2013 Reads: Twenty-Seven {Lioness Rampant - Tamora Pierce}

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What a beautiful, fitting, and haunting ending to a fantastic series.

While I might have wished for a little different of an ending, I cannot have imagined anything better than this one.

Nicely done, Tamora Pierce. It's no wonder this series (as well as all those that follow The Song of the Lioness) are already classics within the genre.

Also, warning: this will most certainly have spoilers. I can't help it with this review. I just can't. 


Alanna of Trebond has achieved her dream of being a knight - and the first female knight errant of the realm. And now she doesn't know what to do with herself. She has spent time among the Bazhir and has spent time in court, but she's still not sure that all of what she has done is enough.

Then Alanna learns that the Dominion Jewell, a stone of myth and legend, is real and has a legendary power to do good in the hands of the right ruler. Alanna is determined to get the jewell and to return it to Tortall for the glory of her king and to quiet all those who say she is not suited to be a knight. However, time is running short for both Alanna and Tortall - Duke Roger, Alanna's  nemesis, has returned from the grave and is more dangerous than ever.

In this conclusion to the Song of the Lioness Quartet Alanna pushes herself and discovers that she is worthy of all her training and the admiration of Tortall. As a warrior and as a woman, Alanna is a knight worthy of praise.   


I really loved this book as a conclusion to Alanna's story.

It's refreshing to read a book about a heroine who has so much more going on in her life than her relationships. I feel like so many of the books with strong female characters still are so heavily centered around who they love and the story is only complete when they've found their one true love and lived hapily(ish) ever after. Yes, Alanna ends this book with her mind and heart settled on one man (also, as an aside, what a beautiful job handling all the men in her life!), but that's not the reason her story ended. And it's not the reason the story takes place. You could cut out the last chapter when she decides on who to love and you'd still have an amazing story. The love story? Just icing on a beautifully crafted cake.

Can we please go over how I want to be Alanna? To go out in the world on quests and explorations? To travel to new and dangerous lands and to meet new and interesting people? To be a knight? Goodness Alanna is awesome. The story of the stone and her adventure to get there? And Liam. I thought Liam was the most interesting character in this story - I just wish we got more about him and from him. There are so many questions still in my brain about him.

And the deaths. (note: real spoilers start here) OH!MY!GOD! Her brother? Thom? It was awful - I totally thought that there would be some way to bring him back or avoid his death. And, boy was I wrong. This one hit me pretty hard because I am not really sure he was ever given the opportunity to redeem himself. And I think he was owed that - but, maybe, that was the point? That he did something wrong and sometimes you're not able to fix all your wrongs? And Liam? We don't even get an honest death scene for him, no chance t say goodbye or to see why and where he died. I just feel like I got gipped out of the end of his story. And then there was Faithful. I had to listen to that passage a few times before I believed it and I almost had to pull over when I was listening to this part because I was so upset. He was such a favorite of mine - I mean, what little girl didn't want a cat that could talk to them (and them alone) when they were a child? Heck! I still want a cat that can talk to me. Faithful's death was a lot like Hedwig's in a way. It was a way to show that no one was safe. That when defending good in the face of evil there will be deaths. But still, so sad.

I appreciate that it wasn't neatly tied up with a pretty bow and you're left to believe that life goes on without a hitch afterwards. Thank you for that, Ms. Pierce.

This is a great series - particularly for younger girls. It's all girls! rock! without the but! i! need! a! boy! to! rock! but still with an element of love. Alanna is a great role model for younger girls. You should all read this one - it's a classic, I'm sure. 


Title: Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness #4)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, 
Medium: Audio CD (5 disks)
Publisher: CD: Listening Library; Book: Simon Pulse
Date Read: 8 August 2013
Source: Borrowed from the Library
Recommended For: Middle School +, YA Lovers, Fantasy Lovers, History Lovers
Challenges: Goodreads

First Line: On a March afternoon a knight and a man-at-arms reached the gate of the Marenite city of Berat. 
Favorite Line: Either I've turned stupid, or life's turned hard. 
Last Line: "Come on Lioness. We can tell your tribe were betrothed." [whited out, for spoiler's sake]

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