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Song of the Lioness #3

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

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"Let her prove herself worthy as a man."

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, dire challenges lie ahead. As her mythic fate would have it, Alanna soon becomes the tribe's first female shaman -- despite the desert dwellers' grave fear of the foreign woman warrior. Alanna must fight to change the ancient tribal customs of the desert tribes -- for their sake and for the sake of all Tortall.

Alanna's journey continues...

284 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published March 1, 1986

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About the author

Tamora Pierce

106 books83.5k followers
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 groups, I'm going to turn them all down. I just don't have the time to take part, so please don't be offended if I don't join your group or accept an invitation. I'm not snooty--I'm just up to my eyeballs in work and appearances!

Also, don't be alarmed by the number of books I've read. When I get bored, I go through the different lists and rediscover books I've read in the past. It's a very evil way to use up time when I should be doing other things. Obviously, I've read a lot of books in 54 years!

I was born in South Connellsville, PA. My mother wanted to name me "Tamara" but the nurse who filled out my birth certificate misspelled it as "Tamora". When I was 8 my family moved to California, where we lived for 6 years on both sides of the San Francisco peninsula.

I started writing stories in 6th grade. My interest in fantasy and science fiction began when I was introduced to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J. R. R. Tolkien and so I started to write the kind of books that I was reading. After my parents divorced, my mother took my sisters and me back to Pennsylvania in 1969. There I went to Albert Gallatin Senior High for 2 years and Uniontown Area Senior High School for my senior year.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, I wrote the book that became The Song of the Lioness fantasy quartet. I sold some articles and 2 short stories and wrote reviews for a martial arts movie magazine. At last the first book of the quartet, Alanna: The First Adventure was published by Atheneum Books in 1983.

Tim Liebe, who became my Spouse-Creature, and I lived in New York City with assorted cats and two parakeets from 1982 - 2006. In 2006 we moved to Syracuse, New York, where we live now with assorted cats, a number of squirrels, birds, raccoons, skunks, opossums, and woodchucks visiting our very small yard. As of 2011, I have 27 novels in print, one short story collection, one comic book arc ("White Tiger: A Hero's Compulsion") co-written with Tim, and a short story anthology co-editing credit. There's more to come, including a companion book to the Tortall `verse. So stay tuned!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,902 reviews
Profile Image for Margaret.
5 reviews2 followers
July 4, 2012
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 to college-aged me as she was to preteen-me.

That being said, I have one massive problem with "The Woman who Rides Like a Man". There's an uncomfortable degree of cultural insensitivity in Alana's dealings with the Bashir (a desert tribe who adopt her). The tribe is othered to the point of Orientalism, their customs little more than a caricature of Middle Eastern culture. I was also discomfited with the fact that Alana was portrayed as a white savior, swooping in and bringing massive "moral" changes to the Bashir's traditions. It struck me as a blatant display of cultural imperialism.

The Woman who Rides Like a Man has it's issues, but those problems can be the starting point for some great discussions. Because it raises questions about gender roles, moral relativity, and cultural issues, it could be a great selection for a teen reading group.
Profile Image for Madeline.
781 reviews47.2k followers
June 23, 2014
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 Jonathon went to the Black City, but the people and their culture is explored in much greater depth here.

I'm not objecting to the single setting here - honestly, it was kind of nice to have the narrative slow down a little, instead of racing from one place to another and covering two years in two hundred pages - but it gave this book a very different feel than the previous two. Compared to the previous books, the pace of this one feels practically glacial, with the timeline of the whole story covering just a few months. After seeing how quickly Pierce moved through plot points in the previous books (hey, anybody remember that time we went to war with Tusaine?) I found myself wondering just how long Alanna was planning to hang out with the Bazhir.

The majority of the book, it turns out. But to be fair, she has a lot to do. In the beginning of the story, Alanna falls in with a Bazhir tribe and they eventually accept her as one of them and then she becomes their shaman, because this is a Tamora Pierce book and Alanna of Trebond is a fucking boss at everything she does. She spends most of her time training three Bazhir kids in magic, and two of them are girls, and all of the tribespeople are like, "But a GIRL can't do magic or be a shaman!" and Alanna is like "Prepare to have your minds blown, Noble Savages!" As you can guess, the Bazhir stuff wanders into uncomfortable territory more than once. At best, they're fulfilling the Noble Savage trope and giving Alanna guidance like this is some Eat Pray Love white woman on a vision quest bullshit, and at worst they're just flat-out Orientalist stereotypes. There's a whole ceremony to make her an honorary Bazhir, and even though the scene itself is perfectly fine, all I could think about was that super racist number from Annie Get Your Gun. The whole storyline is very much a White Savior cliche, right down to Alanna smashing her way into a culture she has almost no understanding of and insisting they change their ways immediately. The only thing that redeems this storyline is the two girls she trains as shamans - they ultimately change most of the Bazhir's views on women, so at least the people making strides to change the culture are actually from that culture.

So that wasn't great. But everything else that happens here is awesome. Jonathan shows up halfway through the book and proposes to Alanna (Jonathan, honey, how many way will this not work?), and then proceeds to go full Joffrey, turning into an entitled little shit who seems to have forgotten the last eight years when Alanna was his best friend and fellow squire. They have an explosive fight where Jonathan yells at Alanna that she needs to start acting more feminine and she basically tells him to go fuck himself, and then she flounces off to go have sex with George Cooper for a while, because fuck you, Jonathan. It's glorious.

My biggest wish for the previous book was for Alanna to make a female friend, and Tamora Pierce has answered my prayers. After two books of believing that she was the exception to the rule that girls are silly and weak, Alanna meets a goddamn plethora of women who defy that stereotype. In addition to the two Bazhir girls she trains in magic, Alanna also meets George's cousin Rispah, a female thief who was so awesome in her few scenes that I immediately started imagining her and Alanna going on a Thelma and Louise-style roadtrip together. She almost makes up for Delia, who you'll remember from the last book as that dumb slut who flirted with Alanna's friends and turned out to be working for Duke Roger, because girls who flirt with your boyfriends are always full of dark magic. Delia is still here, and I'm kind of hoping that she's going to be the main villain in the next book, just so she has something fun to do.

It's not the best book in the series, but overall The Woman Who Rides Like a Man is another great Alanna adventure, full of excitement and magic and swordfights and sex with cute boys and fantastic conversations like this, which all little girls need to study and remember:

"'You are a terrifying creature,' the Voice told [Alanna] solemnly. 'You do not take your place in your father's tent, letting men make your decisions. You ride as a man, you fight as a man, and you think as a man-'
'I think as a human being,' she retorted hotly. 'Men don't think any differently from women - they just make more noise about being able to.'
As Coram chuckled, Mukhtab said, 'Have you not discovered that when people, men and women, find a woman who acts intelligently, they say she acts like a man?'"
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
855 reviews453 followers
March 12, 2016
I just want to burn this book and then make myself forget about it.


This book is a synonym for horror. The whole book is like one big unfinished draft ready for its editing. The concentration of whiny-ass characters reached its maximum in this book. Alanna is the ultimate Drama Queen that can't make up her mind - does she want to have passionate sex with George or Jon? Of course, everything turns out great for her and she's a freaking hero while her brother becomes a fanatic lunatic. One of the biggest characteristics of this book is the "let's change these characters completely" or the famous "doing the 180". The plot is dull. The action is non-existent. I wanted to shoot myself during most of this miserable book.

Overall, this is one of those "I want to pull a Barney Stinson" kind of books again.

Profile Image for Mayim de Vries.
577 reviews884 followers
April 8, 2020
“Poor woman who rides like a man. You know so much, and nothing at all.”

After the coming out, Alanna of Trebond, the sole woman knight in the realm of Tortall does going riding away. This is what we have been waiting for. All this arduous training and the palace shenanigans were just a prelude to what I always believed a key element in Alana’s story: fulfilling her knighthood dream. I endured the previous book only because I wanted to read about Alanna’s travels and adventures around the kingdom.

Here is what happens: Alanna starts her journey, gets stuck in the first place she visits and her adventures exacerbate my previous conclusions that from a determined and hard-working girl, she grew up to be a person who expects the whole world to bend her way. She comes to a people of a different culture, suffers the village-saviour syndrome, makes them adjust to her whims and lands on the top of the societal ladder which she promptly uses to challenge the Bazhir way of life (of course she knows better!). Any problems she encounters, are easily resolved with the minimum of effort on her part. In this regard nothing has changed from the previous book, which is ludicrous because previously she was in a somewhat favourable milieu and now she is supposed to be out there, in a dangerous world.

My vacuum cleaner is more dangerous.

Things are so terribly unpleasant for poor Alanna that when she breaks her magic toy (that was mildly exciting), instead of struggling as an ordinary human being, she gets a new toy immediately (what a letdown!). On top of this, she continues her emancipation nonsense. I’d be willing to ignore it even against the gender crusade fought by Alanna against the representatives of another culture, but the absolutely abysmal view on marriage (kind of a coffin you are locked in alive and buried promptly) coupled with her take on romance, which now, that we are firmly out of the children’s quarters and into the adult playground, turned from fresh to repulsive, means that I’d indeed rather spend time with my vacuum cleaner than her.

By the way, if you hoped that the change of scenery means the end of the love triangle, all that you need to know is: the love triangle is essential in this instalment. All that Alanna is presently preoccupied with is who to hump which one of the two candidates is better. In both cases, their love and devotion is taken for granted, and when pressed with need, she swaps one stud for another just waiting for it, all hot, in the starting gate.

Even the villainy in this book is not that scintillating and needs to be rehashed . It means that I can basically summarise the plot line of the next book even before I have read it. It would be acceptable in a children’s book, not in a novel meant for the adult audience.

Also in the series:

1. Alanna: The First Adventure ★★★☆☆
2. In the Hand of the Goddess ★☆☆☆☆
4. Lioness Rampant ★☆☆☆☆
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,432 reviews1,326 followers
April 23, 2016
I opened this book sailing along on a certain ship... a ship that I'd been on since book 1 ... I was convinced my feelings were never going to change!
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And these things weren't making me happy ... NOT AT ALL HAPPY JON!!

And Alanna reacted just exactly how I expected she would ...

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I thought I was fine...

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Because George...
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AND NOW ... I don't even care, I ship Alanna with anyone she wants to be with. As long as they respect her as a knight and allow her to go on her adventures and experience life and everything it has to offer and figure out what she wants. If you can do this, I will ship you with her... I promise :)

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Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
2,085 reviews5,070 followers
May 10, 2021
Ahhh this wasn't what I was expected. I've enjoyed the series so far, but this is definitely my least favorite book because of the way some things were handled. 3.5 Stars

The Woman Who Rides Like A Man picks up shortly after the events of the second book. Alanna encounters a group in the desert and slowly becomes a part of their community. Honestly, this is where the major issues come for me as a reader. It is clear that the Bhazir are developed to mimic what was presumed to be aspects of cultural characteristics of groups from the Middle East. These sections are often stereotypical and cringey to read in 2021. On top of that, readers must bare through Alanna attempting to persuade various community members to abide by her feminist beliefs which have been developed through the lens of a white woman (so as a result we get white feminism and the white savior trope). There was a scene in which Alanna tried to convince two women not to wear their face veils which bothered me as a reader. It should be noted that Pierce does address these issues in the afterword of the newer additions of these books and acknowledges how her writing and ideas from the 80s could impact readers today.

Outside of those moments, this book did have some interesting aspects especially in terms of character development. I was completely and totally shocked by some of the character narratives that switched in this book. There were hintings in the previous book, but to see it come full circle in this installment still proved to be rather shocking. The pacing was much better because it covered less time of Alanna's life, but it still left room for questions about the way in which the story may develop in the last novel. Once again, Pierce does a great job in developing found family dynamics for certain characters and she really allows Alanna to continue to seek and find independence from traditional/stereotypical gender roles. Throughout the book there is a great discussion that is centered around marriage and what it means to be ready for marriage. There is also a great discussion about a woman's right to choose whether she wants to have children or not. Pierce clearly defines that marriage does not have to ultimately mean that partners need to have children. It is refreshing to read that in a novel published in the 80s when this is a discussion that is still happening today. Overall, I thought that this was an okay installment in the series. It's not my favorite, but I am excited to see how the series ends.
Profile Image for Sakina (aforestofbooks).
393 reviews125 followers
February 7, 2020
OKAY. Let's ignore my review from the past. This book made me absolutely hate Jon. I didn't like him a whole lot in the last book, but this book really goes to show how awful, conceited, and controlling he is. The second he arrives at the Bloody Hawk tribe's village, things went downhill. He's moody and annoying, taking out his anger on Alanna. He only wants to marry her to prove he can do whatever he wants. And then they have a huge argument, which I really thinks shows his true colours. Saying that Alanna isn't a real woman like the Court ladies, was honestly the last straw for me. I didn't remember much of this book from my last reread because it's always been my least favourite, but this time around I just can't stand it. I know people will argue and say that Jon is still young, but in this world, a 21 year old is a proper adult, and Jon does not act like one.

Then we have the whole white saviour trope, with both Alanna and Jon. Alanna bringing education and freedom and women's rights to the Bazhir annoyed me so much. And she also tries to get the girls to remove their face veils because apparently that somehow limits or constricts them from becoming full-fledged shamans or sorcerers. It's eye-rolling, this whole book. Jon becomes the Voice because of course the Bazhir would want some white guy who's family has oppressed them for centuries to become their leader.

I do remember Jon changing in the next book, but I honestly don't remember how, and I don't know if it redeems his behaviour in this one. I am glad to finally be one step closer to finishing this series and rant-tweeting on Twitter has been a great as well lol


It's amazing how your opinions change as you get older. I still love this book (and this series) as much as I did the first time around. But it's definitely eye-opening. Jon really annoyed me in this book - he has gone a bit cocky and proud because of who he is. Just like Thom! I honestly didn't quite remember much about Thom's role in this book, and realizing who he's become makes me so sad. Jon also makes me so sad, because like Alanna said, he is a good person at heart, but he's just let all this royalty and "nobleness" get to his head and has forgotten that not every woman is at his beck and call and will accept/do whatever he wants. Alanna being with him constantly kept him somewhat grounded, but I'm hoping he remembers (I think he does later on) that woman have their own rights and thoughts and opinions. And he shouldn't need Alanna constantly near him to remember that. George though...now I remember why he's so perfect for Alanna!

(I feel kind of pressured to finish all of Tamora pierce's books before the end of the year because of the challenge, which sucks because I feel like I've rushed through this series and not drawn it out as slowly as I should have. I feel like there are so many important lessons that I should have thought over more, but I'm glad I own the book so now I can reread it as many times as I want)
9 reviews
July 5, 2007
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.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,208 reviews3,687 followers
April 21, 2021
Reading this again in 2021 was an interesting experience. On the one hand, I still love seeing Alanna's journey as she decides what she wants out of life, what she doesn't want, and moves toward accepting her magic. On the other hand, this definitely reads as cultural imperialism, with Alanna being part of what saves the Bazhir people, trying to move them into her own pseudo-feminist ideas.

One thing I appreciate is the edition I read includes an afterword from the author, written years later, where she admits some of the ideas she held when she first wrote this at 22 are ones she no longer holds. For instance, Alanna tries to convince two young women they should stop wearing face veils and be more like the men. Tamora Pierce mentions that she no longer subscribes to this idea that coverings akin to the hijab are necessarily oppressive to women. She also mentions that while the Bazhir are somewhat inspired by Middle Eastern cultures, they are intended to be pagan with their own religion and cultural identity, not stand-ins for read people groups. That said, I do think it's understandable that this element could feel uncomfortable and culturally appropriative today. And these issues are worth discussing.

As a book, the pacing of this is much better than book 2. We're covering about a year of time as Alanna is now a knight and is faced with the decision of whether she wants to settle down and get married or keep her independence and see something of the world. Which are very relevant questions. This book isn't perfect, but I still loved a lot about it.
Profile Image for Jessica.
826 reviews27 followers
July 24, 2007
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.
Profile Image for Alissa.
629 reviews89 followers
February 8, 2016
More adventures in store for Alanna after the conclusion of the second book in the series. A new phase of her education and a new phase of her growth as a human being, a woman and a knight. The desert setting is nice, but Alanna-turned-teacher was a bit boring after a while. On to the last book. Highly recommended for any pre-teen.
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
410 reviews918 followers
July 9, 2023
Of the three SotL installments so far, this one was the weakest. The plot meandered and didn't seem very relevant to Alanna's character arc.

Now knighted and known to be a woman, Alanna leaves her kingdom and promptly ends up joining a tribe of desert people, where she becomes the tribe's shaman and begins teaching apprentices to use magic.

The portrayal of the desert people, who seem to be fantasy versions of Islamic Bedouins perhaps (?), was a bit off. This is a book from the 90s written by a white, non-Muslim author, so...I guess you can expect a few problematic elements. But with Alanna coming in to help them "modernize" their ways, and then a later plot point in which Johnathan, for whatever reason, is called upon to become the Voice (the spiritual leader) of all tribes, there was a distinct white savior vibe to the story.

Alanna and Johnathan fight and break off their relationship, leading Alanna to return to the capital and seek out George. They promptly get together and share a bed. I do admire Alanna's ability to get right down to the point when she decides to give in to a man's advances. George is clearly a better match for her, so all's well that ends well.

Tom, Alanna's twin, has been gaining power, experimenting with necromancy, and generally seems to be turning more and more into an asshole as the story progresses. Now that Duke Roger is dead, I wonder whether Tom will become the final villain of the series.
Profile Image for Sanaa.
413 reviews2,552 followers
August 18, 2015
[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!
Profile Image for Olga.
301 reviews57 followers
June 1, 2018

This one was a bit of a letdown for me. The first half was great but after that point this was a mess.

There was absolutely no need for the romantic drama. And that thing with Thom came out of nowhere...😑
Profile Image for El.
1,355 reviews502 followers
May 8, 2016
Oh, this series.

In this installment, Alanna has become a knight and goes off to the desert where she spends some time with the Bazhir culture, and a whole lot of whiteness happens to them. For those of us who were all "But these are all white characters!" during the first couple of books, rest assured because there are some not-as-white people here, and there called the Bazhir. Well, they show up a bit in the last book, but here we get to learn about their culture in more detail. Alanna is there and meets some new people and actually makes friends! They aren't all in love with her like a lot of her previous friends have been, but there's a mutual respect.

And so Alanna then teaches them a bunch of stuff they don't know and becomes their shaman and teaches them about the ways of the world. Basically, she's doing missionary work. And it's just as unsettling to read about as any true missionary work is.

As far as adventuring goes, this is sort of the extent of it. Alanna doesn't go off into wild flights of fancy, and essentially stays with the Bazhir throughout the story which is unlike the first two books when she'd throw down for any little thing, and I think a lot of readers disliked that about this book. I thought it was fine, but you know, I'm not as invested in these stories as some readers are.

In other Alanna-news, she is well-versed in the ways of the sexual world by this book. She and Jonathan are hot and heavy through most of the story until he's all "Can't you be more like a lady? I like ladies" which of course is basically another way of saying "You're so much prettier when you smile." Yeah, fuck you, Jonathan. I don't care if you are a prince. Shut your trap.

But there's still that George guy waiting in the wings, so for those of you who have been wanting that to happen, rest assured again!

Shamans and sex. That's pretty much this story.

I'm not a big fan of the title here. Alanna is called "the woman who rides like a man" a lot, and that's supposed to be a good thing, but it's annoying, like hearing "you run like a girl" or "you throw like a girl." It's not helpful at all. I get that Alanna was blowing the Bazhir's mind by showing them all the things girls can do that are just like the things boys can do, but it's still an unfortunate title all around. The Woman Who Rides Like a Woman would be confusing, but also would have a better message, if you're just going by the title and not reading the book (which happens more than you think since kids are growing up reading titles on a bookshelf, trying to find one that appeals to them).

Anyhow, Alanna is still amazing at everything (sex included), and now I am just about to begin the fourth book to see what kind of shenanigans Alanna gets into.
Profile Image for Linaria.
696 reviews44 followers
July 7, 2018
This book is my least favorite of the Alanna quadrilogy. It's still a solid book, especially in the context that this book was so important for teenage girls when it came out.

This book is basically Alanna off to have adventures. The book starts strong, with a fight between her and some desert bandits. Eventually she ends up spending time with the tribe and joining them. The majority of the plot of this book is really set up for the next book, but it's interesting to see the changes that time has had on Alanna, Jon and George. The three of them do a bit of growing, and their relationships change as a result. To be honest, at the end of the book, there is still a lot of growing for some of them to do *cough* Jon *cough*

I do like that Alanna stays strong to wanting to be a knight and not wanting the kind of life that Jon does. The two of them, though they care for each other, have different priorities. It's a sad, but necessary realization that they make, in terms of their future. This does lead to Alanna spending more time with George, of which I do whole-heartedly approve.

Again, this was a strong book, especially when it first came out. While I am looking through this through nostalgia glasses a bit, I think that it still passably stands on it's own now. It's also a perfect setup for whats to come in the next book.
Profile Image for Beena.
94 reviews
March 22, 2020
I'm not usually one to make myself read something I'm not enjoying, but it was for a buddy read and it's not a long book (though it might as well have been a few hundred pages longer for the amount of time it took me to read it).

All Alanna's talked about in previous books is that she wants to be a knight and then go on "adventures". This book was meant to be her going on said adventures and turned out to be her spending nearly all her time in one place; the desert and meeting one group of people, a tribespeople; The Bazhir. The depiction of the Bazhir is really outdated and stereotyped. The main villain was killed off early which left Alanna to be the Shaman and teach her apprentices; the main part of the book was just her living in the desert and not really doing much to be honest.

I found the way she talks and behaves really immature and I would've thought that Pierce would adjust her writing accordingly to Alanna's age, because it just seems like there's a child in a woman's body. Prince Jonathon being an ass came out of nowhere and didn't make any sense. Several things took place rapidly towards the end of the book but didn't seem like it served any purpose; there wasn't a coherent plot to this at all. Pretty damn boring.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,666 reviews1,231 followers
December 26, 2015
Each book is better than the last, and that's saying a lot considering how much I've enjoyed each previous book. I like the decisions Alanna's made up to this point, but most especially as of the end of this book, though I think she should probably check in on that brother of hers…

Can't wait to start the final book, though I'm already wishing it didn't have to end. ;0)
Profile Image for Elahe.
195 reviews65 followers
October 6, 2020
دارم فکر می‌کنم به تاثیر کتاب‌هایی که تو بچگی می‌خونیم و تاثيرشون تو بزرگسالی. موقع بازخوانی این کتاب به وضوح میدیدم که الینا چقدر برای من مدل بوده و من چقدر از رفتارها و انتخاب‌هاش الگوگیری کردم.
خوشحالم که به جای دیدن پرنسس‌های دیزنی با خوندن داستان‌های این شوالیه‌ی سنت شکن بزرگ شدم
Profile Image for Rachel (Kalanadi).
735 reviews1,434 followers
December 10, 2018
I am always proud that Alanna turned Jonathan down. He's a spoiled,presumptive ass in this book, at the same time that he is brave, intelligent, and a leader. But Alanna calls him on his attitude, and throws off the responses that in some way the fight is "her fault". And it heartens me that Pierce shows what brats hormonal, hot-tempered teenagers can be - before they become respected adults.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lee.
979 reviews33 followers
September 30, 2018
This book didn't have the adventure that the other two novels had, but it was still very enjoyable for me. Throughout this, Alanna continues to grow up. She's strong and fights for what she wants (or doesn't want) like she always has, but what got me throughout this one is that we see Alanna really learning to accept more of who she is. Since she ends up being a shaman, she has to focus on another part of herself that she had previous kinda tucked away and never wanted to deal with which forces her to bring it back out. It was nice to see that expansion of you can be more than one thing. Since this really is directed at a younger audience, I thought that was an incredibly good message. There were also others throughout it that would involve spoilers, so I won't mention them.
Profile Image for Shera (Book Whispers).
594 reviews288 followers
January 9, 2016
It has come up a lot in discussions about Young Adult books: How unrealistic the romance is. How it's insta-love and the girl never thinks of how the relationship will affect her. If she really loves about the guy, and what she doesn't love about him. (Oh, my! The male love interested isn't REALLY perfect.) How being with that person will affect her life and goals. Most importantly, how she wants to be treated by and because of that person.

I always say I've read books where it is considered and it made for a great read. But then I could never remember the titles! Well Woman Who Rides Like a Man goes there. It shows how Alanna knows herself, well enough that she doesn't want to just rashly throw her future away for an ideal/fantasy.

Romance isn't the entire focus by any means. Alanna is dealing with how to accept magic into her life. Becoming a teacher and a revolutionist for women. Better yet readers finally get a good look into the Bahsir. They're a fascinating people and I enjoy how change slowly comes to them. Inspired by their respect of Alanna. Alanna learns she can't take care of everyone.

The new characters of the Bahsir are really fun to get to know and a few old favorites. There's plenty of time to flesh out other characters that are much beloved. Though unfortunately some of Alanna's Knight friends aren't here. Thom isn't getting much page time, and I think Alanna is going to be super shocked by what is transpiring. Or at least she should be! It bothers me a bit how unworried and uncaring she seems about what her brother does. I feel like because he's her brother—twin brother—there's very weird disconnect between them. I thought maybe it was because they both have issues letting people in, but they're both supposed to have loved each other immensely. There's still one more book to fix it.

Overall I love this follow-up. Alanna is an amazing character and while her fears of the royals and palace politics are her latest fear, she's finding her own footing as the first Lady Knight in over a century. It's wonderful to see how much she's grown and that she's still fearless in her life choices. That love isn't just instant forever. People change and you never stop learning and growing.

Oh, and the action is pretty awesome.

Sexual Content: Some sex and sexual humor. This is a book written in the 80s, so it's all clean and vague on the sex scenes themselves. So no worries.

4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it.

Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.
Profile Image for Michelle.
616 reviews134 followers
June 24, 2009
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. Wisely, Alanna fights and awes group with her fighting skills and compassion - except for a notable few members of the Bloody Hawk tribe. Despite all the tradition and prejudice against women, Alanna is slowing welcomed by the group, eventually becoming the tribe's newest shaman and training three youngsters to carry on her in place.

Even though she has escaped the confines of palace life, Alanna is confronted with the reality of determining her relationship with Prince Jonathan while the ever comforting presence of George, the King of the Thieves, silently keeps watch over her. All of Alanna's friends are wonderful but George has always been a standout for me. This book finally showed a little more personality in Jonathan and, for good or bad, made for a more interesting character.

Wherever she goes, Alanna draws attention. It's probably the whole red hair, purple eyes, warrior maiden thing she has going on but it really works for her. I'd probably stop in my tracks if she crossed my way too. That said, I love how she is constantly faced with difficult challenges where there really is no easy answer. Alanna faces each situation with maturity and intelligence that I can't help but admire. But above all, she is loyal to her friends and to the vows she made as a knight and it shows in everything she does. I am so enjoying this series and I can't wait to see what is up next for Alanna in the concluding volume, Lioness Rampant.
Profile Image for kris.
945 reviews194 followers
February 6, 2016
[first read: 3 January 2008]

Alanna, knighted and revealed, heads south to begin her stint as a wandering knight, eager to forget the unrest at court over her deception and also her slaying of the King's cousin in combat. In her first year as a knight, she joins and instills change upon the desert-dwelling Bazhir; witnesses Prince Jonathan become the Voice; swaps one Royal lover for another; and begins to understand herself as Alanna instead of Alan.

1. Still don't like Jonathan. NOT SORRY. (Although, I must acknowledge that this is an interesting and realistic situation to place your heroine in: Alanna is in love with an unsuitable man. How the situation solves itself--some yelling before the parties separate indefinitely--is also realistic but definitely not fulfilling.)

2. I HATE that George feels like a rebound in this. Absolutely the text tries to make it not so, bit I'm sorry, it all screams REBOUND--especially because Alanna invites him to bed IMMEDIATELY after finding out that Jonathan had moved on to another woman. LKJDFKJ

3. I guess the gist of my feelings is this: I like Alanna and her adventures. I like the world. I like this lady knight struggling to find her place and how to use her voice in a world that has no place and no ear for her. I like all of that.

I hate the romance so much though that I could throw things! I hate that Alanna has so little agency! I hate that Pierce has problematic approaches to gender and race!

4. Is it important that George gets a chapter from his POV? OF COURSE IT IS.

5. THOM WTF (Part of me rebels against Thom's looming fall because his story--one of isolation and pride and idiocy--is one I feel rather keenly (especially as a isolated prideful idiot myself?). As much as I adore Alanna's fumbling connections and heart, part of me wonders what Thom's story would look like. (Not that we need another asshole boy-sorcerer story, but.)
Profile Image for Jason.
808 reviews47 followers
February 9, 2013
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.

I’m also annoyed about how the main characters are made to be almost constantly perfect, with their only occasional pointed-out flaws being acting like annoying a-holes. I would like to see them be more like humans. And maybe for Alanna to not have everything always turning out great for her, with things consistently turning out badly for anyone who might dare to not worship her. Like her apprentice pointing out that it’s unfair how she has like a million Super Magical Items is a sign of his being a fool? So if readers might feel the same way, clearly they’re being foolish.

Not sure what happened to the feisty, fascinating protagonist of the first book (by the second, she’d already gone partway into a boy-obsessed perfect snowflake who had things land in her lap just to make the story Cooler rather than her earning them through merit shown on her part…but only partway).
Profile Image for April Sarah.
541 reviews171 followers
February 9, 2018
I love that the pacing of this book finally slowed down a bit. You got to see some depth to some of the characters and see how they process things. Alanna really starts to come into her own. But I won't lie, this one has always left me extremely frustrated with most of the male characters.

Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co6Ug...
Profile Image for Beth.
1,158 reviews118 followers
January 21, 2016
As an aside, I read this on the plane, too, on my must-be-3+-years-old Nook Glowlight. If I'm tied into the B&N ecosystem, there's really no newer ereader option, is there? I heard that the black refresh doesn't appear on newer ereaders, but I've also read a few downer articles about the future of the Barnes and Noble ebook platform, and I'm a little worried.

Onto the book! I only have two highlighted notes, so I'll mention those and then talk about my general impressions of the book.

First, I did not like this: "A skinny man wearing the green robes of a Bazhir shaman, or petty wizard, threw back his hood. His scraggly beard thrust forward on a sallow chin." Yeahhhhh. He must be evil because he's sallow and can't grow much of a beard! Appearance dovetailing with character is my least favorite means of description. Plus: a petty wizard? And here I thought shamans were exactly like mages, only Bazhir! The rest of the book only does its absolute best to convey that impression.

Second, I really, really liked the entire section where Jonathan discussed becoming the Voice. I thought it was unlikely, though I did like that the magic of the ceremony means all the Bazhir know exactly what to expect from Jonathan and how he'll do. At least there's that. Otherwise, isn't it a little insulting to invite a non-Bazhir outsider to become the final voice on their court systems and questions of history and tradition? What I did really like: the way Jonathan talks about becoming the Voice, as something that will be vital to his future kingship, highlights something so interesting about this series - there's a very traditional medieval perception of honor and duty. These are nobles who reach for power, because it's their currency and ultimately their obligation to their families, but also have an eye toward its responsibilities. They're not careless or stingy or power-mad. It's what makes them such good heroes, that they are very clearly of their world, even as they represent the best of it.

I'm also fascinated with the idea that Jonathan's restlessness is cured by the acceptance of this tremendous responsibility. That more than anything is a sign he's going to be a great king. Showing, not telling! HURRAH.

It's odd that the Voice ceremony feels more - I don't know - difficult? Real? - than the Ordeal descriptions. Maybe it's because Jonathan has to slice his own arm open. Maybe because there's so clearly a heavy aura of magic, while the Ordeal just feels like a series of nightmares.

I also really liked the evolution of Amman Kemail. Here's someone who doesn't abuse the system to challenge Jon initially, but who really has valid concerns. And then he's gracious in defeat and wise enough to recognize that Jon "will do" as the Voice. I LIKED HIM. I hope he sends his kids to Corus to become knights.

SPEAKING OF, remember the Bazhir in the Kel books? Isn't knighthood training only for nobles? The Bazhir don't seem to have a traditional feudal structure, so who exactly qualifies, and why?

What I also like about Jon in this book: how peremptory he is! Sure, it's frustrating for Alanna, incredibly so - and it's not the easiest to read about, either - but here's a guy who's a prince and knows he's going to be king one day. Having him be Mr. Nice Guy wouldn't quite ring true. Plus, I love it when Alanna shouts at him.

Alanna fascinates me in this book. Not just because she made up the most randomly phrased spells, and they worked (how much magical theory has she ever learned? Not much) but because she not only forces the tribe to accept her, but to accept her students, and her position is so matter-of-fact. I don't know how she thought she'd be successful at that, especially since she really doesn't know much about their history.

You know, I remembered this book as the desert book. I didn't remember how much it sets up Lioness Rampant. Thom particularly - and Claw - and Josiane, I suppose, though she's so tertiary she's almost unnecessary. Which, confession time, is my favorite book of this series. CAN'T WAIT.
Profile Image for Shannon.
768 reviews94 followers
February 12, 2020
3.75 Stars

I enjoyed this third installment with Alanna, especially all the magic! She's usually so focused on being a knight, and doesn't turn to the magic part of herself as often, so I really enjoyed that. That said, I was disappointed that in the previously books . I was also disappointed that But I love that she

These books move along so quickly, while still keeping a strong sense of place and tension. So impressive! Hard to believe there is only one more book in this series! I have enjoyed reading them so much.
Profile Image for Alexandra.
409 reviews22 followers
July 20, 2011
It was alright. The thing that bothered me the most was the character development. It seemed like everyone changed drastically for no clear reason at all. I don't understand Jonathan anymore or why he suddenly turned into a spoiled prince even as he took on a new responsibility selflessly. I didn't like how Alanna immediately went to bed with George after she heard that Jon found a new princess. And she said it wasn't rebound? That it's "what should've happened between us a long time ago"? I'm sorry but that just doesn't fly with me.

I've taken a peek at the ending and realize that I am, for the hundredth time, rooting for the wrong guy in the love triangle again, so that's annoying, but I also wish the romance was handled better. At times it seems all the relationships are more casual than anything else. Why are they sleeping with each other so easily? Is this part of the custom, I wonder, because the setting's supposed to be medieval? Thom also suddenly changed into this Roger 2.0 except without being subtle about it. In the last book he still seemed like a very nice guy. I hope there's an explanation for this.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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