4 of 5 Stars
Beka Cooper is a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost’s Guard, and she’s been assigned to the Lower City. It’s a tough beat that’s about to get tougher, as Beka’s limited ability to communicate with the dead clues her in to an underworld conspiracy. Someone close to Beka is using dark magic to profit from the Lower City’s criminal enterprises–and the result is a crime wave the likes of which the Provost’s Guard has never seen before.
#11-14 The Song of the Lioness Quartet ~~ Tamora Pierce
4 1/2 out of 5 Stars
“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”
And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins. one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.
“I don’t want to fall in love. I just want to be a warrior maiden.”
Still disguised as a boy, Alanna becomes a squire to none other than the prince of the realm. Prince Jonathan is not only Alanna’s liege lord, he is also her best friend — and one of the few who knows the secret of her true identity. But when a mysterious sorcerer threatens the prince’s life, it will take all of Alanna’s skill, strength, and magical power to protect him — even at the risk of revealing who she really is…
Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s second adventure continues the saga of a girl who dares to follow her dreams — and the magical destiny that awaits her.
A knight at last, Alanna of Trebond heads out to seek adventure in the desert of Tortall. Captured by desert tribesmen, she is forced to prove herself in a magical duel to the death. But her real challenge doesn’t come until after she wins. As the first female shaman, Alanna must fight to change the ancient traditions of the stubborn desert tribes — for their own sake and for the sake of all Tortall.
Having achieved her dream of becoming the first female knight errant, Alanna of Trebond is not sure what to do next. Perhaps being a knight errant is not all that Alanna needs….But Alanna must push her uncertainty aside when a new challenge arises. She must recover the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem with enormous power for good — but only in the right hands. And she must work quickly. Tortall is in great danger, and Alanna’s archenemy, Duke Roger, is back — and more powerful than ever. In this final book of the Song of the Lioness quartet, Alanna discovers that she indeed has a future worthy of her mythic past — both as a warrior and as a woman.
Ana Says: Alanna: The First Adventure was published in 1983 when I was just a toddler. It wasn’t until twenty years later that, through the wonders of the Science Fiction Book Club, I found this omnibus collection. I tore through all four books in a day or so and then immediately ordered every other Tamora Pierce omnibus collection they offered. Tammy writes strong female characters who aren’t afraid to get dirty and play with the boys. She doesn’t shy away from sex and female sexuality, but she also doesn’t punch you in the face with it. Alanna is strong and independent, but she also asks for help from others (usually when she digs herself in too deep). Tammy is one of my favorite authors and I re-read her books every couple of years. Nearly thirty years after the first book was published, they’re still relevant and still entertaining.