Author: Tamora Pierce
Song of the Lioness, vol. 2
Alanna has proven herself as a squire and has earned the trust and deep friendship of many of her peers (including Prince Jonathan, who is in on her secret), despite the challenges of keeping up and hiding the fact that she is a girl. Now all she wants is to keep up with her studies and practice and make it through the Ordeal of Knighthood smoothly. When the goddess takes an interest in her, that becomes a bit more challenging, especially after she also discovers a plot to murder the current rulers and the next heir to the throne–her own knight and friend Jonathan! Now she must rely on her skills, magic, luck, and friendships to survive and protect the people who matter the most to her. And maybe discover love along the way. . . .
I deeply enjoyed the first volume of this quartet, Alanna: The First Adventure, and I found In the Hand of the Goddess to be quite a satisfying follow up to that. The plot is engaging, with a very nice mix of adventure, court intrigue, friendships, and romance. (I must admit, the sex bugs me a bit, but I get why Pierce includes it.) The characters are really wonderful–one of my favorite aspects of Pierce’s writing–and I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of Alanna’s feline companion, Faithful. I’m truly looking forward to where the story goes from here, and would definitely recommend reading both In the Hand of the Goddess and the other books in the quartet; just start at the beginning as there is a definite chronological flow.