Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, Book #4)

by Tamora Pierce

Paperback, 2011



Local notes

PB Pie




Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2011), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages


Alanna continues to create her own life as a female warrior when she and new companions journey to the Roof of the World seeking the powerful Dominion Jewel, perhaps the last hope of saving her country from dissension and hostile magic.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

384 p.; 5.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member RebeccaAnn
Usually, the last book of a series tends to let me down. You spend hours of your time reading the adventure and it just seems the ending can't hold up to it. Not so with the Song of the Lioness Quartet. If anything, there was even more adventure, more fights, and the emotional intensity left me
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almost in tears a couple times. The final fight was spectacular. I couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages.

In this book, Roger is back, having been resurrected by Thom. The corruption, though, is killing Alanna's brother. Not only that, the king and queen are dead and it's Jonathan's time to ascend to the throne. Though Roger claims his magic is gone, Alanna doesn't believe him. Attempts on Jon's life lead her to think he's after the throne one more time.

This is the best book of the series. I can honestly find no faults with it. I can't even say I'm reading this through "rose tinted glasses" (thanks flissp :P) because I honestly don't remember reading this book when I was younger. Maybe I didn't make it this far in the series or maybe I've just forgotten it, but I felt I was reading this book for the first time and it held up to standards most books meant for adults can't make. Pierce's writing is also loads better, and her fighting scenes much more suspenseful, than they were at the beginning of the series. Seeing such a drastic improvement in a such a short span of time, I can't wait to read the rest of her books. I know they'll be great!
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LibraryThing member erincathryn
This, I think, was the best book of them all.

Pierce really hit her stride with the storytelling, and kept things moving. Love was lost, and found. Friendships were made.

And I cried a little when Faithful died. Poor Faithful!

Sometime in the near future, I will be moving on to the next quartet in the
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universe, though I have many more books to read between now and then.
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LibraryThing member parkridgeya
After spending a year in the desert, Alanna learns of a wonderful adventure concerning a mythical object. She goes on a journey to find the Dominion Jewel, meeting several interesting characters who come into play in later books along the way. The story comes full circle with Alanna back in Corus
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and ready to face what she should do with her life after going on adventures for the past few years. This is a wonderful thrilling adventure tale with humor and strong female characters leading the way.
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LibraryThing member Stevil2003
Finally, I've come to the end of the first quartet of Tamora Pierce's Tortall books. Thrillingly, this book opens with Alanna switching from being in a love triangle to a love parallelogram. It was tedious enough to see her waffling between two lovers, so why not throw in a third? Fortunately, in
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the Land of Magic, you can have consequence-free casual sex. Like The Woman Who Rides Like a Man before it, this is a somewhat disjointed book, and each half is of varying quality. The first half, featuring Alanna on a quest for a Magic Maguffin, is actually fairly good. The second half, however, gets bogged down in the return of the world's most underwhelming and unsurprising villain, Duke Roger. Oh, and Alanna's brother dies, but it's got all the emotional impact of a character death in Torchwood since he's only been in three other scenes in the whole series. At the very least, though, Alanna finally chooses a boyfriend and stops whining about how much attention she gets from the opposite sex. Even if the person she chooses is Creepy George, King of the Thieves, I'll take what I can get.
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LibraryThing member bell7
Alanna goes on a quest to find the Dominion Jewel, a legendary stone said to bring prosperity to the land or any ruler to wield it. Meanwhile, she has a feeling that all is not right in Tortall.

I liked this least of all of the books in the quartet because all the little annoyances in the first
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three books built up and became big annoyances to me in the fourth. I was irritated by the wording of sentences, the easy way Alanna has of going through lovers (three in three books? really?) and the fact that the part of the story I was really interested at the end of [The Woman Who Rides Like a Man] didn't get addressed until the second half of the book. It probably would have gotten a higher rating if I had taken more time between books 3 and 4.
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LibraryThing member mmillet
Upon receiving this last book in Tamora Pierce's fabulous Song of the Lioness quartet, I must admit I was worried. Okay, not truly worried, but nervous that Pierce wouldn't be able to address my many questions and thoughts properly in this last book. Then I noticed the book was over 400 pages and I
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knew Pierce had given herself plenty of space to discuss each facet of Alanna's story in the detail it deserved. I was not disappointed - shame on me for even doubting.Alanna of Trebond, the only female Knight of Tortall, has achieved her dream. She has gained her knights shield, she has had numerous adventures, and her fame with sword and magic have spread all over the country. I just loved it when everyone is talking about how the little girls in the streets play "Alanna and Duke Roger!" Let's hear it for female role models! But her Gift keeps warning her that all is not right with her friends in beloved Tortall. In order to save Tortall from dissension and sorcery, Alanna must obtain the Jewel of Dominion, the one thing that, if used wisely, can have great power for good. Several of Alanna's old enemies resurface (ones I had thought were gone for good) are they prove to be more deadly and conniving than ever and it will take everything Alanna and her friends have to combat these old foes.Alanna's faithful friends are never far from the action including the much changed Prince Jonathan, Myles (her adopted father), gruff Coram, her cat Faithful, and of course the lovable George. She is even joined on this adventure by some new faces - a Shang warrior and an outcast princess - who brought additional depth to Alanna's character. I was so pleased with Alanna's choices in this book - she truly proves herself to be a strong woman and a knight and I couldn't have enjoyed reading her story more.
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LibraryThing member melannen
A fitting ending to a series that I overall really enjoyed! And for the first time I felt like the plot really did live up to the characters - it's a basic "quest for a plot coupon" sort of story, but that's the best sort of plot when the story's strength is character and setting, and this carried
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it off very well. I especially like the portrayal of the aftermath of the war, and the refugee group and their decisions, which was done very well, and is all too rare in fantasy, considering how much war is in it.

And the Thom subplot ended up being a lot more complex than I was expecting it to be, which was a pleasant surprise. (I still wish Thom had had to cross-dress the whole time Alanna did, though! Now that would have been an interesting character to bring in.)
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LibraryThing member SungJeCo
This is the last installation of The Song of the Lioness series and Tamora Pierce really made the climax of the series exciting and in my opinion confusing if you didn't read all the other later series. The story starts when Alanna and another man-at-arms start with their jousting tournament. Once
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Alanna won, they went into a inn called the Wandering Bard and a boy said to the innkeeper that a girl Tortallan Knight was in the inn. Then Alanna took a bath, saying that she wanted to stay clean.

Then, her cat Faithful commented that "tongues and paws are all I need". Then, once she was done with her bath, Alanna asks the innkeeper about a translator about a man named Nahom Jendrai. She then shows a map to the Dominion Jewel to the innkeeper wanting to find it. Then, the maid gave her a glass of wine, saying that a man by the hearth sent it to her. She sits next to him and talks to him, his eyes changing color.

Alanna is now officially taken with the man. He introduces himself as Liam and talks to her about Alanna and her great deeds. When they were done talking, Alanna got her manservant, Coram into his room, and then, he told her that the man she was talking to was Liam Ironarm, the Dragon of the Shang. The Dragon of the Shang is the best of the Shang warriors and she thought that he had dragon eyes, that change depending on his mood. She then tried to sleep.

When she couldn't sleep, she then tried to ride. Her horse named Moonlight, then stopped nervously, and then, the mist swirled and the Great Mother Goddess told a little bit or her future, saying that if she wants to find the Dominion Jewel, her life will be interesting. Then she disappeared, and Alanna rode back, and while she did, she fell asleep and slipped off. Liam Ironarm found her and picked her up and took her back to the inn. Then Coram woke up.

When he woke up, he had a headache, and waited for Alanna to bring his headache medicine. When she didn't, he looked for her, and went in her room and found Liam coming out. They then introduce themselves after Liam told Coram that he's The Dragon of the Shang. They then talk about her... lovelife, I should say. Then, Alanna woke up, and Coram probably figured out that Alanna fell down while on her morning "ride".

Then they, (Liam included) went to Nahom Jendrai to translate the map. He said that the map tells that the legendary Dominion Jewel is actually real. They decide to go and find it. Then they encountered rogues that are there to assasinate Alanna.
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LibraryThing member liahna89
The Alanna the Lioness series is rather obviously different from the rest of Tamora Pierce's books in terms of style. The books take on more didactic language and is more black and white in its moral quandaries. The books are clearly meant to be an epic saga in a way that the stories of Kel, Diane,
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Aly, and Bekah are not meant to be. Because of this the books are more impersonal; we follow Alanna's great deeds, and we do hear some of her internal dialogue, but we are definitly more removed from her than we are from the rest of Tamora Pierce's heroines.

That being said, this book is a good close to the series. I think the books are all broken off strangely. This book is really made up of two different stories, while some of the earlier books, (The First Adventure and In the Hand of the Goddess) could easily have been combined.

For those of you who have never read anything by Tamora Pierce... I would reccomend this book only after reading the first three books in the series, and would only reccomend any Tamora Pierce books to those who enjoy strong "girl-power" books and/or epic fantasies.
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LibraryThing member thelorelei
It's amazing; almost 2 decades after my first reading of "Lioness Rampant," I still find it thrilling and adrenaline-pumping. Alanna the Lioness grows up in this book, for while she already has her shield, she has struggled to find her place in her realm, and in the lives of the people she
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The arc of the quartet comes to fruition tightly and brilliantly in this book. Alanna follows the pull of her destiny to cement her reputation as a true knight-errant, silencing those who doubted the validity of her shield. The quest on which she explicably finds herself proves to be more important than she could have ever known, as the threat to the kingdom thought long dead and buried rears back to the surface just as her prince must assume the throne. The characters introduced in "Lioness Rampant" are just as fully developed as the old familiar faces from Alanna's younger years. Thayet, in particular, is very well drawn as a refugee noble from a land torn by civil war. Pierce's characterizations pull the story together almost tangibly as the people whose lives are at stake fight to make things turn out right.
As always, however, Alanna is the living, breathing, pulsing heart of the story. She is still vividly realized and just as fiery and stubborn as ever, even if maturity has come to her at last.
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LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
This is the conclusion to the Song of the Lioness quartet and should only be read after reading the first three novels since this is most definitely not self-contained. The first half of the book is classic high fantasy--a quest. Alanna goes to find the Dominion Jewel and that section of the book
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delivers on plenty of girl power action adventure to satisfy the teenager in all of us.

The second half deals with the second coming of Duke Roger, and I feel a bit mixed on that. For one, I didn't get when I read this why Thom was so tied to Roger. A friend told me that originally, Roger and Thom were lovers, but that part got cut when Pierce went the YA route. That makes sense of a lot I felt wasn't developed here--but really, if it's not in the text, it doesn't count. I also feel a bit mixed about Alanna's romantic relationships. On one hand, I rather like this isn't all one true love. That it is messy the way life often is, and doesn't favor the idea you should necessarily wind up with a first love--or that there should be a one and only from the start. On the other hand, I felt it left what became the main relationship feeling underdeveloped.

I think Pierce became a better writing over time. For me her best lady knight isn't Alanna but her successor Keladry and I prefer George's daughter Alianne and his ancestress Becca to Alanna. But this is still fun sword and sorcery featuring a kickass heroine.
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LibraryThing member boullion.iris1998
Lioness Rampant is the last in the Song of the Lioness series. Alanna is now the first Woman Knight in hundreds of years. She travels to the Roof of the World to retrive the Dominion Jewel. This will prove that she is a worthy knight and help Jonathan. Jonathan makes her his Champion when she comes
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home. She and others expect soomething to go at his Coranation and are right. Roger, brought back from the dead by her brother, and other are planning an attack on the King. She defeates Roger and Jonathan uses the Jewel to save the Place but her brother, Liam and her companion Faithful die. George retires from crime and they get married.
I loved this book like all of her others. Although she could have the end where her and George decide to get married more creative. After him, Liam, and Jonathan all wanting to marry her it should have been more interesting. Although other than that is was wonderful. I wish there where more than four books. It's always sad to finish a good book. I am glad that Jonathan and Thayet are going to get married though, then Alanna wouln't feel bad about not marring him. Tamora Pierce write truly amazing books.
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LibraryThing member mizchvz
Alanna is in search of adventure, one that will make for a glorious quest. She sets out to bring the Dominion Jewel back to Corus. The Shang Dragon makes a wonderful addition to my favorite character list. It's a beautiful wrap up for the wuartet with all the characters we've come to know in the
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set brought into play, plus a few new ones too.
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LibraryThing member JenJ.
I've read this multiple times, but I just finished listening to the audio as read by Trini Alvarado. Alvarado did a fine job for the most part, but there were some pronunciations that seemed off - I don't think I had ever heard swathed pronounced with a long "a" even though the dictionary lists is
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as a variant pronunciation. However, the ending still made me cry (which was probably not the safest driving situation ever) despite knowing ahead of time what was going to happen.
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LibraryThing member melissarecords
The fourth book in the Song of the Lioness quartet. I liked this book better than the second and third in the series. Maybe because Alanna is finally growing up and dealing with issues as an adult.
LibraryThing member SandyAMcPherson
Book 4 was a bit tiresome as a quest saga and an obvious wrapping up of loose ends. Some aspects of the story were good adventure but I didn't see why the circumstances that led to finding the 'Dominion Jewel' were so contrived. [Spoiler alert] It was also weird that the Duke of Conté came back
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from supposed death and then sapped Thom (Alanna's twin) so much that he dies. Much had been made of the twin's mental connection yet Alanna gets no hint until too late what is wrong.
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LibraryThing member fred_mouse
I have not yet read a book by Pierce that I wanted to walk away from, that was not well crafted, where the characters were not engaging (even if very very foreign), where the world was not fascinating (even if very alien). This book is no exception. I think that it is a stronger book than the first
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in the series, which is always to be hoped for, but not always realised. It also pushes well into the YA category, whereas I would have been hard pressed to pick which side of the kids/YA line Book One fell on.

Here, the protagonist Alanna, having been revealed for what she is and having been validated by her peers (presumably in a previous book) is on a quest. *gasp* Shock, horror - fantasy setting, psuedo-feudal political structure, warrior protagonist - why would there be a quest?

Alanna believes that the quest is to find something to make her Prince proud of her, to strengthen her home country, and to take her beyond what she has already tried. I would argue that the secondary theme, of what do you do when you have achieved all of your goals, when those goals have only taken you to the beginning of adulthood, rather than all the way through is the much more important one.

As with all of the books set in this world, there is a careful balance between politics, romance, plot, and pace of the story. There are no unexpected betrayals, physical trauma is generally set off stage, and I was not aware of emotional trauma, other than that typical of an angsty late teen. I was very impressed with the subtle (but positive) references to a young woman with an active sex life - pleased that they were there, and that I didn't have to wade through pages of exposition regarding said sex life masquerading as soft porn. The implication was that this is normal, it isn't required, but it is an acceptable choice.

I do find this series frustrating in some ways - it shows a strong, competent woman, who got there by being one of the boys, by joining in the game and playing to their rules. And I get that it is important that that story be told, that it be an option for kids growing up to use as a role model. But my frustration comes from my perception that there are not enough stories about how being female is not a cage, not a trap, not a puzzle to work your way outside of. That strong women exist in their own realm, even if in the high-born feudal setting that realm is quite distinct from that of the men.

Strong characters, good (consistent) world building, solid plot, good pacing, no writing errors that threw me out of the story.
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LibraryThing member StarKnits
What a great ending to the series!
LibraryThing member cindywho
Still fun and angst free enough to fall asleep to, though a bit sad at the end...
LibraryThing member Jean_Sexton
Oh my goodness, what an end to this quartet of books! This is the Alanna I love: confident about some things, unsure about others (such as flirting), willing to learn from others, and demanding more from herself than others ask of her.

There are really two stories intertwined -- a quest novel for
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the Dominion Jewel and for friendship and love combined with a novel of jealousy and betrayal. All the elements from the previous three books come home to roost in this one. And I will issue a tissue warning.

This series was truly unique when it was published. While marketed to young adults, anyone who enjoys fantasy should enjoy it. Start with Alanna: The First Adventure and keep going.
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LibraryThing member MickyFine
In the final book of the quartet, Alanna goes on a quest for a magical artifact and then returns home to Tortall where powerful forces threaten everything and everyone she loves.

A well-drawn conclusion to the series, I was pleased with how things turned out for Alanna even if I had predicted it
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from the beginning. The action in the final conflict is rapid-paced and much more surprising than most of the plot arcs. Overall, I enjoyed the series and this final book leaves me fonder of it than I have been after some of the previous books.
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LibraryThing member Linyarai
I read this for the "A Fantasy Novel" part of my 2019 reading challenge. I love Tamora Pierce, and this is one of my favorite series for sure. I devour her books every time.
LibraryThing member GlenRH
More adventure from the lady knight. Tamora Pierce is a great story teller and crafts the characters into good role models for young people. Alanna the character was good too. I enjoy reading this literature even though it is aimed at the middle school student. This I think is a good mark for what
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kids will read if it also grabs the old folk like me. If you enjoy fantasy this is a series (I'd start with the earlier books though--the story does progress).
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LibraryThing member RandyMorgan
In the face of war, Alanna experiences glory, loss, betrayal, and absolution. In the war’s wake, Alanna embraces her identity and thrives.

Tamora Pierce wrote Alanna as a fierce female protagonist who asserts herself as an equal to men. This young adult fantasy filled with friends, family,
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secrets, learning, and conflict. Due to some large time jumps, there are some major events mentioned without elaboration. Listing to Trini is like music, crescendos, decrescendos, rhythm changes, and staccato! She does it all which is captivating.
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LibraryThing member caedocyon
I just finished rereading the whole Song of the Lioness. Miscellaneous thoughts:

* This is the best story Tamora Pierce has written, by far. If you've read other Tamora Pierce books and didn't like them, I still recommend this one to you.

* While it's sold as four separate books, and each book does
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manage to stand on its own, they're best read together as a single long story and all at once.

* Simple, straightforward style of writing.

* I just love it, ok? It's not always perfect but I even love the imperfections.
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