Lioness Rampant is the last book in a quartet called Songs of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce. I started reading this series in September of 2008 so it seems very fitting and kismet and all that jazz that I finished the quartet last week, a little over one year later. I began reading the Lioness quartet after reading the books Pierce wrote later about Alanna’s daughter Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. It wasn’t until after reading these books that I realized they were not the first in a series, but rather the last. So I tracked down the first book, Alanna: The First Adventure and began reading it.
I have noticed a trend with all of Tamora Pierce’s books – they all take me awhile to get into, despite catching my interest, the first half of the book tends to drag on forever. The last book in particular, I picked up and put down several times before actually reading it. But then, about 1/3 to halfway through, the plot seems to pick up and I cannotputitdown. Every time. So on the one hand, it’s a bit annoying that each book seems to have this problem (for me at least) but I do end up really liking each book, Lioness Rampant being no exception.
The Songs of the Lioness quartet tells the story of the first female knight in Tortall, a land imagined by the author. It was a long road to Alanna finding acceptance in her chosen profession but by book four she is established and renowned. Children in Tortall play Lioness in the streets and in general, everyone loves her. This book was mainly about Alanna learning to love and accept herself, all of her. She has struggled over the years to really accept both the female aspect of her life and the warrior aspect – how to combine the two and find love with someone who will accept her for who she really is – all of her.
Of course, having read the Trickster books I already knew who she would end up with (I won’t spoil it for you) but it was still fun to see that progress and see how she ends up with the future father of her children. She had several prospects and all seemed to have their plusses and minuses. I enjoyed seeing how she made her decision and watching her grow into the woman she is meant to become. And don’t worry – it’s not all romance. There is a lot of excitement and adventure mixed in, probably more so than the romance. In the final book Alanna fights old enemies from her past and conquers some new exciting battles, too, as Prince Jon prepares to take the throne.
I definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes a good fantasy story and enjoys the young adult genre but I will warn you that there is a fair amount of sexuality at least discussed in these books and while it isn’t graphic, I think it worth mentioning in case you have a younger daughter who is interested in reading the series. The first book starts out fairly tame, but it’s definitely a coming of age story with all that that entails.
And now that I’ve finished the Lioness quartet I’ve discovered there are even more books in what is apparently an entire Tortallan series. Next up to conquer (if I dare) will be the Immortals quartet, which starts with Wild Magic.
Have you read any books by Tamora Pierce? What did you think of them?