One of the first fantasy series I can remember reading was the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce and I fell in love from the very first page.
Song of the Lioness follows the life of one Alanna of Trebond, a young girl who switches places with her brother so that she can be a knight and he a mage.
Along the way, she discovers that the gods have taken an interest in her, even if she would very much rather they hadn’t.
Alanna of Trebond has always dreamed of being a knight, of protecting the kingdom of Tortall and proving herself a hero worthy of great tales.
But she doesn’t take into account the years of hard work and secrets she must keep from those closest to her. Alanna can tell no one that she is a girl, not when she is being bullied and certainly not when puberty hits an her body begins to change against her will.
Be warned: this isn’t a story where things come easy to our main character.
One of the best things about this series is that Alanna questions her decisions. When she begins her training as a knight and discovers just how much hard work it takes, she wants to give up and go home, thinking ‘how could a girl ever do this?’ Instead, she buckles down and works hard to get what she wants.
The first hints of the strength of Alanna’s magical abilities and glimpses of her grand destiny begin to show, no matter how hard she tries to ignore them, but the will of the gods can not be ignored. Her begrudging attitude towards the use of magic is one of the things I like most about Alanna, she isn’t afraid to backtalk her friends, superiors, or even the gods.
Alanna’s interactions with her friends and mentors is so, so great! These people have become her family and she would die for them, if she needed to. Not only does she befriend the nobles, but she also manages to become close friends with George, the “king of thieves.”
I think that the relationships are what really makes this series great… you can’t help but find yourself rooting for everyone in whatever situation they may find themselves in.