The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3)by Tamora Pierce Published 06 Jan 2005
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"Let her prove herself worthy as a man."
Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert of Tortall. Captured by fierce desert dwellers, she is forced to prove herself in a duel to the death -- either she will be killed or she will be inducted into the tribe. Although she triumphs, dire challenges lie ahead. As her mythic fate would have it, Alanna soon becomes the tribe's first female shaman -- despite the desert dwellers' grave fear of the foreign woman warrior. Alanna must fight to change the ancient tribal customs of the desert tribes -- for their sake and for the sake of all Tortall.
Alanna's journey continues...
"The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3)" Reviews
I was 12 when I discovered the Song of the Lioness quartet, and they made a massive impression on me. At that point in my life it was amazing to find a series of books with such tough, relatable heroine. Alana was everything I wanted to be: strong-willed, compassionate, driven, and dead set on living on her own terms.
It's been a decade since I first read these books, and they still stand up pretty well. Alana still strikes me as an excellent role model for teenage girls, and she's as endearing to college-aged me as she was to preteen-me.
That being said, I have one massive problem with "The Woman who Rides Like a Man". There's an uncomfortable degree of cultural insensitivity in Alana's dealings with the Bashir (a desert tribe who adopt her). The tribe is othered to the point of Orientalism, their customs little more than a caricature of Middle Eastern culture. I was also discomfited with the fact that Alana was portrayed as a white savior, swooping in and bringing massive "moral" changes to the Bashir's traditions. It struck me as a blatant display of cultural imperialism.
The Woman who Rides Like a Man has it's issues, but those problems can be the starting point for some great discussions. Because it raises questions about gender roles, moral relativity, and cultural issues, it could be a great selection for a teen reading group.
I opened this book sailing along on a certain ship... a ship that I'd been on since book 1 ... I was convinced my feelings were never going to change!
BUT THEN THINGS HAPPEN!!
And these things weren't making me happy ... NOT AT ALL HAPPY JON!!
And Alanna reacted just exactly how I expected she would ...
I thought I was fine...
AND NOW ... I don't even care, I ship Alanna with anyone she wants to be with. As long as they respect her as a knight and allow her to go on her adventures and experience life and everything it has to offer and figure out what she wants. If you can do this, I will ship you with her... I promise :)
I love this series because it features a strong female protagonist. In fact, all of this author's work is centered around young women, which I appreciate after reading so much Harry Potter (which I love, but which lacks balance between good male and female characters, at least in the early books). Some of the other collections get repetitive, but Alanna's story stays compelling through all four books.
The entire Song of the Lioness quartet is absolutely brilliant. What a great, uplifting series for young girls - it's smart, funny, brave, and terrifically exciting. I read this when I was in middle school, but I still get pleasure from re-reading it even today.
More adventures in store for Alanna after the conclusion of the second book in the series. A new phase of her education and a new phase of her growth as a human being, a woman and a knight. The desert setting is nice, but Alanna-turned-teacher was a bit boring after a while. On to the last book. Highly recommended for any pre-teen.
[4 Stars] I really enjoyed this one! It may be my favorite in the series so far! I'm glad I'm finally getting a chance to dive back into this world. I also just loved learning about the Bazhir and their traditions and overall just seeing Alanna out of a court setting! Also, can I just say girl power! Go Alanna!