In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, Book #2)

by Tamora Pierce

Paperback, 2011



Local notes

PB Pie




Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2011), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages


Pursuing her desire to be a knight, Alanna learns many things in her role as squire to Prince Jonathan, but fears Duke Roger, an ambitious sorcerer with whom she knows she will one day have to deal.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

272 p.; 5.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member RebeccaAnn
Alanna is now a squire, serving Prince Jonathan himself, and soon she'll be facing her own Ordeal to gain her knighthood. First, though, it seems someone has it out for Alanna. Attempts are being made on her life, she's been sent out to fight her first battle, and there's still Duke Roger to worry
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about. On top of that, both George and Jon have expressed the desire to court her.

This book had much more action than the first and even though I'm a dog person, I still love Faithful the cat. The love triangle between Jon, Alanna, and George is no where near as bad as I remembered (it must been one of those things that annoyed me because last time I read these books, boys still had cooties). The events in the book mature as the characters do and they're faced with realistic situations. Alanna must kill soldiers from an army attempting to take over Tortall. She's growing up and begins an affair with Jon and learns of intimacy. I think Pierce does a good job of discussing such adult themes in a YA book. She doesn't portray killing as fun, glorious, or honorable. Rather, it's very much the opposite. Alanna does have sex for the first time, but Pierce emphasizes that she is wearing an amulet to prevent pregnancy and there is absolutely no explicit detail. All in all, I think it was very well done.
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LibraryThing member ansate
do you ever feel like books were grooming teen girls to be taken advantage of by older men with power over of them?
who don't repect boundaries

otherwise great book. teen me wouldn't have known better
LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
This is the second book in the series--you should read Alanna: The First Adventure first if you haven't already. I read in Pierce's Tortall and Other Lands that what became the Song of the Lioness quartet was originally one long novel, her first, meant for the adult fantasy market that got broken
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up and adapted for teens. I think that makes some sense of the novels flaws. Although I think all the novels in the quartet are entertaining, and I love Alanna as that rare kick-ass heroine in testosterone-laden high fantasy, I think Pierce's later books are much better crafted and written--and that even the two concluding books in the quartet are better novels, while this one feels more transitional.

In the first book we meet the twins Alanna and Thom of Trebond when they're ten years old. She's supposed to be sent to a community of scholars that teaches magic, and he's supposed to be sent to be trained as a knight. Only Alanna is the one who dreams of a becoming a knight and her brother of training to become a sorcerer. So they change places to both can fulfill their dream. Now in this book Alanna has taken the next step toward her dream, becoming a squire to Prince Jonathan of Conte. More than that--Alanna is becoming a woman, and both the men who know her secret, Jonathan and George, have certainly noticed...

The novel could be better paced and structured. Some events seem strangely passed over quickly--such as her father's death--and the romantic element seemed to me to receive short shrift. I'm also not too wild about the involvement of the Goddess in the tale--too deus ex machina. Ditto, the talking cat faithful, though I admit if I had read this first as a teen and not a mature woman, I probably would have eaten that aspect up.

I do think the next two books are stronger though--and Alanna a heroine very worth knowing.
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LibraryThing member melissarecords
The second in the Song of the Lioness quartet. Now a squire, Alanna experiences warfare for the first time and comes to terms with her womanhood.
LibraryThing member mizchvz
Still an easy read with a few more plots thrown in. The question of this whole book seems to be "Who will you be, Alanna?"
LibraryThing member Jazzie54
i really liked the story line in this whole series. Alanna was a very strong main character and totaly represents the ladies.
LibraryThing member parkridgeya
This is the second book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet and tells the story of Alanna who wants to be a knight so she masquerades as a boy to become one. In this book, she meets the Goddess who favors her and learns that there will be more to her life than just being a knight. The realm of
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Tortall is well crafted and Pierce depicts a rich, vibrant society peopled with three dimensional characters.
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LibraryThing member Stevil2003
Good grief, this book aggravated me. Alanna is a bit of a dim protagonist-- in the opening pages of the book, she essentially meets god (well, the goddess), but from the way she handles the conversation (and the amount of times it is mentioned later), you'd be forgiven for thinking she just bumped
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into her next-door neighbor at the swim club. Her buddy George kisses her (repeatedly) unasked, and she doesn't do a single thing about it! Her best male friend with whom she is having sex gets jealous when she talks to other boys, and she herself thinks of him all the time and hates it when he's with other girls, but she has no idea why these feelings might be! Get a clue, girl! In other news, there's an Evil Teacher at the knight school that only Alanna can figure out is Evil, and as an unschooled squire she consistently beats trained knights in combat. Well, how special can you be? And to top it all off, on the cover she's in a leather miniskirt and her hair is all dolled up, which makes no sense for a girl trying to pretend to be a man or woman in pseudo-medieval times!
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LibraryThing member bell7
The second in the Song of the Lioness quartet starts a few months after Alanna: The First Adventure ended. Alanna, now Prince Jonathan's squire, is traveling when a storm forces her to seek shelter. That night, she meets a new friend - a cat with eyes as violet as her own - and the Goddess herself,
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who gives her advice about what is to come.

I read the book in one evening. The plot seems meandering, but is really more of a journey, as Alanna prepares to become a knight. A couple of years go by very quickly, which sometimes makes events that were probably a bit slower to occur in the internal chronology happen in a short reading space. All my favorite characters - Alanna, Jonathan, George, and the rest - were back in this entertaining tale.
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LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
The entry of romance into her life frustrates and baffles Alanna. All she wants to do is become a knight, and these distractions confuse her. Several new characters enters the picture, including one who nobody seems to see as a menace except her.

Another enjoyable book with the strong female lead.
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She makes her own choices and isn't bound by society's restrictive rules.
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LibraryThing member nmhale
I had a hard time finishing this book. It's the second in the Alanna series, the first quartet that Pierce finished, and has a large fan base amongst Pierce readers. I think the ideas are innovative, and I love the characters, who I've met in later novels, but for some reason I couldn't keep my
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attention focused on this book very well. I kept straying to other novels. I do agree with others that Pierce's writing has improved over the course of her career, and maybe that was the main problem; she creates tension and suspense better in later novels, but here the action was a bit flat for me. Despite the fact that a lot is happening. Alanna is a squire to Jonathon, enters war and is kidnapped, rescued, has multiple attempts on her life, and finally confronts the traitor who has been working behind the scenes all along, but only after facing all her fears in the Ordeal. She is still the tough and fearless female, and I love her spunk, and I love her with Jonathon. Sigh. Knowing the future of all these characters is another factor that makes it hard to sustain suspense. I know how it all will end. I'm being a bit hard - it is a good book, it does have great ideas, and I love the people. Nonetheless, the entertainment value wasn't as high for me as other Pierce offerings. I compromise with three stars.
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LibraryThing member mmillet
Alanna has come farther than she ever expected - she's advanced so far in her knights training that she has been chosen as squire to the prince of Tortall, Jonathan. But that honor only comes as a surprise to Alanna as Jonathan has become one of her best friends and she has proven time and again
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that she would do anything for the brave prince. Alanna soon discovers how complicated their relationship becomes as she slowly matures not only into an excellent fighter but a woman as well (which of course she must constantly hide).Alanna experiences so much in this book - her first battle, sorcery training, a little romance, and even court intrigues. But as she slowly begins to suspect that a crafty sorcerer is not only after the crown and Jonathan's life but her own life as well Alanna must decide where her true loyalties lie and how far she will go to discover the truth. In all honesty, I was a little confused by Alanna's hesitancy to divulge her suspicions, but Pierce lived up to her narrative and explained all nicely and to my liking.Book two in Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness series was just as wonderfully crafted as the first. In this volume, Alanna becomes more comfortable in her own skin as she makes choices that have lasting effects on herself and those she loves. All my favorites were back in this wonderful little book: the Prince, George, Gary and even her brother Thom, who gets some much deserved screen time. As always, Alanna's can-do personality competely won this reader over and had me turning the pages faster than ever. In Pierce's unassuming style, I've truly fell in love with the courageous and loving Alanna - just like everyone around her does.
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LibraryThing member melannen
Alanna gets to be *awesome* in this book, and that's awesome. The knighthood training continues to get the attention it deserves, and Alanna starts to build, and strengthen, an outside support network of her own, and the way she claims her femininity in the course of the book is great.

I'm still not
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all that fond of the rather pedestrian evil-magician A-plot, but the vividness of the writing does make up for it.
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LibraryThing member SungJeCo
This the second installation of The Song of the Lioness series, made by Tamora Pierce. As Alanna is accepted as a squire, and to Prince Jonathan himself. As someone is determined to take her life, Alanna's suspicion of Duke Roger grows. When the Goddess gave her a coal ember charm she is able to
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see the magic of other people, which proved to be quite helpful. As a war is starting to brew, Alanna is captured and held for questioning, Jon saves her at that moment.

With Jon and George to choose from for love, Alanna is very confused as which person to love. Now, her Ordeal of Knighthood so close, Alanna is very afraid of what's going to happen, but with Faithful to advising her what to do, and Alanna even more careful, what with someone trying to kill her from putting salt on ice and trying to get her with demon wolves and wild boars. Alanna learns how to be a woman with Mistress Cooper, wearing a dress and a wig and she surprises everyone around her. Now her relationship with Jon and George going to another level, there is now the deal with Alanna's three fears: love, the Ordeal of Knighthood, and... Duke Roger. The ending is awesome, fast-paced, and with a rather surprising surprise... also ending with Duke Roger's (*spoiler*) death.
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LibraryThing member PhoebeReading
Alanna's education in cross dressing continues. In reading this book, I was frustrated by Pierce's tendency to leave out seemingly important scenes (for example, Alanna going home after the death of her father, many of her romantic exchanges with Jonathan) in favor of more "action packed" episodes.
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Because of this, we're often filled in--last minute--on important plot details via dialog. I heard that her post-Harry Potter era books are longer, and I wonder if this is really the problem here; it feels like she tried to fit a whole book into half the necessary number of pages.Oh, and the talking cat thing? Pretty silly.
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LibraryThing member JenJ.
I've read this several times before, but recently listened to the audio read by Trini Alvarado. Pierce's books work well read aloud. 2nd in the Alanna quartet.
LibraryThing member erincathryn
This was a re-read.

I enjoyed this book much better than the first one (at least the second time around). It still contains the somewhat annoying an inconsistent time-skips that are very prevalent in book 1, but the story flows MUCH more smoothly.

As an adult, I crave more depth to the story. In the
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eyes of a child or a pre-teen (the target demographic) I think it is almost perfect.

One thing I am having a hard time getting used to, and maybe I just need to read more books where the gender lines are crossed, but the whole Alanna being Alan thing and how it is written. Everyone else calls her Alan, but in the narrative she is Alanna... and the pronouns are interchangeable. It is consistently done this way, at least, but it makes for a bit of a dog's breakfast.

I also like that I can read these books in a single sitting.

Onward to book 3!
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LibraryThing member hailelib
Book 2 of the Song of the Lioness. Alanna is squire to Prince Jonathan and still disguised as a boy with only a few of those at court having guessed the truth. After defeating a formidable enemy she is at last ready for the final test that will make her a knight. For me this is largely backstory as
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I first met Alanna in a book that took place much later in Tortall's history. My recommendation would be for people to read Pierce's books in order, especially for those who dislike spoilers.
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LibraryThing member Capnrandm
Pierce does such a phenomenal job writing this series as Alanna grows up, her fears and challenges never loses my interest and attention. The audiobook is very well done as well, very satisfying to listen to.
LibraryThing member Mirkwood
These are kind of sweet. They have a familiar feel to them with likable characters and an original storyline. At about 126 pages a book it is like my old "12 pack and a trilogy" lunch on summer days in my 20's.
LibraryThing member BrynDahlquis
I consider Tamora Pierce one of the very first to write adventures about women, specifically where they have to fight to prove they are just as good as men. Or at least, she was one of the first to do it well.

Really the only thing that throws me off sometimes are the huge time jumps. I understand
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why they happen, because Alanna's world is actually realistic and her becoming a knight and all takes a lot of time. But you go from one section to the next to find that a whole year has passed. It's a little disconcerting.

But overall I really like Alanna. These books aren't great works of literature, but I ENJOY reading them so much.
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LibraryThing member StarKnits
I loved seeing the next steps for Alanna as she became a knight and told everyone the truth.
LibraryThing member SandyAMcPherson
Book 2 not as enthralling. A good adventure, though. My favourite character (George Cooper) appears more often. Also, the Cat appears in this book, a magical entity connected to the Goddess, and an animal advisor for Alanna. Very engaging.
LibraryThing member atreic
I loved the Alanna books when I was a child. In this one, Alanna acquires a magical kitten, fights armies and wolves, finally has her Ordeal of Knighthood, examines her fear of love, and saves the life of the Queen.
LibraryThing member M.Akter.Tonima
I like this book enough to instantly jump on to the next one. Action packed with mystery and revelations. I think the romance between jon n alana was introduced for no reason and for me it did not add to the story but only brought 1 star off its rating. George is a character I love, he is a humane
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character. I dont thing the ending was cathartic though. I mean it was a little rushed and i think it could have been better. Overall however the progression of the story was good and it kept me wanting to what happened next; if only the ending was not written in a rush i would be able to say i love it.
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