Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Song of the Lioness (Song of the Lioness, #1-4)” as Want to Read:
Song of the Lioness (Song of the Lioness, #1-4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Song of the Lioness

(Song of the Lioness #1-4)

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  12,743 ratings  ·  262 reviews
Classic fantasy. This is a 4 in 1 hardback book by Tamora Pierce. It includes Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, and Lioness Rampant. This is a book for children and young adults, following the story of a young girl who wants to become a knight. We follow her training, her attempt to hide her gender from her fellow trai ...more
Hardcover, 568 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Science Fiction Book Club (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Song of the Lioness, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,743 ratings  ·  262 reviews

More filters
Sort order
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
At the risk of sounding TOO enthusiastic, this series changed my life. The heroine, Alanna, is one of my favorite characters, from any book. Alanna is a girl who wants to become a knight, except that girls aren't allowed. So she disguises herself as a boy and sets out to become one anyway. Alanna is an incredible character. When I was younger, I basically wanted to be her when I grew up. She's stubborn, determined, and incredibly brave, but also human--she makes mistakes, she has struggles, and ...more
Debbie Zapata
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: saturdaymx
This four-in-one volume book contains Tamora Pierce's books featuring Alanna of Torbald, a girl who dreams of becoming a knight. She sets out at a young age to meet her destiny, disguising herself as a boy in order to learn how to live the life she knows she is meant to live, and eventually lives proudly and confidently as a lady knight.

Alanna's story is fast-moving, exciting, and well-told. One reason I don't like to read many books in a series format is that there are always pages or even chap
One day, while working at my middle school library, I stumbled across the first of this series. The fact that the girl/boy on the cover had a purple glow around her fascinated me, so I picked it up, judged it by it's cover (I was still doing that back then) and started reading.

Then I picked up books 2-4 and took them all home the next day. And zoomed through them! I couldn't believe it... this was the most amazing series I had ever read! Knights, and disguises, and coming of age, and magic and
i enjoyed reading these, but found the main character very shallow in her some of her choices. Tamora Pierce is haled (not sure if i spelled this correctly) as a feminist and a good author for young women to read. But, if being a feminist means that you pick your 'partners' in your teens and more than one before considering marriage, i don't agree. it was almost like that aspect was put in abstractly with no other purpose than to push the author's feminist views. The first of these books are rat ...more
Narrative Muse
– Enjoying Song of the Lioness for ten years and counting –

Tamora Pierce was recommended to my sister. She devoured all of Ms Pierce’s books and I, as a dutiful younger sister, quickly followed suit.

I love Pierce’s characters, especially those in The Song of the Lioness series. Every year I reread the series, and even after a decade, I love the books as much as I ever did.

I want to spend my special reading time with the characters of The Song of the Lioness quartet. I want to talk to them after
Rajkumar Pagey
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
All Alanna of Terbond wanted to be was a Knight. Or so I thought.

1. Alanna: ★★★★★
2. In the Hand of the Goddess: ★★★★
3. The Woman Who Rides Like a Man: ★★★
4. Lioness Rampant: ★★

I absolutely fell in love with the first book of the series.
After that, it slowly became a chore.

It is a good series. Just not one for me.
Kelsey Brennan
The Song of the Lioness quartet is the adventurous story of one girl's journey to overcome the obstacles facing her, become a valiant knight, and save Tortall from conquest. Alanna douses her female identity to begin her training in Alanna: The First Adventure, and when she gains squire status in In the Hand of the Goddess, her growing abilities make her a few friends -- and many enemies. Books 3 and 4 complete Alanna's adventure and secure her legend, with the new knight errant taking on desert ...more
Oriolidae M.
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: (Young) fans of badass girls in fantasy setting
Alanna: The First Adventure is the perfect book for the young teen girl. Seeing as I’m nearing my mid-twenties (no more teen demographic, sigh), my opinion might be a bit harsher.

The story is fast-paced, full of magic and knights, handsome men, thieves and animals. The female protagonist, Alanna, is —well, close to perfect: chosen by the gods, magical, pretty, martially talented, smart, stubborn, loyal and kind. The bad guy is easily predicted and the love interests also cornered down quickly.
Allyce Cameron
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m sure I sound like so many other reviewers of this series but these books changed my life. Tamora Pierce is the reason I started reading fantasy, and probably the reason I read so much now. Twelve year old me just loved the idea that girls can be whatever they want to be and don’t have to let men dictate how to behave. Thinking now it’s probably when feminist me was born as well.

Reading this as an adult is very different. I can clearly see now that this was written for younger teens and it s
Candi Criddle
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I read these books when I was a kid, or at least the first two because that was all the library had. Cross-dressing to become a knight, boyfriends, horses, it was about all my 11 year old self could handle. I checked them out over and over thinking they were pretty risque, (she mentions her period). I wanted to read them again to see if they were as good as I remember, and to find out the end of the story that I have hung onto for 20 years.
The answer is yes and no. They aren't quite as thick and
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
As with many things, I experienced Alanna's story much more throroughly and clearly the second time. I was around twelve years old when I first read these colorful novels, and they did much to shape my teen years and, I expect, the rest of my days.
My opinions have shifted, as comes with my growingly critical mind. I now favor George over Jonathan, and see new depths and faults in Alanna's character development that before I blindly accepted. I now see why my friends often complained of its bla
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These books (along with the Wild Magic series) were and are my favorite comfort books. Alanna is an incredible heroine! She is brave, strong, perseveres, and isn't perfect (gasp!). She's short, stocky and has a wicked temper. I love imperfect heroines, not just ones that think they are. She owns her sexuality as well and is never ever painted in a negative light because of it. In a male-dominated society, she succeeds because of her grit and determination. I reread these books every couple of mo ...more
Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the most part, this is a fun feminist fantasy read. I like the heroine and the story on the whole. I could have done without the white savior subplots and the abrupt and inexplicable change in one of the main character's personalities in the 3rd book for no other reason than the author wanted the story to go in a different direction, and turning an overall pretty cool person into an absolute douchenozzle was the most convenient means to achieve that end. If I were 13, though, this would prob ...more
Lisa Etchepare
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reread these this weekend after I found myself at my parents house with nothing to read. While I was at first annoyed by all the exclamation points, I quickly found myself remembering why I had so fallen in love with these books in middle school. Alanna is such a badass, a total precursor to Katniss and Katsa, and George, well, I think I'm still in love with George.

A definite thumbs up for the series that was my gateway, even before Harry Potter, into the amazingly wonderful world of lit.

I c
Nov 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really like this series. It is full of interesting characters, adventure, love, etc. Tamora Pierce created a fascinating world. And this story sets the basis for the other series in this world. I enjoyed rereading this series. Now on to reread more of her books.

Content: a few swear words, some violence, premarital sex mentioned
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember skimming through these shortly after I read the Immortals series. I liked the quartet, but Alanna didn't speak to me as much as Daine did (maybe it was difficult to imagine her as younger, too. :p). I definitely enjoyed Tortall, and getting to look at some of the characters in a slightly different light.
Jessica Rossana
The first time I read this series, I was twelve years old. Now, years later, they still remain among my all-time favorite and I re-read them every chance I get (at least once a year). These books are for the dreamers who believe in magic and in the power of their dreams. It is a wonderful coming-of-age story and resonates not just with young girls but the young at heart as well.
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, re-read, favorite-ya
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy-sf
The Song of the Lioness Quartet (Song of the Lioness, #1-4)
by Tamora Pierce
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2018
This book holds all four novels in the series of the same name: 'Alanna: The First Adventure', 'In the Hand of the Goddess', 'The Woman Who Rides Like a Man', and 'Lioness Rampant'. So that I didn’t get saturated by over-exposure to this world created by Tamora Pierce, I spaced out the individual books so that I finished one in December 2017, one in March 2018, one in May 2018 and the last at the end of July 2018. This was enough time in between each book for a break whilst still being able to r ...more
Ragon Duffy
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to count these as a single book instead of the 4 separate books they are for simplicity's sake and because I read them as a whole, not individually.

The summer I was 9 I check out Alanna from the library every week and read it obsessively over the summer. While I always enjoyed fantasy books as a kid like the Hobbit this was the first fantasy book I loved deeply. Finally one that centered a girl doing amazing, heroic stuff and used her grit and determination to succeed in a world that
I'm trying to work out why I haven't enjoyed this too much. It's not that I am just reading it as an adult and therefore outside the target audience - I'd read one of the Circle books as a child, and none of the Immortals books, and I quite enjoyed both series (although I doubt I'll reread them now).

I've re-read Protector of the Small over and over again since I was a child, that being the only series I possessed of Pierce's. While I read books one and two of the Lioness from the library, I didn
Octavia Cade
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I actually read and reviewed all volumes in this collection separately, so this is basically just a note for my own records. The three star rating is an average of what I gave the individual entries, all of which were three star reads themselves apart from The Woman Who Rides Like A Man, which only got two due to sudden and inconsistent characterisation of two of the supporting characters, who turn into jerks for no reason. On the whole, though, it's an enjoyable enough series, and the real stre ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the first three of these books when I was young and adored them. Alanna was my hero.
However, I never got my hands on the fourth book - until now! I saw this compilation in a charity shop and decided I should really find out what happened to Alanna after all this time.

I was a bit worried that they wouldn't stand up to re-reading after all this time, but they absolutely did. I still really enjoyed all the stories and adventures, not to mention the characters - who are heroic, but also flaw
Thomas Peters
May 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Going to keep this short and to the point without the flair that I would do when I write.
I read these books and others from Tamora Pierce when I was in the 4th grade. Now after years of not touching them, I thought that it would be a bittersweet remembrance to read through them again. The first book started out strong but the plot and the characters get flatter and flatter as you go through this cycle. the ending was rushed and there was no character development that would of glued me to the pag
Simon Turner
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lent this book by a friend who told me it's one of their favourites. So I had high expectations going in. I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed. I thought the story was well written and the action was well done. The main character 'Alanna' was really likable with a nice mixture of wit and stubbornness to make her enjoyable to read about through the collection of the 4 books. The only complaint I would have is that it wasn't clear to me how much time had past throughout the story. But that' ...more
Georgina Knight
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tamora Pierce is awe inspiring in her ability to draw you into her world and paints amazingly clear pictures with just enough room for interpretation. Her character of Alanna is an inspiration in her self-assurance and determination. This book is perfect for confident independent readers as well as for shared reading, and is accessible to both boys and girls. I definitely recommend any of Ms Pierce's books but the Lioness Quartet is a must read for any fantasy and sword-and-sorcery genre lovers. ...more
Krista Stevens
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: girls, fantasy
Thoroughly enjoyed this series of a young girl who rebels against her society's strict segregation of male and female roles, then eventually comes "out" as a female warrior and has many adventures. She's not perfect - she's full of doubt and sometimes misses obvious cues (just like us), but she has a strong group of characters to journey with.

She does sleep with every guy she is interested in - Pierce has some great comments on this part of Alanna's character - I suggest you look that up.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I remember the first book well, and I enjoyed reading it again so many years later. The rest of the books, however...I had close to zero recollection of reading them. Those didn’t stand up nearly as well upon rereading, either. The romance and angst is a bit corny to me today. As is the way the heroine Mary Sues her way through a lot of conflict. But, you know, younger me loved and needed corny storylines and Mary Sues back then. I’d still recommend the first book to young adult readers.
Rachel Worthington
This series launches you into one of my favorite fictional realms. It’s simply a wonderful story in the world of knights that focuses on a strong female character. These books are a fun way to kick back and fall in love with this world. Warning if you read these you won’t stop until you’ve finished all the others series that take off from this one.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Only read one Tamora Pierce book, which is her best? 2 3 Oct 31, 2017 07:28PM  
Jonathan, Liam or George??? 14 56 Feb 01, 2015 01:22PM  
Is this series worth a read? 4 12 Aug 30, 2014 06:45PM  
Alanna word game 4 7 Mar 04, 2014 01:28PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1-4)
  • The Abhorsen Trilogy Box Set (Abhorsen, #1-3)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Tamora Pierce: " The Immortals " (Genre Fiction Sightlines)
  • The Moon Riders (Moon Riders, #1)
  • Page (Tamora Pierce Novel)
  • The Worlds of Chrestomanci (Chrestomanci, #1-4)
  • Wolf Tower (Claidi Journals, #1)
  • The Juniper Game
  • The Time Quartet Box Set (Time Quartet, #1-4)
  • The Woven Path (Tales from the Wyrd Museum, #1)
  • Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2)
  • The Dark Is Rising Sequence
  • Sign of the Dove
  • The Chronicles of Prydain Boxed Set (The Chronicles of Prydain, #1-5)
  • His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3)
  • The Darkangel Trilogy
  • Queen's Own (Valdemar: Arrows of the Queen #1-3)
See similar books…
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)
  • The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3)
  • Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, #4)