In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce

Alanna has come farther than she ever expected - she's advanced so far in her knights training that she has been chosen as squire to the prince of Tortall, Jonathan. But that honor only comes as a surprise to Alanna as Jonathan has become one of her best friends and she has proven time and again that she would do anything for the brave prince. Alanna soon discovers how complicated their relationship becomes as she slowly matures not only into an excellent fighter but a woman as well (which of course she must constantly hide).

Alanna experiences so much in this book - her first battle, sorcery training, a little romance, and even court intrigues. But as she slowly begins to suspect that a crafty sorcerer is not only after the crown and Jonathan's life but her own life as well Alanna must decide where her true loyalties lie and how far she will go to discover the truth. In all honesty, I was a little confused by Alanna's hesitancy to divulge her suspicions, but Pierce lived up to her narrative and explained all nicely and to my liking.

Book two in Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness series was just as wonderfully crafted as the first. In this volume, Alanna becomes more comfortable in her own skin as she makes choices that have lasting effects on herself and those she loves. All my favorites were back in this wonderful little book: the Prince, George, Gary and even her brother Thom, who gets some much deserved screen time. As always, Alanna's can-do personality competely won this reader over and had me turning the pages faster than ever. In Pierce's unassuming style, I've truly fell in love with the courageous and loving Alanna - just like everyone around her does.

reading order:
~ Alanna: The First Adventure
~ In the Hand of the Goddess
~ The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
~ Lioness Rampant

Summer Reading Blitz update: 13/30

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