(Song of the Lioness Quartet, #2)
First off, let me say, there are possible spoilers here, for the previous volume, Alanna, the First Adventure previously reviewed here. (I don’t think so, but …you might. So read at your own risk.) Now then, on to the review….
In this second book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, IN THE HAND OF THE GODDESS we meet again our charming heroine, the intrepid Alanna, forging ahead in her quest to become the first female knight in Tortall. But now, she faces bigger challenges. Will she be able to overcome them? With her final year upon her, Alanna must endure some rather tough challenges. Worst of all, she has a direct command from the Mother Goddess.
1. Alanna is charged with actually breaking down, and accepting the love of a man!
2. Aside from facing the foes of Tortall, finding the right words to reveal her true identity to her beloved friends at the palace, learning all she can about being a women, keeping her faithful thief-friend George’s hands off her, saving herself from attacks by fellow Squires who may or may not be her friends, and dealing with her hated enemy, Duke Roger. But Alanna, she’d rather just pass the final ordeal, get her Shield, and her knighthood, maybe fight a battle or two, if necessary, and head out of Tortall, as fast, and as soon as possible. If she has to be taken prisoner, if she has to lose a few friends to battle, if she has to use herself up in the Healer’s tents fine. Love? Who has the time to even consider such a thing?
But consider it, she does. Who better to garner her attention, than the Prince himself? She knows it’s not the best choice, Royals, after all, need marry within their station, and Noble or not, Alanna doesn’t fit the bill. Perhaps George would be a better choice. But a girl can dream, can’t she? Or Alanna can, if she has the time. Strange things befall our heroine, and she has a myriad threads to untangle, even if it means giving up what she has sought all these years?
Will she fail her final ordeal? What will become of Tortall? What will pass between she and her friends? She and John? She and Duke Roger? What decisions will she have to make in order to pass her tests? In order to obey the Goddess? In order to survive?
You’ll have to read to find out! IN THE HAND OF THE GODDESS is a fine sequel to a very fine beginning. If you think all Young Adult fiction is the same, think again. I wonder that Ms. Pierce doesn’t find her works placed amongst the regular Fantasy/Science Fiction shelves for in my opinion, the Song of the Lioness quartet is as good or better than those considered more “grown-up” in flavor. If you have not tried Ms. Pierce before, start with ALANNA: THE FIRST ADVENTURE, then go on to IN THE HAND OF THE GODDESS, and their sequels. I am sure you will be quite pleased with the effort.
IN THE HAND OF THE GODDESS, should you like to check it out, is available at Amazon, Itunes, and Barnes and Noble.com. (Again, with a new cover than the version I bought, years ago–see above). You can also probably find a copy at your local Barnes and Noble.