The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, Book 3)
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From Tamora Pierce, the third book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, honored with the Margaret A. Edwards Award.
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 mysterious 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.
as it had filled her. For a moment it seemed to flicker and die—then it became part of the stone, a huge beacon shining on the battleground below. “Tortall and the King!” Alanna cried, following Halef Seif. She drew the crystal sword, feeling its ominous humming in her hand. Once more its magic reached out, seeking ways to take over her purpose, but Alanna was concentrating only on the hillmen attacking Halef Seif. She set her jaw and held on, mentally telling the sword, Stop that. Two of them
on her arm. “I know what the sword meant to ye. But ye can’t be thinking of that now. These men may be friends or may not be; who knows why they saved our skins. Ye’d best be puttin’ yer mind to talk with ’em.” Alanna nodded, trying to collect her thoughts. Their rescuers formed a loose circle around her and Coram as the man who had covered the crystal sword with sand joined them, guiding a large chest-nut stallion with ease. The others gave way to him, letting him approach Alanna and Coram. For
Alanna yelled hoarsely. She reached out, but the bolt of power she threw at him was thin, and it vanished far short of the mark. She would never reach him in time. “Don’t! The sword—it’ll turn on you!” “Why should you have it, Woman Who Rides Like a Man?” he yelled back, triumphant. “You won’t even use it! You don’t use your own Gift as much as you could. You don’t deserve to have more! I deserve the sword! I want the power!” “Then why didn’t the sword come to you, instead of me?” Alanna cried,
had always occurred at night: she had been blaming flickering torch- and firelight. “I’ll need my healer’s bag,” she murmured. Farda handed it to her silently; she must have gotten it from one of the girls. “Why did you come to me? Surely one of the visiting shamans—” Farda drew herself up, insulted. “You are the shaman for the Bloody Hawk. Do I tell all those guests that our shaman is not good enough for the Voice of the Tribes?” Alanna grinned. “Sorry I asked.” Ali Mukhtab grimaced as she
vengeance! “I don’t know,” she admitted, busying herself with the mare’s tail. “I’ve been thinking about it, but I haven’t come to a decision.” “He ordered his horses for today,” the headman said implacably. “Surely he expects you to accompany him, if you will be his bride.” Seeing Alanna turn pale, he added, “He ordered that your horse be prepared, too.” Alanna felt the beginnings of irritation. “He had no right to do that. I haven’t given him my answer yet.” “Perhaps he believes he knows