April 19, 2011

Guided by Fate • In the Hand of the Goddess

In the Hand of the Goddess book cover
In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
Series: Song of the Lioness #2
Previous Books: Alanna: The First Adventure
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 6, 2005
Source/Format: Borrowed from Macky || e-book

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 sorceror 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... 

Again, I'm going to begin by saying that I love Tamora Pierce and her books.

In the Hand of the Goddess is the second installment of the adventures of Alanna of Trebond, and we find ourselves seeing Alanna a little more grown up from the last book. This book contains more about Alanna's adventures, filled with just as much charm, action and suspense as the first, if not moreso.

One of the best parts of the book is we find that, the older she gets, the more Alanna also longs to embrace her feminine side (whereas in the first book, she really didn't want to think about being a girl in any sense). Once she hits puberty, it's as if she realizes that it's also okay to want to be a woman and thus, we see a transformation in her personality and her thoughts on womanhood. Personally, I like that she no longer denies that part of her personality and also demonstrates how you can manage to be both a woman and a knight (a more manly of careers, to be honest).

Also, because I have the BIGGEST crush on Prince Jon, I was actually excited when they got together. Of course, I already knew they were going to, but still, I loved it when they did. I always squeal with delight when I get to that part of the book. (This is not to say that I don't love George - it makes me sad when he professes he loves her and she runs off.)

My favorite character in this entire book, however, is definitely Faithful. Faithful is Alanna's newest pet, a cat with eyes as violet as her own, which I think is brilliant. Plus, I would have loved to have a sidekick like Faithful, who I could talk to and who could understand me implicitly.

A lot of characters from the first book also return - Myles of Olau, Gary, Raoul, for instance - and we see more of Thom, Alanna's twin in this book. (In fact, another of my favorite moments involves Thom giving Alanna a shield that maintains the crest of Trebond... until the day she reveals her gender, during which it will morph into a lioness.)

Also important - Duke Roger, our villainous "friend" from the first book is finally defeated... and by Alanna herself, in a duel. I think the duel between has to have been one of my favorite parts of the book. It's not very often we see a female kicking butt like that.

All in all, In the Hand of the Goddess may not be my favorite amongst the quartet, but it's well worth a read for more insight into the series (and, well, if you have a crush on Prince Jon!).


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