Lioness Rampant by Tamora PierceLioness Rampant is the fourth book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet and the conclusion to Alanna's story. According to Goodreads, it's the best rated out of the four books so going in, I was hopeful. I really liked Alanna: The First Adventure, but I felt like the subsequent books, In the Hand of the Goddess and The Women Who Rides Like a Man never fully lived up to the magic of the first book. Nonetheless this is one of those classic fantasy series that I knew I needed to have under my belt, both for of it's feminist penchant and also because it clearly paved to way for a lot of modern fantasy stories we've all read and loved - especially the ones featuring a girl-posing-as-a-boy. I'm happy to have seen the series to it's conclusion, but I did have some issues here...which we'll get to in a moment.
Song of the Lioness #4
Published January 1st 1988 by Atheneum Books
"I'm not sure I want to be a hero anymore."
Having achieved her dream of becoming the first female knight errant, Alanna of Trebond is not sure what to do next. She has triumphed in countless bloody battles, and her adventures are already legendary. Perhaps being a knight errant is not all that Alanna needs....But Alanna must push her uncertainty aside when she is challenged with the impossible. She must recover the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem with enormous power for good -- but only in the right hands. And she must work fast. Tortall is in great danger, and Alanna's arch-enemy, Duke Roger, is back -- and more powerful than ever. In this final book of the Song of the Lioness quartet, Alanna discovers through fierce combat and ceaseless searching that she indeed has a future worthy of her mythic past -- both as a warrior and as a woman.
Lioness Rampant once again finds our grown-up heroine-turned-knight out searching for adventure and being her usual heroic self. This time, there's a quest for a long lost, powerful magical artifact - which naturally means some powerful, other-worldly opponent to face. There's also new characters thrown into the mix,
The final chapter of Alanna's adventure as a knight was the longest of the four books, and either because of that, or despite that, the pacing seemed off in quite a few places. Some parts were unnecessarily long, like the focus on the new romance for example, but when we hit the climax, it seemed underdeveloped and rushed. In general the story just didn't flow as smoothly as it should have. The longer parts wouldn't have bothered me if the ending would have been given the same attention but it just came across as too sudden for my liking. The tension between Alanna and the main baddie, had a much weaker impact than it should have, and their final confrontation was over almost before it began. It definitely fell flat compared to what we've been shown that Alanna is capable of. Despite that though, there were some wonderful sword-fights and battle scenes, which were as thrilling as they've always been - those are certainly a selling point of the series.
As far is the romance goes, well I mentioned a
Before I wrap things up though, I have to mention: FAITHFUL!! I won't say more here but to those who've read this: CAN WE TALK ABOUT FAITHFUL PLEASE?
Lioness Rampant is a satisfying end to Alanna's adventure, despite some minor issues. I listened to the entire series on audio and they made for a quick and engaging story. I'll most certainly be going on with the rest of the stories set in the Tortall Universe. Classic fantasy readers looking for shorter stories filled with knights, magic and feminist themes should absolutely give this series a chance!
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars