Sunday, June 30, 2013

You're Gonna Hear Me Roar

Song of the Lioness quartet - Tamora Pierce
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 6, 2005
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

There’s nothing quite like the joy of revisiting a book series that you absolutely love. Last month, PierceFest provided me with the perfect excuse to re-read the Song of the Lioness Quartet. As with my previous experiencing with these books, I fell in love with Alanna and her epic adventures! There were daring feats of bravery, a clash of wills, some extremely entertaining friendships, a dash of magic and, of course, a bit of romance. The Song of the Lioness Quartet will always come highly recommended from me, as it was my gateway series into the wonderful world of Tamora Pierce.

[I’ve talked about these four novels individually on the blog before (though they were early reviews from me and thus, a bit spoilery), so this post is more of a general one about the series.]

Alanna is an incredibly courageous character, as she makes a habit of facing difficult things head-on and not shying away from anything that appears too hard. I admired her drive to succeed, to achieve what she wanted with her life. And I also loved that she wasn’t cowed by the fact that she was training to be a knight alongside boys who were probably bigger and stronger than she was! At the beginning, she’s fiercely determined to ignore her female qualities, especially if they got in the way of her training. But it’s really cool to see how she eventually embraces both being a warrior and a lady as the series continues. She’s definitely an admirable person, and the way she’s written is just so delightful and true.

Each novel feels like a successive chapter in her story. We witness her at the beginning of her journey during Alanna: The First Adventure, where she learns what it truly is to train for knighthood. And then we join her as she rises in the ranks, passing all her tests, including one final unprecedented one in In the Hand of the Goddess. In The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Alanna adventures into the desert and stays a while with the Bazhir and in the last, Lioness Rampant, she goes on the craziest of quests and also faces the greatest evil she’s ever had to face. Pierce was clearly able to showcase Alanna’s growth and transformation over these books, and it felt very much like I was reading about Alanna’s life story as I proceeded from book one to book four.  

The Song of the Lioness Quartet boasts a fun, magical story, complete with intense action scenes, quieter contemplative ones and silly, sarcastic one-liners from various characters. There’s so much for me to gush about when it comes to these books, but it mostly boils down to how Tamora Pierce has crafted an excellent main character and a memorable story. If you haven’t read this series, I insist you must. And if you have, I encourage you to do a re-read. It certainly never gets old for me when I do, and I end up loving it even more!

10 comments:

  1. Such a FABULOUS series. I love it so much. Tamora Pierce was my favorite author for such a long time and I still love her! Alanna, Daine, and Kel are my favorites, and I've re-read their stories to shreds! Great series to spotlight, Alexa!

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    1. She's still one of my favorite authors EVER! It's my life's goal to meet her in person one day, perhaps in September at the National Book Festival. I love those three + the Emelan kids... and pretty much just all her characters.

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  2. ALANNA. You are part of the reason I started the series in the first place!

    Now to read the last book so I can reread them with you next time! ;)

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    1. YES! The last book is one of my favorites, because everything wraps up so well, and there's a lot of adventure and magic and mayhem in it. You'll like it, for sure!

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  3. I love this series. I feel like I sometimes get her series confused in my brain, so I definitely need to reread them (which, I know, I was supposed to be doing with you--I'm so sorry!), but the one thing I'll never be confused about is how awesome Tamora Pierce's books are, and what great characters she has created.

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    1. I think you definitely should re-read them! They're not very long, so it doesn't take a lot of time to read through them again. And yes, I completely agree - Tamora Pierce is AWESOME.

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  4. I remember first gobbling up this series when I was about twelve. I loved these books (and still do). They were what really pulled me into the "epic fantasy" sub genre. I also think Alanna was also one of the first female characters I'd come across who was so strong/tough/courageous. I remember going through something difficult around the time of reading those books and deciding to face it head on like Alanna does countless times in her adventures. I think it's a testament to Tamora Pierce that she created a character that inspired me so. ^.^ Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm so happy that you were able to read this series at such a young age! It's great that it inspired you so, and I'm so glad you shared that story with me. I read these books for the first time in college, thanks to my husband-to-be, and fell in LOVE. I gobbled up all her published work after that!

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  5. Crap. Maybe I will start with this series instead. This is a pretty raving review.

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  6. I love these books so much! I am super grateful to my friend who introduced me to them (and lent me basically all of TP's books; this friend also introduced me to Terry Pratchett so yeah she's awesome!) It's always fun to dive back into them and just enjoy the magic Pierce created.

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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