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The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, Book 3) Paperback – April 19, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 206 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Song of the Lioness Series

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Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself? Paperback | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-9 The third in the "Song of the Lioness" series finds the title heroine, Alanna; her psychic cat, Faithful; and the older man-at-arms, Coram, among the desert tribes of the Bazhir. Here Alanna breaks with tradition by training three gifted youthstwo of them girlsas shamans. She also sets out to tame the evil in a substitute crystal sword that she suspects belonged to her enemy, Roger, whom she killed in Book Two. Her ambitious brother, sorcerer Thom, is experimenting with raising the deadand new trouble brews. Meanwhile, she has a misunderstanding with Prince Jonathan, her lover who has assumed their betrothal and a romantic reunion with George, King of Thieves. A coming-of-age fantasy-adventure that can be read by itself, thanks to smooth backgrounding, and one that leaves readers wanting to read further in either direction. Ruth M. McConnell, San Antonio Public Lib .
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Lively and enjoyable, with a strong, vigorous heroine."--The Horn Book

"Alanna's world is a harsh one, but believable.... This fantasy provides food for introspection as well as flights of imagination in a magical kingdom." -- Kirkus --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
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442427655
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442427655
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,033 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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#83 in Books > Teens
#83 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
SONG OF THE LIONESS: BOOK III - THE WOMAN WHO RIDES LIKE A MAN, takes us through one-year of Alanna of Trebond's life, from shortly after she is knighted at the age of eighteen, until the one-year anniversary of her knighting, at the age of nineteen.

Newly knighted Alanna of Trebond is finally enjoying showing the world that she is a woman, and not a man, as she begins her journey through the vast desert of Tortall. There, however, she is captured by vicious desert dwellers, who have challenged her to a duel. A duel to the death that will prove whether she is worthy of being invited into the tribe, or killed in battle. Alanna receives a triumph from the battle, though she is headed for tough times. Times that will test her in everything she attempts. Before long, Alanna's mythic fate comes into play, and Alanna is soon the first female shaman of the tribe, training three amateur sorcerers to follow in her footsteps, and become shamans, like herself. But when one of her young students succumbs to greed and tragedy, Alanna realizes that she must fight to change the customs of the desert tribes, or tragedy will strike all of Tortall. As if that weren't enough for her to handle, Alanna must also make a choice: marry Prince Jonathan, and spend her days trying to give him an heir, or live alone as the knight she has strived so hard to become.

I will be the first to admit that I never would have imagined that I could enjoy a series about a female knight so much, but Tamora Pierce has made me a fan for life. Her SONG OF THE LIONESS series has quickly become one of my favorites, and I was enthralled by the outcome of this book.
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By A Customer on August 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
OK, OK, I didn't like this book as well as I liked the others in the series... but it was still better than the vast majority of young adult fiction out there! I agree with the review that said Alanna was acting too emotional and girly, but then I realized hey -- she's still a teenager, don't we all go thru a bazillion mood swings and personality changes?? :) Anyway, if you've already read the first two books in this series, for pete's sake don't skip this one just because a lot of people have given it lukewarm reviews. Just hang in there till "Lioness Rampant!"
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the Alanna books for the first time when I was ten years old, 17 years ago. Ever since I've read them about once a year, and I've never gotten bored with them. Alanna provided a complicated feminine hero when I desperately longed to see one. They are excellent books, and although I like the series that have come later in the world of Tortall, these remain my favorites.

First, read these books in order; it's definitely the best way to experience Alanna's story. And stop reading this review - I don't want to spoil the experience. Just go buy the first two.

Second, this book is going to be slower than the first two. And that makes sense. Alanna has been through a traumatic experience; she killed a man, arch-enemy or no, and much of the book is spent dealing with her own personal demons over that fact. So, that means fewer straight forward over-arching battles, and more talking. For those who felt that Alanna cried too much in this book, I would say wouldn't you? I liked the fact that Alanna could be portrayed as a strong heroine who could be an amazing warrior and still be feminine, a strong willed, intelligent woman who could still feel emotions and even sometimes got scared, jealous, or sad. Alanna's is an adult now and she's carving her place in the world. That's complicated stuff. Personally, I found that interesting.

Since people have expressed concern about the relatively mature content of the books, I thought I should address it:

In regard to the romances in Alanna's life (an oft discussed topic on this page): Alanna is not actually that promiscuous. Over the course of four books she has relationships with exactly three men. And she is perfectly ethical, although not adhering to the Christian concept of no sex before marriage.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alanna of Trebond is taking a break from her home at the palace. Since everyone found out about her true sex, she has been worried about how people will react, and she knows that their spreading horrible rumors about her. All she wants to do is go searching for adventures and she gets one, just not the one she suspects.
While riding towards the South she is attacked by a strange group of men, she is saved by the Bazhir, enemies of these men but also enemies of the King. They invite her to their village where people look at here either as a goddess or a demon. In the few months she spends their she finds that she must not only protect herself, but train 3 young mages, and unite two groups who have been enemies for generations.
The Woman who rides like a man is another exciting edition to the Alanna series. Although I didn't like it as much as the first 2 books I still enjoyed it. The main complaint I have is the book seemed to have two plots, both that could easily be joined with the 2nd and 3rd book. But beyond that it was great. I was happy to see Alanna, George, Sir Myles, Coram and other great old characters and meet new ones. If you're an Alanna fan I recommend reading this book.
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The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, Book 3)
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