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The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (The Song of the Lioness)

(Part of the Song of the Lioness (#3) Series and Tortall Series)

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Book Overview

Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert at the edge of Tortall in this third book in Tamora Pierce's Margaret A. Edwards Award-winning young adult series--now with a new... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A powerful woman and some difficult choices

I read the Alanna books for the first time when I was ten years old, 17 years ago. Ever since I've read them about once a year, and I've never gotten bored with them. Alanna provided a complicated feminine hero when I desperately longed to see one. They are excellent books, and although I like the series that have come later in the world of Tortall, these remain my favorites. First, read these books in order; it's definitely the best way to experience Alanna's story. And stop reading this review - I don't want to spoil the experience. Just go buy the first two. Second, this book is going to be slower than the first two. And that makes sense. Alanna has been through a traumatic experience; she killed a man, arch-enemy or no, and much of the book is spent dealing with her own personal demons over that fact. So, that means fewer straight forward over-arching battles, and more talking. For those who felt that Alanna cried too much in this book, I would say wouldn't you? I liked the fact that Alanna could be portrayed as a strong heroine who could be an amazing warrior and still be feminine, a strong willed, intelligent woman who could still feel emotions and even sometimes got scared, jealous, or sad. Alanna's is an adult now and she's carving her place in the world. That's complicated stuff. Personally, I found that interesting. Since people have expressed concern about the relatively mature content of the books, I thought I should address it: In regard to the romances in Alanna's life (an oft discussed topic on this page): Alanna is not actually that promiscuous. Over the course of four books she has relationships with exactly three men. And she is perfectly ethical, although not adhering to the Christian concept of no sex before marriage. But, folks, Alanna is not a Christian. She's a polytheist with the Mother Goddess, Mithros, and the Black God as just some of her deities. And even in her world she is a rulebreaker; she crosses boundaries all the time. She loves where she will and she does so with respect for herself and her partner. She has the power. And for those who couldn't understand why she would turn down an offer of marriage that would limit her freedom, they haven't been paying attention. Alanna is very human, and her reactions aren't always tactful or necessarily reasonable when her forbidable temper is up, but she makes her way as best she can. Just like the rest of us. So what if it teaches young girls about responsible sex (they specifically mention birth control through that "charm" of hers). I personally see nothing wrong with that. Is this sophisticated stuff for kids? Well, yes. But the book is not explicit. I read it at ten and although I understood what was happening, I didn't really understand the more adult aspects of Alanna's relationships with Jonathan and George until I was older. Most importantly, Alanna gave me something I could hang onto - the idea that I could be a powerful woman and have my own adventures. S

Alanna's First Adventure As A True Knight

SONG OF THE LIONESS: BOOK III - THE WOMAN WHO RIDES LIKE A MAN, takes us through one-year of Alanna of Trebond's life, from shortly after she is knighted at the age of eighteen, until the one-year anniversary of her knighting, at the age of nineteen. Newly knighted Alanna of Trebond is finally enjoying showing the world that she is a woman, and not a man, as she begins her journey through the vast desert of Tortall. There, however, she is captured by vicious desert dwellers, who have challenged her to a duel. A duel to the death that will prove whether she is worthy of being invited into the tribe, or killed in battle. Alanna receives a triumph from the battle, though she is headed for tough times. Times that will test her in everything she attempts. Before long, Alanna's mythic fate comes into play, and Alanna is soon the first female shaman of the tribe, training three amateur sorcerers to follow in her footsteps, and become shamans, like herself. But when one of her young students succumbs to greed and tragedy, Alanna realizes that she must fight to change the customs of the desert tribes, or tragedy will strike all of Tortall. As if that weren't enough for her to handle, Alanna must also make a choice: marry Prince Jonathan, and spend her days trying to give him an heir, or live alone as the knight she has strived so hard to become. I will be the first to admit that I never would have imagined that I could enjoy a series about a female knight so much, but Tamora Pierce has made me a fan for life. Her SONG OF THE LIONESS series has quickly become one of my favorites, and I was enthralled by the outcome of this book. It is wonderful to be able to see how Alanna is growing up, and quite a pleasure to accompany her on her journeys as she makes her way through the lands of Tortall. Her hard-headed nature, and sometimes sour disposition make her an appealing, strong female character, and the choices she makes will appeal to readers, both male and female. An enthralling adventure novel that will be eaten up by fantasy fans. Erika Sorocco Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

I liked Book 3 in Alanna's story the best of all. I did read The Immortals first, but I still loved how Alanna and George got together. I think that the third book contains the most magic, which is so cool, and it also placed Alanna in an entirely new environment. I love the Bahzir tribes and their customs and magic. Also, in this book, Alanna really comes face-to-face with herself for the first time, and the last book in this quartet is very obscure and unexplained. I think the end of her relationship with Jon was for the best, and it shows that just because you love someone, it doesn't mean you are meant for each other. George's romance of her provides so sharp a contrast that even an inexperienced reader should be able to tell that these two belong with one another. This used to be my least favorite of Alanna's adventures, but my opinion has changed and if you didn't like it very much, I recommend you give it another read. You'll fing it grows on you.


This book may have less action than the others, but it's far from being the worst in the series! Actually, I don't think there even is a worst in the series, they're all so great! In this books, Alanna stops being Alan, and starts being Alanna, at last she begins to find out who she is. She becomes a shaman, and in doing that she stops fearing her magic so much. She finally realizes how in love with George she is (maybe as much in love with him as I am...), and decides that Jon isn't the right guy for her after all. The only thing I didn't like about this book is Jon. I know that's the wat it has to be, but I loved him in the first two, and in this one he turned out to be such a loser! Unusually enough, he was a lot nicer in the fourth book, but I guess becoming king changed him a bit. As for the.. um, not so appropriate for little kids (you know what I mean...) bits, well, this isn't a book for little kids! Alanna realizes that she and Jon only owrked for each other in one way, and it wasn't enough for marriage. And if this book disapointed you, well, don't stop readin', the fourth one's the best!

Here is Alanna at her most believeable, and entertaining.

I have been reading the Lioness Quartet since I was five years old. Atleast, that's as far back as I can remember them being a part of my life. With my nineteenth birthday swiftly approaching, that's fourteen years. Recently I realized that I am not alone in my love of this series. In fact I am in the company of countless others; even a few who have been readers as long as I have. As the years have passed my opinions of each of these books has changed. But one opinion that has remained consistent is the level at which I place this third installment of Alanna'a life--a cut above the rest.The Woman Who Rides Like A Man outshines the rest of the Quartet as a sun does a candle. Not only is Alanna moved out into the world and facing the challenges she is to struggle against as a woman and a knight, but she grows up and grapples with decisions and indecisions that are familiar to many "new adult" must confront. She makes choices that do not leave her, or many readers, happy--her choice against marrying the prince. But, they are choices that allow her to remain true to her character. The author chose to keep Alanna real, as opposed to selling out to the desires of her readers.In this story Alanna finally leaves the palace, as herself. She has shed the facade of Alan and dives into exploring who "Alanna" actually is. She acheives this goal, and many others, in her life amongst the Bazhir. This tribe of roving desert dwellers is yet another of the book's accomplishments. The Bazhir were intruiging when they were introduced in Alanna: the First Adventure, and they continue to amaze me. I eagerly read on about their culture, their realtions and the details of their lives. I find the defining role that the prince plays in their religion, as the Voice, to be fascinating. This is an acheivement of the imagination--to create an entirely new culture within the context of imagined country. Watching Alanna struggle in this culture, which is alien to her in many ways, is to watch her grow more and more into who she is.Perhaps the most poignant part of The Woman Who Rides Like A Man is witnessing Alanna's realisation that being a knight, her life's dream, isn't as exiciting and fulfilling as she has thought it to be. She must come to terms with the reality that there won't be a wicked knight at every crossroads for her to fight. She must search out and find her own meaning in her life and her knighthood; it will not simply land in her lap. This is the aspect of the book that allows it to be the most real in the series.I recommend The Woman Who Rides Like A Man above the others in the series. Although they all remain my favorite reading, this is the one I can turn to again and again, each time finding a new level in the story. Between exploring who she is as a woman and a knight, creating a place for herself outside the walls of the palace, fending off an unexpected offer of marriage, and coming to grips with the less than exciting life of a
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