Of the four books in the Song of the Lioness series, this has always been my least favorite.
I vividly remember re-reading the books even when I was much younger and mentally groaning when I reached this one.
I'm not sure why. Perhaps it is the characters... We abruptly leave behind all the characters we grew to know and love and even those we do still see in the book seem to have changed.
However, now that I'm older, I think the distance from those characters makes the fourth book all that more powerful. See other reviews on books in this series for my opinion on the Song of the Lioness series.