Thursday, January 1, 2009

In the Hand of the Goddess

Title: In the Hand of the Goddess
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 1984
Series: Song of the Lioness Quartet (Book 2)
Next in Series: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

Alanna has completed her years as a page, defeated the Black City and proved herself worthy of being a squire. As her years as a page ended, the crown prince choose her as his personal squire. But the future isn't going to be easy, as the Goddess warns Alanna. Wars, assassination attempts and usurpers litter the path ahead of her, and Alanna must learn to overcome her fears if she is to protect her friends and become a knight.

The world of Tortall really expands in the second book in the series. Finally we get to see more of the country than the palace and Trebond. The war with the neighbor country Tusaine to the east lets us finally meet some of the common folk other than George and his family. Plus, it teaches us so much more about the Gift and Alanna’s healing powers, which is fascinating. As if this weren’t enough, Alanna takes a trip to the City of the Gods to visit her brother Thom. It’s the city where Alanna was almost stuck – I mean sent – to learn to be a lady. If the first book is to lay the foundations of a world and the second is to flesh it out, Tamora Pierce does an outstanding job.

The book is told in a third person omniscient perspective, although it is a very limited omniscient, rarely leaving Alanna’s point of view. Occasionally there is a shift and the reader will follow things from another’s perspective, the most notable being Duke Roger.

My Thoughts:
To be honest, I have nothing bad to say about the Song of the Lioness Quartet. The first two books in the quartet were always my favorites because of Alanna’s age and that hasn’t really changed. The last two books have a more nostalgic, wistful feeling to them and are certainly more urgent, but this one somehow has more life to it. In the Hand of the Goddess leaps to life, the world is exciting, new and expanding

Favorite Scene:
Without a doubt, my favorite scene was Alanna being caught in girls’ clothes at Mistress Cooper’s house by George and Jon.

Who this book is best for:
I recommend this book for young women in middle school or above.

Violence: three of five for battle scenes, attempted assassinations and dueling

Stars: 4.5 of 5

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