In the medieval kingdom of Tortall, girls are forbidden to become knights, instead learning to be court ladies, getting sent to convents, or perhaps training as mages. Alanna of Trebond, though, has never thought much of such rules. When she and her twin brother Thom turn ten, their father arranges for them to be sent away from the family’s fiefdom for the standard forms of further education: Alanna to a convent, and Thom to become a page at the palace. But Thom prefers magic to swordplay, while Alanna secretly fears her Gift. So, they do the only thing they can think of. They switch places.
Disguised as a boy, Alanna works her way through the various levels of training knighthood requires. But though she tries to blend in, her fate is far from ordinary, and there are dangers lurking which could destroy her world—dangers closer to her than anyone realizes.
Full of action and twists, villains and sorcery, the Song of the Lioness quartet follows Alanna’s journey, from a fiery young girl to the legendary hero she is destined to become.
There’s a lot of things I enjoyed about these books, but first, I just love Alanna. She feels totally human—brave, determined, and notoriously hot-tempered. The supporting cast is also excellent, from Alanna’s friends and teachers to her worst enemies, and the stories get increasingly harder to put down, eventually building to an immensely satisfying climax. Over the course of the quartet, Alanna goes from ten years old to her early twenties, and although she stays the same wonderful character, the stories do get darker and more ‘young adult’ as she ages. Overall, I would recommend the Song of the Lioness quartet to readers ages 12+ who like strong heroines, high fantasy, and action-packed adventures.