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.
People. Didn’t they realize that the only way to change things was to act? She tried to express her confusion to Ali Mukhtab, to his amusement. “We believe in the Great Balance,” he told her. “All will right itself in the end. The Balance shifts—it cannot be predicted. It is like the desert, you see. The sands drift always, yet the desert remains the same. Man cannot change the desert, and man cannot affect the Balance.” Alanna shook her head with exasperation. “I don’t believe in waiting for.
Excused herself, seeing that Ali Mukhtab needed to go inside and lie down. “If,” indeed, she thought. That night, after the evening meal, Halef Seif took her aside. “Sir Myles of Olau tells me he wishes to bring you into his tent as his heir,” he said. Alanna nodded, and a smile brightened the headman’s face. “I feel strange saying he wishes you to be his daughter, since a daughter cannot inherit all the father owns among our people. He says to me you have been friends a long time.” “He.
Know, her brown eyes worried. “If he wins, then I don’t deserve to be master here.” George’s face was grim. “If he wins, I’ve no guarantees he won’t betray every one of us to my Lord Provost, or someone worse, because I don’t know what he wants. Where he is placed now, he can rule us or destroy us. Do any of you care to wager which it is?” There was no answer; he really didn’t expect one. “You all know what to do and where to ask your questions, then. As soon as the passes open eastward, I’ll.
Sorceress on it. The woman they had saved was in her forties, dark-haired, her eyes a deep brown. Old and new bruises covered her; a trickle of fresh blood accented the corner of her mouth. She was badly burned. Taking her hand, Alanna reached with her Gift, already knowing what she would find. “Don’t spend your strength, child.” The woman’s voice was hoarse. “I know I am dying.” Alanna withdrew, sick at heart. “How did you get such deep injuries?” “They stoned me yesterday,” was the answer.
Dreams.” He watched with misgiving as she put the crystal blade and the two parts of Lightning on the ground before her. “Now what’re ye up to?” “She told me how to mend Lightning, and that’s what I’m going to do.” Faithful came to sit beside her as Coram backed away. For a moment Alanna stared resentfully at the two long scars on her right forearm. Gritting her teeth, she drew a third wound beside them with her dagger, letting her blood drip onto both swords. A harsh wind sprang up; their fire.