Academic journal article English Journal

Song of the Lioness Quartet

Academic journal article English Journal

Song of the Lioness Quartet

Article excerpt

Reviewed by Jennifer Stuntz

The four stories in this series are titled Alanna: The First Adven- ture, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, and Lioness Rampant. The books introduce a ten-year-old Alanna who copes with a patri- archal society that would have her receive training as a lady of the court, rather than becoming a knight. To achieve her goals, she hides her gender and appears as a boy so she can receive the neces- sary training to pass the trials of knighthood and become a hero, since all knights are con- sidered heroic in this world. During the series, Alanna also endures the challenges of overcoming obstacles, which include being smaller than her peers, bullying, a dan- gerous enemy, and the choice to love.

Although the char- acter of Alanna exists in a fictional and fantasy domain, her experiences with bullying are highly relevant to teens today. On her first day of training, she is immediately targeted because she stands out against her fellow squires for hav- ing red hair and a smaller build. This scenario has played out for many young people on their first days of school, whether they have glasses, appear over- or under- weight, or even dress differently from everyone else. …

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