Alanna, the only female knight, sets out across the desert of Tortall and is captured by desert tribesmen. Forced to prove herself, Alanna triumps in a magical duel to the death, becoming the tribe's first female shaman. But another battle rages in Alanna's heart--she must decide whether to marry Prince Jonathan, her first love, or stay with her longtime friend George, the handsome, charismatic King of Thieves. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
I have a love-hate relationship with this book in the series. I will still give it five stars because it did and does make me think, but this was always the one I liked the least (also within the full story arc it makes sense.) After the fallout from “In the Hand of the Goddess”, Alanna goes out adventuring and ends up with the Bazhir. (I know some folks have complained about the imperialistic aspect to the story, but remember this is a book written from the era of kings and knights. It’s part of the story in a lot of ways and Alanna spends her time learning about their culture as she teaches the girls in the village.)
Anyway, my frustration is that Alanna gets a little emo with Johnathan/George. Johnathan asks like a spoiled brat and presumes too much. Alanna then managers to move on, but it felt a little too rushed for me. It ends up satisfactory to me, but it did feel a bit awkward to me at a lot of moments. Still worth reading the series overall, but definitely make sure you read the last one. It gets better again with the last book!
Warning: Contains sexual content
Rating: 5 stars!
Who should read it? All young adults and those who are young at heart.
Want to read the whole series?