Friday, August 5, 2011

Series Review: Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

Author: Tamora Pierce
Books Included: Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, and Lioness Rampant
Publisher: Random House
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
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 tribesmen in The Woman Who Rides like a Man and seeking out the powerful Dominion Jewel in Lioness Rampant.

A must-read for Pierce's loyal followers and a perfect starting point for readers not yet familiar with her work, this boxed set is fantasy writing at its best. Pierce's gifted writing -- and her knack for creating heroines unafraid to challenge the status quo -- shines brightly in this Lioness set, taking it to the highest ranks, just like Alanna herself. Shana Taylor
My Review:
These books are by far among my favorite. Pierce is so good at creating lovable characters and putting them in challenging situations. Unfortunately, I don't think we see enough of these sorts of novels today. Alanna is a strong, forceful character who actively finds solutions to her problems. If she doesn't like something or if she wants to do something, she finds a way to fix it and get her way. A lot of more recent young adult books that I've read have the main character moping and whining about how things are difficult, but these ones have the characters going out and doing something about it, which I love.

Really, what these books are about is following your dreams and helping your friends; two messages that can never be rated highly enough. All the characters are well-developed and lovable (even if you love to hate them). And these novels are written in such a way that you learn about them along with Alanna, so her friends become your friends and her enemies become your enemies. I have to say that George is my all-time favorite character. (Yes, I have a thing for master thieves. Don't judge ;P) I can never get enough of him in Pierce's novels.

Included in this series is a lot of humor, which is something else that I look for in a good young adult fantasy series. I cannot count how many times I've laughed out loud while reading this series and gotten weird looks from people around me.

What else can I say? If you haven't read this yet, go read it!

Overall Rating: 5/5