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

(Song of the Lioness #3)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  80,158 ratings  ·  1,681 reviews

"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 so

Mass Market Paperback, 284 pages
Published January 6th 2005 by Simon Pulse (first published March 1st 1986)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  80,158 ratings  ·  1,681 reviews

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Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Norah Una Sumner
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 b
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Mayim de Vries
“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 kingd
Jaime Arkin
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-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
Sakina (aforestofbooks)
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 ...more
Jul 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
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 cultura
Jul 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
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.
May 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

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...😑
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2009, ya
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
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
[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! ...more
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
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)
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 22, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 di
Shera (Book Whispers)
Jan 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
April Sarah
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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:
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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 ...more
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
Nov 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
[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. (Alth
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
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
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 (view spoiler)
Feb 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
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)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Super-into my re-read now! I really like how the relationships with Jon and George are developed. I guess I said that before, but everything's unfolding in a way that makes sense, which (also repeating myself) feels rare in YA.

And I like Alanna growing to accept herself and who she is.

Re-read January 2016

Uh, I think I said everything in the comments of Kris's review.
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
3.5 stars

From a purely story structure standpoint, this is a slight improvement on the previous book. The writing for these first three Tortall books has been solid, no doubt. The narrative flows, the characters are well-developed and the arcs for the story and the characters never feel like they're being driven by the author, at least not too much.

Alanna, newly knighted and ready for adventure, heads out with her trusty man-of-arms Coram and heads south to see where the road might take her. So
Mar 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5 stars rounded down.

This series has really plummeted since the start. The first book was an interesting, if rather simplistic, story of a girl who pretended to be a boy to achieve her dream of becoming a knight. After being knighted in the second book and revealing her real gender, Alanna rides off on adventure.

This third book tells the story of her adventures with the Bazhir desert people (a standard version of an oppressively patriarchal middle eastern culture seen through western eyes yet
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, 2-stars
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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Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man [Mar 12, 2020] 53 29 Mar 30, 2020 07:10AM  
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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

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)

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“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”
“Men don't think and differently from women - they just make more noise about being able to.” 285 likes
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