This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Wild Magic, Trickster's Choice, Trickster's Queen, Wolf-Speaker, Emperor Mage, Realms of the Gods, First Test, Page, Squire, Lady Knight, Terrier, Bloodhound, Mastiff, Daja's Book, Sandry's Book, Tris's Book, Briar's Book, Magic Steps, Street Magic, Cold Fire, Shatterglass, The Will of the Empress, Melting Stones.
Fourth in the Song of the Lioness children’s adventure series revolving around the Lady Alanna, a knight in the service of King Roald of Tortall. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Tortall books on my website.
I wasn’t as happy with this particular installment as it seemed a bit condescending in parts. Although, that is my only quibble. I also suspect that part of my dislike is because there were too many deaths of characters I liked.
Alanna is still restless and anxious to achieve great deeds so when she learns about the Dominion Jewel and the effect it has on the kingdom of the one who holds it, she is determined to find it and take it home to Jonathan. I suspect she is also hoping for redemption for being a girl!
Along the way Alanna meets Liam Ironman, the Shang Dragon, who teaches her his hand-to-hand fighting skills during the day even as they love each other at night. Liam, however, is afraid of Alanna’s magic.
It is in South Maren that Alanna and company learn of the dangers of Saren, a country at war with itself. It will be a dangerous trek through Saren, if Alanna is determined to find the Jewel. While traveling the back ways, they encounter Thayet and her band of refugees. There is no question but that Alanna, Coram, and Liam will escort them to their destination, a sanctuary that proves false amidst the plots swirling around Prince Jonathan and his throne.
Sir Alanna (in pants and Lady Alanna when wearing a dress) increases her reputation and firms up her resolve. Coram continues to accompany her. Liam Ironman is the Shang Dragon, the elite. A champion of hand-to-hand fighting. The best of the best. Thom, Alanna’s twin brother, is a Master and has become too full of himself, too immature.
Thayet jian Wilima is the incredibly beautiful princess of Saren and daughter of the Warlord Kalasin, but ineligible for the throne unless a man marries her. She had once been considered as a wife for Jon. Buri is of the K’mir tribe, similar to the Bazhir.
George Cooper, the beleaguered King of the Thieves, carefully returns to Corus to find his position under siege and his mother threatened. Claw is going against custom and is revealed as an ancient enemy.
Prince Jonathan is to be crowned king. Queen Lianne never did recover totally from the Sleeping Sickness caused by Duke Roger, and with her death, King Roald no longer has the will to live. Duke Roger’s revival from death has thrown the nobles into confusion. Sir Myles is one of Jonathan’s advisers, and Alanna is his heir (see Woman Who Rides Like a Man). Si-cham is a Mithran priest.
Princess Josiane is still at Court but no longer desired by Jonathan. Alex of Tirragen is another of the plotters, a squire of Duke Roger’s. Delia of Eldorne is one of the four.
Chitral is greater than a god, more ancient than our own…with a wicked sense of humor! It is he who guards the Dominion Jewel.
The Cover and Title
The cover has a black background with reds, oranges, and yellows lighting up the image block showcasing an armored Alanna holding her magical sword point down in a room of esoteric symbols with an even eerier army behind her.
The title reflects the importance Sir Alanna, the Lioness Rampant, holds for Prince Jonathan and his upcoming coronation.