanted to be: strong-willed, compassionate, driven, and dead set on living on her own terms.

It's been a decade since I first read these books, and they still stand up pretty well. Alana still strikes me as an excellent role model for teenage girls, and she's as endearing
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Madeline
Based on what I've read on Goodreads, the general fan consensus seems to be that this book is the weakest of the quartet. I enjoyed it just as much as the previous two books, but can see why people tend to list it as their least favorite. The story takes place almost entirely in a single location, as Alanna goes to live in the desert after graduating as a knight (and killing Duke Roger) at the end of Book 2. The people she falls in with are the Bazhir, who we met briefly in Book One when she and ...more
Sanaa
[4 Stars] I really enjoyed this one! It may be my favorite in the series so far! I'm glad I'm finally getting a chance to dive back into this world. I also just loved learning about the Bazhir and their traditions and overall just seeing Alanna out of a court setting! Also, can I just say girl power! Go Alanna!
Jessica
The entire Song of the Lioness quartet is absolutely brilliant. What a great, uplifting series for young girls - it's smart, funny, brave, and terrifically exciting. I read this when I was in middle school, but I still get pleasure from re-reading it even today.
Kim
Jul 05, 2007 Kim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves fantasy
Shelves: strongwomen
I love this series because it features a strong female protagonist. In fact, all of this author's work is centered around young women, which I appreciate after reading so much Harry Potter (which I love, but which lacks balance between good male and female characters, at least in the early books). Some of the other collections get repetitive, but Alanna's story stays compelling through all four books.
Michelle
In book three of the Song of the Lioness series, Alanna has just received her Knight's shield and is anxious to be off on an adventure of her own making. Accompanied by the steady Coram, who trained her as a young page, Alanna feels ready for any eventuality. Heading southward, Alanna and Coram are attacked by murderous desert dwellers and are eventually rescued by the equally enigmatic Bazhir people who offer her two options: fight one of their own warriors and join the tribe or be killed. Wise ...more
Alexandra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mara
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I've never been a big fan of the these covers, because they have character impersonators on them. This may be my least favorite. Is the character impersonator supposed to have jaundice? She doesn't look well at all. The horse is pretty, at least.

Characters: My opinion of Alanna is rather lukewarm; that is, I neither like her nor dislike her. She doesn't exactly have The Attitude, and at times she expresses a very strong and believable personality. But other times, she tur
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Nancy O'Toole
I've recently been rereading Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet. I just finished up book 3, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man.

In all honesty, I ended up enjoying this book more than I remembered. Yes, its suffers from being unfocused, especially when compared to the rest of the series, but the novel does a good job of expanding our understanding of Tortall, bringing the love triangle involving Jonathan, Alanna and George to the next level, and showing the Lioness in a new role, that of a t
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Nancy
I think we've established that this series owns my heart, but let's do a recap.

ALANNA IS A GIFT UPON THIS WORLD.
Female warrior character! Feminist icon! Engages in safe and healthy romantic relationships while still leading her own life and not needing a man to tie her down! Respectful of other cultures while still advocating for the rights of women!

And George... George Cooper is the biggest sweetheart and the most compassionate thief and I absolutely adore him. His character arc is wonderful;
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Alyssa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annisa
The third book of the Song of Lionness. The start of Alanna's adventure as Alanna of Trebond. It gives another rich view of the world of Tortall. The Bazhir and their names and culture remind me greatly of Middle Easterners, making me wonder of the fascination the fantasy writers seem to have with them. Unlike most fantasy books I've read, they or those whose traits drawn from Middle East were not made as one-sided or easy villains, but they were drawn fairly as people with their own values and ...more
Jason
It feels like the series increases in its juvenile sensibility. Maybe it’s because Alanna’s youthfulness made sense when she was a tween, and now that she’s an adult her relative lack of maturity (and the author’s lack of maturity in her writing) seems jarring and not as it should be.

(view spoiler)
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Julie
Sep 26, 2010 Julie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Julie by: I've read the previous two
Shelves: 2010, fantasy, young-adult
I just love Alanna. She is a great character: feisty, cranky, spirited, and yet kind and brave and vulnerable. I'm really enjoying this series and look forward to the final book of the quartet.

Also, George Cooper = awesome.

Also-also, I was explaining the plot of the Alanna series to my brother, about how Alanna's brother took her place at the convent in order to learn sorcery.

"But he never pretended to be a girl."

"Well that's good... if he did, book three would be called The Man Who Rides Like a
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Sophie
ARGH, again with the incomplete stories! This book is so obviously the first half of a story that will be concluded in Lioness Rampant, and it's frustrating to see it ended abruptly as if it were a complete novel in itself. But maybe this was back when Pierce didn't have the clout she has now and couldn't get a fatter book published.

My main thought about this book boils down to (view spoiler)
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Molly
Continued obnoxiousness by Faithful the Omniscient Talking Cat. Incomplete plot, choosing instead to set up all the drama planned for Lioness Rampant. And all that nonsense with Jonathan just made me want to shrivel up and die.

On the other hand, the parts where Alanna isn't breaking up with Jonathan or inexplicably getting into a relationship with George because she's just broken up with Jonathan are pretty cool. It's good to see her come into her own as a sorceress, and begin to accept her own
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Brenda
This one started off a little slow, and I was afraid that the series was going to start going downhill or something. I think it's just that I really love court intrigue, and since she was out in the desert in this one, it was a little different.

It picked up, though, and I got sucked in once again in Alanna's adventures. She's such a strong character, and I really love the feminism in this book. Not just because it says that a woman can be what she wants to be, but also because here, in book thre
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Andrea
May 25, 2011 Andrea rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers, adventure lovers, strong girls, warrior maidens
Recommended to Andrea by: Kristin Cashore (via blog)
Alanna finally sets out in pursuit of adventure after earning her shield and stumbles into the hands of a tribe of the Bazhir who have very distinct ideas about the roles of women. Alanna must earn their trust and learn to trust herself with her magic if she is to be successful in this third adventure of Alanna of Trebond.

This book had many of the same old characters to love, but I really enjoyed the addition of the Bahir, as well. I'm now especially dubious of all Alanna's suitors but I suppose
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Ally
I'm now really upset at Alanna. I'm terribly sad. I wished she stayed with Jon. Unfortunately, it's her choice and her choice only (along with the author's painful ideas). I think George Cooper is alright, but I wish she stayed with Prince Jonathan.

Anyway, I'll move on. (I guess you find out about the major spoiler in this book). The Woman Who Rides Like a Man is certainly a long title. Whatever. It's still a good book. It's not as good as the first book, but it's still better than the last book
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Steph
Enjoyment wise probably closer to a three (for most of the book) but I'm rounding up because Pierce was ahead of her time and a gen-u-ine badass for what she chooses to do with her characters.
E
What a disappointment after the first two. This felt like a rush job. The setting, plot, and character development didn't feel as rich as they were in the previous books and the complete personality change of one, no, wait, two of the main characters was never adequately explained, in my opinion.

Comments the series:
While I have really enjoyed reading this fantasy series, which is organized around the pre-adolescent/teen adventures of Alanna, a girl who would rather be a knight than a typical nob
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Amy
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce Review

Third book in the series and another 5/5 star rating…I’m starting to see a pattern here. I obviously loved this book; in fact I think it was my favorite so far in the series due to its overall development in character and world-building. There are a lot of new characters for me to love, and for the first time Roger isn’t the main villain. Not only did that open up a lot of new paths for the plot-line but it moved the story ahead wonderfully
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Amelia
Originally posted on The Authoress: Book Reviews & More.

*This is a mini review*

In The Woman Who Rides Like A Man (a wordy title for today's standards), Alanna is eighteen-years-old and has been granted her knight's shield. In this third installment, we follow her adventures in the Great Southern Desert of Tortall.

What strikes me most about The Woman Who Rides Like A Man is the masterful expansion of the world. Tamora Pierce doesn't keep Alanna cooped up in a castle in a city. Alanna, fitting
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Catie
This third in the series is my favorite so far! In this installment, Alanna leaves her world of Tortall behind to travel south in search of adventure. She immediately becomes embroiled in the affairs of a tribe of Bazhir, where she struggles to keep her identity intact while connecting deeply with others. It's funny, but I think that Alanna reminds me quite a bit of Anne Shirley (of Anne of Green Gables fame). Their worlds are wholly different, but a lot of the themes surrounding their stories a ...more
Bark's Book Nonsense
I read this in its unabridged audiobook format on my way to and from work. I didn't realize this was book three in an ongoing series and found it a little rough going. Alanna had obviously been through a lot before this book and I continually felt like I had missed out on big important chunks of her past. Especially her past relationships with others and her knighthood.

In this book Alanna is a knight in a world where most tribes believe woman aren't meant to be a warrior (and how she became a kn
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Alexa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirstie
Pierce continues to wow me by introducing us in depth in the the Bazhir culture which we breifly had a glimpse of in the first volume of the quartet. They have their own earthy magic and a very traditional culture.

At the end of the previous volume Alanna became a knight and confronted her greatest foe and won! (surprising for a book two) Alanna was revealed in that fight as a woman and chose to leave the court and become a knight-errant. She is travelling through Bazhir lands and becomes involve
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Stephanie Jobe
This book feels a lot like my life right now. Growing up and adjusting to new roles in life. Alanna has earned her shield and as she planned she travels to the deserts, but her adventures there are much different than she would have anticipated. For one thing Alanna finally learns that being a woman is not such a bad thing. The characters really are much more dynamic I suppose part of it is the issues are much more textured. Who is the antagonist? I suppose Duke Roger because really it is about ...more
Robert
The simple formulaic writing gets thrown for a loop in this third and what I think is half-a-volume of Alanna of Trebond's story. Normally I wouldn't give a half-tale much credit but Alanna story is still riveting. Experience beckons me, to hope the second half of this tale will be a page turner, the likes of which this series has not as yet seen. A tall order, since has been one of the quickest series of books I have read through, to date.

Let us start with what is so different. Alanna is no lon
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Tiffany Wacaser
I was so disappointed in this book. I had enjoyed the first two books about a young girl who disguises herself as a boy to become a knight. She works so hard to overcome her weaknesses and becomes a superior knight. The story was great. But, I was completely turned off by extra events in this book which really bothered me. First, I found this book in the children's section in the library, so I did not expect to encounter any sex in it. Anyhow, the main character begins a sexual relationship with ...more
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Jon 16 125 Aug 13, 2013 01:59PM  
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8596
Hey, folks! I just discovered that apparently I have given some very popular books single-star ratings--except I haven't. How do I know I haven't? Because I haven't read those books at all. So before you go getting all hacked off at me for trashing your favorites, know that I've written GoodReads to find out what's going on.

I return to my regularly scheduled profile:
Though I would love to join gro
...more
More about Tamora Pierce...

Other Books in the Series

Song of the Lioness (4 books)
  • Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)
  • In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2)
  • Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, #4)
Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1) Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, #4) In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2) Wild Magic (Immortals, #1) Trickster's Queen (Daughter of the Lioness, #2)

Share This Book

“There's plenty more fish in the sea than Prince Jonathan," he told her softly. "And this particular fish loves you with all his crooked heart."
-George to Alanna”
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“Men don't think and differently from women - they just make more noise about being able to.” 224 likes
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