Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness)
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From Tamora Pierce, the final book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, honored with the Margaret A. Edwards Award.
Having achieved her dream of becoming the first female knight errant, Alanna of Trebond is not sure what to do next. She has triumphed in countless bloody battles, and her adventures are already legendary. Perhaps being a knight errant is not all that Alanna needs…but Alanna must push her uncertainty aside when she is challenged with the impossible. She must recover the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem with enormous power for good—but only in the right hands. And she must work fast. Tortall is in terrible danger from all directions, with enemies great and small plotting to destroy everyone and everything Alanna loves.
war? “They deserved better.” Liam touched a K’miri arm guard decorated with a sunburst pattern. His eyes were a stormy blue-gray. Turning abruptly, he rejoined Coram and the horses. Alanna stayed, arranging twigs into a pyramid. The Jewel doesn’t create great kings, but it helps those who are to prosper, Faithful told her. Never forget, though, it won’t stop a king who wants to build an empire, starting with the conquest of his neighbors. It’ll help him, too. “All good weapons can be turned
hug with one every bit as fierce. “Goldenlake, you sly fox!” She pounded his back in delight as he carried her into her room and kicked the door shut. “Look at you! Look at you!” He was as tall as ever. When he put her down, she had to tilt her head to see him. “Sit, so I don’t hurt myself looking up at you.” He obeyed briefly, only to jump up to hug her again. It was five minutes or more before either of them had calmed down enough to make rational conversation. Faithful climbed into Raoul’s lap
protests. “I couldn’t keep it out of my eyes,” she explained. Finally one of the palace servants came to House Olau, four days after Thom and Si-cham had cloistered themselves, to ask Alanna to visit her brother. She did so, wondering what delightful surprise the sorcerers had ready for her. Thom was pacing when she arrived. Alanna dropped into a chair with a grateful sigh. “It’s baking outside.” About as much as you’re baking inside, she added to herself, noting that his skin was peeling and
staircase began to exhibit tiny cracks and to lose small pieces. Jon’s stopped the big quakes, the Mother-shakers, she thought, but how long can the palace—or any building—take this constant stress? Down Alanna went, her eyes blazing in her tight face. She halted once, to wipe sweaty palms on her shirt. Then she gripped Lightning afresh and moved on. The length of the stairs increased as she descended; they were broken up by landings, with a guardroom off each landing. Since the stair she
her sword, Alanna was knocked down by a staff. Cursing, she rolled to her feet. Before she had her balance, two thieves leaped on her, forcing her down. One gripped her arms, yanking them behind her back. Alanna bit her lip to keep from screaming. She’d always been afraid this would happen. Disarmed, in the clutch of a stronger opponent, she was trapped. The second rogue grinned at her, reaching for her tunic. The street echoed with an animal roar. Something shot into the man in front of