Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, book 4) by Tamora Pierce
"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. Perhaps being a knight errant is not all that Alanna needs....But Alanna must push her uncertainty aside when a new challenge arises. She must recover the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem with enormous power for good -- but only in the right hands. And she must work quickly. Tortall is in great danger, and Alanna's archenemy, Duke Roger, is back -- and more powerful than ever. In this final book of the Song of the Lioness quartet, Alanna discovers that she indeed has a future worthy of her mythic past -- both as a warrior and as a woman.
A very strong ending! That being said I need to get some annoying things out of the way.
I bemoan how the predictable plot was super foreshadowed. It didn't go well with knowing that everything will magically, literally, be handed to Alanna. Oh, she works hard for it! But it's just too much to foreshadow that much. Thom. Dear Thom. I feel like he was so under utilized this entire time. It saddens me where his story went. He became unlikeable and in this last volume I didn't feel the twin love. It had faded in book 3, so I guess it shouldn't have been that much of a surprise.
Oh, and Duke Roger is assuredly back. (That's not a spoiler, the “hints” of the last book practically left bruises from slapping readers in the face.) I mean of all the people for Thom to bring back to life, why Roger? Why would anyone give this guy a second chance or not assume subterfuge. The curses of honor.
What I like the most is how much Alanna has grownup. She's become more cautious, learned when to keep her head, and other amazing things. But I love most of all that she's still her. The same girl that we've loved since the beginning of this journey. Which is a relief. She's become a bit of a legend in Kingdom of Tortall and the neighboring Kingdoms. Even some of her old friends see her in a different light. It's reassuring that we can see she's still the same and, more importantly, humble. I loved it when she'd grumble over her fame and blush still.
Lioness Rampnat is the biggest book yet in the Song of the Lioness series and it moves at an excellent pace. It was interesting seeing Alanna still questing realizing that soon she would achieve all of her dreams. She questioned what she wanted to be. What her dreams would be next. Not to mention why she couldn't be both warrior and woman. I enjoyed that not just Jon and George were her lovers. That she loved others and had a REAL relationship. She understood why it would end between them.
Not to mention that it mends my feelings towards Jon. It was bothering me how much I had grown to dislike him from the last book. Especially since I had loved him in both book one and two. Lioness Rampant does a job well done in wrapping up everything. Whether characters die, finally get their justice, or get their happy ending. That's all a reader could ask.
What I love more is the setup for more strong female characters to be present moving forward. There's some great ladies who join Alanna on her quest, and I loved seeing her have female friends. (George's mother does not count. Or his cousin.) It was great hearing about how Tortall was changing. That girls were now playing the Lioness fighting the evil Duke! Even more is how Alanna understands why they don't like her being a lady knight, but still makes them see her. Even when it's as simple as the outfit she wears for being “reintroduced” to the royal court.
This final book does not ignore the message that this entire series brings. That woman can do what a man can. She will have to work hard to achieve success, but she can achieve it. It doesn't rub readers faces in it. Which is why I always urge friends to read them, and now I'm spamming it on their daughters. Lioness Rampant keeps developing the world and the characters. It ends with everything all being nicely wrapped up. While there were some annoying aspects, it didn't take a way. I loved the new characters, visiting old favorites, and in general having a good final adventure with my favorite lady knight.
Sexual Content: Mild sexual humor, and slut shaming by . . . well I don't say (cough sluts cough) villainess females. Alanna does have sex, but it's in the nondescript way the series utilizes.
4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it.
|Previous book(s) in series:|
|Reviewed on BW:||Amazon:||Goodreads:|