Upon receiving this last book in Tamora Pierce's fabulous Song of the Lioness quartet, I must admit I was worried. Okay, not truly worried, but nervous that Pierce wouldn't be able to address my many questions and thoughts properly in this last book. Then I noticed the book was over 400 pages and I knew Pierce had given herself plenty of space to discuss each facet of Alanna's story in the detail it deserved. I was not disappointed - shame on me for even doubting.
Alanna of Trebond, the only female Knight of Tortall, has achieved her dream. She has gained her knights shield, she has had numerous adventures, and her fame with sword and magic have spread all over the country. I just loved it when everyone is talking about how the little girls in the streets play "Alanna and Duke Roger!" Let's hear it for female role models! But her Gift keeps warning her that all is not right with her friends in beloved Tortall. In order to save Tortall from dissension and sorcery, Alanna must obtain the Jewel of Dominion, the one thing that, if used wisely, can have great power for good. Several of Alanna's old enemies resurface (ones I had thought were gone for good) are they prove to be more deadly and conniving than ever and it will take everything Alanna and her friends have to combat these old foes.
Alanna's faithful friends are never far from the action including the much changed Prince Jonathan, Myles (her adopted father), gruff Coram, her cat Faithful, and of course the lovable George. She is even joined on this adventure by some new faces - a Shang warrior and an outcast princess - who brought additional depth to Alanna's character. I was so pleased with Alanna's choices in this book - she truly proves herself to be a strong woman and a knight and I couldn't have enjoyed reading her story more.
~ Alanna: The First Adventure
~ In the Hand of the Goddess
~ The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
~ Lioness Rampant
Summer Reading Blitz update: 23/30