I started the Song of the Lioness series a week or so ago as part of the YALSA Hub Challenge to read as many of the award nominated young adult books from this year as possible. Tamora Pierce was awarded the Edwards Award for the Song of the Lioness series, as well as the Protector of the Small series. I have seen these books a million times, but they never struck me as something I might want to read.
And while I enjoyed the first book, simply called Alanna, I really loved this one. Alanna, masquerading as Alan so she can train to become a knight, spent much of the first book just struggling to be accepted as a boy. She often got picked on or teased for being the smallest or weakest of the bunch of pages. In this book, however, she has clearly earned her place amongst the squires (the step up from pages), and she finally began to understand what it means to be a woman AND a man.
I kind of want to jump right into the next book in the series, but I might vary it up so I don't get bored.