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Lioness Rampant

By: Tamora Pierce

Song of the Lioness bk 4

Alanna has moved on from her shaman duties with her adoptive tribe and is feeling a bit restless. It is a good thing then that a new challenge comes her way. A message from a dying woman sends Alanna on the path of the  Legendary Dominion Jewel. This is a gem of enormous power, the stuff or heroes and songs. It can be a thing of great good – in the right hands. With it in Prince Jonathon’s hands Alanna fells Tortall will prosper.

All is not well though, her beloved kingdom is in great danger from Duke Roger, the man she has already defeated once. Roger is back from the dead and she knows he is up to something. Prince Jonathon isn’t the only one in danger, George the Rogue is under threat from a mysterious foe known only as Claw.

Alanna thrives on challenging herself and I identify with this, maybe that is why I love Pierce’s characters, they set goals and do what they need to to achieve them. We can never have too many characters modeling that kind of behaviour. Liam the Shang Dragon is a welcome addition and adds yet another texture to the fabric of the world Pierce has given us. He challenges Alanna, teaches her and brings what ultimately becomes a beautiful friendship.

I realise that through these reviews I haven’t mentioned Pounce, Alanna’s pet companion (if you have read the Beka Cooper books Pounce will be familiar to you). This cat is a mysterious and wonderful addition to these stories, he is his own character, with his own style and brings a wonderful layer of humour.

This book, like the series, is full of action, adventure and plotting. Strands that were background in other books are pulled forward and masterfully woven to a final climactic conclusion. Characters you’ve missed are back and you can’t help but sigh in satisfaction at the end and a feeling of sadness that the series has finished. The story is complete but you just don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Published: 19 April 2011

Format: Paperback 368 pages

Categories: Adventure, Fantasy, Magic, Action

ISBN 13: 9781442427662

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

First Test

9780375829055By: Tamora Pierce

Protector of the Small series, bk 1

Keladry of Mindelan (Kel) is the first girl to take advantage of the decree permitting females to train for knighthood. She is determined and supported by her parents. She isn’t supported by Lord Wyldon, the master in charge of training the pages and squires. He believes girls shouldn’t become knights and so he puts her on probation, he may be forced to train her but he will not do it willingly. So Kel finds herself facing not only the grueling schedule and traditional hazing faced by all pages but also a trial period no other page has ever had to endure. It is hard enough being the only girl, the probation serves only to separate her from the others even more. Kel is more determined than others realise and they will find out just how much they have underestimated her.

Kel is young, showing great focus and determination. She knows what she wants and though the challenges along the way are harder than she expects she doesn’t back down. Kel relies on her heart and her smarts. The learning she acquired when in foreign courts with her parents and she puts that training to good use. Kel is an amazing character. Her sponsor and friend Neal, sums her up this way, ‘You’re the oldest 10 year old I’ve ever met…It means I’m trying to justify to myself the fact that the best lesson I’ve ever had on the heart of chivalry came from someone five years younger than me.’

In Kel’s story we learn a little something of heart, knowing yourself and bullying. Pierce writes in a way that has these characters jumping off the pages. Kel is surrounded by characters that support her and those that try to destroy her and they are woven together in a manner reminiscent of school yard environs. This is very much Kel’s story and she is one of my favourite characters. I love the way Pierce presents the world and the characters she has populated it with. I also love reading about strong female characters and adore this series. Highly recommended.

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Published: 01 August 2004

Format: Paperback 216 pages

Categories: Fiction Science Fiction Family Fantasy School Stories

ISBN 13: 9780375829055

Purchase: here or use logo to connect to Booktopia site

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