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In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2005

334 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Song of the Lioness Series

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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grades 5-8--Alanna of Trebond continues her masquerade as Alan in this, the second book in the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce (Random, 1990). The story spans Alanna's fours years as Prince Jonathan's squire. During this time, Alanna participates in her first war, battles against Jonathan's evil uncle, Duke Roger, meets the Great Mother Goddess and experiences first love, all the while maintaining her guise as a boy. Actress Trini Alvardo perfectly captures the essence of Alanna by giving her the uncertainty of a girl on the verge of womanhood combined with the steel determination and strength of a squire preparing for the battle to become a knight. Alvarado uses slight changes in her voice to vividly give life to a large cast of characters. While familiarity with the first book in the series, Alanna: The First Adventure (Random, 1983), will enhance this story, it is by no means necessary. Add this timeless story to collections where magic, adventure, and strong female characters are in demand.
Veronica Schwartz, Des Plaines Public Library, IL
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.


"An action-filled adventure novel. Recommended."--Fantasy Review

"This series is sprightly, filled with adventure and marvelously satisfying." -- School Library Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Song of the Lioness (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689878567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689878565
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of fantasy books for teenagers. Her books, known for their teenaged girl warriors and wizards, have received critical acclaim and a strong fanbase.


Tamora Pierce was drawn to books from a young age. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, the child of a "long, proud line of hillbillies," her family never had much. "We were poor, but I didn't know it then. We had a garden where my folks grew fruit and vegetables and our water came from a well," she explains. But one thing they did have was plenty of books. So Tamora read.

A self-proclaimed "geek," she devoured fantasy and science fiction novels, and by the age of 12 was mimicking her literary idols and writing her own action-packed stories. It was thanks to her father that Tamora began writing. "He heard me telling myself stories as I did dishes, and he suggested that I try to write some of them down," Pierce says.

But Tamora's novels had one major difference: unlike the books she was reading, her stories featured teenaged girl warriors. "I couldn't understand this lapse of attention on the part of the writers I loved, so until I could talk them into correcting this small problem, I wrote about those girls, the fearless, bold, athletic creatures that I was not, but wanted so badly to be."

Seventeen years later, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, a brief career in teen social work and some time spent writing for radio, Tamora Pierce held true to her childhood crusade, and published Alanna: The First Adventure, the first in a quartet about a valiant, young, female warrior. Pierce's heroine struck a chord with readers across the country and quickly earned her a loyal following.

Pierce is now a #1 New York Times bestselling author and has written twenty-five books, including her newest, BEKA COOPER #2: Bloodhound. "It's a pretty good life, if I do say so myself. Struggling along as a kid and even through my twenties, it's the kind of life I dreamed of but never believed I would get. Yet here I am, after a lot of work, a lot of worry, a lot of care for details, and a massive chunk of luck, the kind that brought me such strong friends and readers. Pretty good for a hillbilly, yes? And I never take it for granted," she says.

Pierce lives in upstate New York with her husband Tim and their three cats and two birds.


"[Tamora Pierce's heroines] faithfully reiterate an ideal of feminine power that relies on brains, not beauty; of feminine attractiveness that relies on competence, not helplessness; and of feminine alliances that grow stronger, not weaker, in the face of conflicts." -The New York Times


"With its rollicking adventures [and] appealing characters . . . Terrier will be in strong demand by Pierce's fans. It will keep readers on the edge of their seats." -School Library Journal, Starred

"Memorable characters and well-drawn settings. . . . This timely and appealing anthology will surely help swell the ranks of teenage fantasy readers." -School Library Journal

"The plot sweeps readers along in a whirlwind of court intrigue, deception, murder, and romance. The humor is wicked, and the plot twists will keep the pages turning to the supremely satisfying end. Teens will be inspired by Aly's determination, her resourcefulness, and her heart." -School Library Journal

"Aly arrives fully formed, a snarky, talented uber-heroine. Cameos of old favorites complement a rich cast of new characters. Aly's difficulty with the complexity of colonialism adds surprising, welcome depth." -Kirkus Reviews

"Unrelentingly realistic in its depiction of the horrors of war, this novel draws the reader into a complete and believable fantasy world. Pierce provides exquisite details of the weaponry, topography, and culture of her world, and her control of a voluminous cast of characters is masterful." -Voice of Youth Advocates

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#92 in Books > Teens
#92 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Everything WILL be all right on December 31, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my favorite book of the alanna series. I am 18 and recieved this series around nine or ten years ago. And yes, when I am bored, I will still pick up the books and reread them, that is how much I love them. For all the reviewers saying these are simplistic, yes, they aren't on the level of the classics, say other female authors I have read such as the bronte sisters or jane austen, BUT, they aren't meant to be! They are wonderful, funny, intelligent books with a strong female heroine, and teach girls that we can be anything we want to be.

Don't listen to all the indignant soccer moms out there screaming that Alanna is er... promiscous (sp?). She has two love interests in this book, and there are no sex scenes! It is implied, thats all. This is no "bodice ripper" or porn, as some idiots have insinuated. When I first read the books, the fact that alanna and jon started sleeping together went completly over my head.

Bottom line is these books are some of my absolute favorites, along with her wild magic and keladry series (I never got into the circle of magic books.) I think every girl should read these books (and boys too! unfortunatly most I know won't)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on September 1, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
SONG OF THE LIONESS: BOOK II - IN THE HAND OF THE GODDESS, takes us through three-years of Alanna of Trebond's life, from her fifteenth birthday, through her eighteenth.

Alanna is still disguised as a boy, with few people knowing her true identity. She has claimed the duty of being Squire to Prince Jonathan, her lord and best friend. Jonathan knows Alanna's secret, and vows to keep it just that, in an attempt to help her win her knight's shield. However, now a mysterious sorcerer has come out in an attempt to attack the prince. Alanna knows that it is up to her as the prince's squire and best friend, to protect him from the sorcerer by using her magical powers, and learned strengths and skills that will keep him safe from harm, even if, by doing so, her true identity is revealed to those around her.

I could never imagine myself enjoying books about a girl trying to become a knight, but I find myself hungrily devouring Tamora Pierce's SONG OF THE LIONESS books one by one at record speed. Each one leaves me on the edge of my seat, and unable to close the book until I am completely done with them. IN THE HAND OF THE GODDESS is no acception. I enjoyed Alanna's personality even more in this installment in the quartet than in the first one, ALANNA: THE FIRST ADVENTURE. It was wonderful to see Alanna embracing her feminine side, yet, at the same time, holding tight to her feisty side. I also enjoyed that we were able to meet her twin brother better, and learn a bit more about him. Pierce has outdone herself with this series, and will find new fans, young and old, grappling to read about the amazing adventures that her characters face in each installment. A wonderful book that will be loved by all.

Erika Sorocco

Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Juliet on December 23, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am giving this book 4 stars because it was really excellent. Most of this review is a warning though about what is in it. Don't take this the wrong way. Just read it and try to understand where I am coming from. This was a wonderful book filled with excitment and romance. I was a very advanced reader and read the books at a very small age thrwoing the books at the wall after reading them because I was confused why the books ended the way they did. Now that I am older I have come to an understanding which has opened my eyes. When I was younger I brought the book to camp and lent them to my friends who read them in a week. We sat on the bus sighing as we read the romantic parts to each other all squished up into one bus seat so that we could hear the reader. Here is what I am saying to parents, kids, and anyone else who is wondering about this book.

I know some girls who thought that the adventure ws nothing and skimmed the book looking for romance. Let me tell you, you will miss a lot. Alanna's adventures show her strength as a female. Although, (please don't hate me for this) it is true that when Jon finds out that she is a girl in the first book, he starts to treat her like he would a woman, weak. She gratefully accepts his strong arm around her waist when they're riding along, she strains herself healing and he steers her out, and Jon holds her head for support while she's throwing up. Think about it, is she being treated equally? And although her friends know not of her womanhood, she is the one who gets extra care in the group. Perhaps because she is the smallest? But isn't that why women were treated lesser in society? Perhaps weaker? But she has proven herself against that. Alanna can fend for herself.

Now, about the romance.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dear Team of the world, I personally think that Tamora Pierce's In the Hand of the Goddess is a brilliant book. If you don't agree with me, here are some good reasons why I like it. This book has a great plot that just pulls you in and won't let you go. Some people who can't appreciate fantasy writing might say it's boring, but I assure you, it is by no means boring. There are no lengthy, dull introductions that give billions of little details no one would in their right mind would actually be interested in. This book is not taking ideas from anywhere I have seen. It's a new and unique idea. This book has a great plot. The first page, you find out a little about the character Alanna (introduction). Then she meets the "Great Mother Goddess" (narrative hook). There is a duel, and then a war. During the war, Alanna is taken prisoner (this is all the rising action) and is rescued by the prince, Jonathan. Then she goes to her friend's house, the friend is a woman who lives in the city. There she learns to act like a girl. That result is that she falls in love with Jonathan. She eventually graduates from the Prince's squire to a knight. She discovers that Jonathan's cousin, the popular Duke Roger, is killing the queen. She exposes him and they fight to the death (climax). After she wins, her real identity exposed, she rides of to the desert to "spend the rest of the winter being warm". That plot grabs you and holds you until you're done. This book gets to the point. It's not boring and it doesn't drone on and on in the beginning. As in paragraph two, there is a lot of action. Alanna meets the goddess and beats a boasting knight in the first two chapters! She is the squire to the prince of Tortall, next in line for the crown.Read more ›
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