Publisher: Atheneum Books, Random House Inc
Don't let the original release dates of these books put you off. Together they comprise one of the best YA series available today. The 4 books together tell the story of Alanna, a young girl who decides that there is no reason she can't be a knight. Check out the following four summaries:
Alan of Trebond, the best warrior in the palace, is harboring a big secret: he is really a she - Alanna. But when her prince is felled by an illness, Alanna has no choice but to use her healing magic - even if it means ruining her career.
"I don't want to fall in love. I just want to be a warrior maiden."Still disguised as a boy, Alanna becomes a squire to none other than the prince of the realm. Prince Jonathan is not only Alanna's liege lord, he is also her best friend -- and one of the few who knows the secret of her true identity. But when a mysterious sorceror threatens the prince's life, it will take all of Alanna's skill, strength, and magical power to protect him -- even at the risk of revealing who she really is...Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's second adventure continues the saga of a girl who dares to follow her dreams -- and the magical destiny that awaits her.Alanna's journey continues...
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 mythic 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.
At last, Alanna of Trebond has become the first female knight errant in Tortall. She sets out on an impossible quest to find the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem that, in the right hands, has limitless power for good. But while she searches for the one thing that can save her war-torn country, her nemesis returns from the dead and begins to wreak havoc. Only Alanna has the power to prevent Tortall's utter destruction...In this final verse of the Song of the Lioness quartet, Alanna grows from heroine into legend.
Alanna is such an amazing heroine. She is prepared to do almost anything to succeed in her desire to become a knight, and she goes about it with integrity and determination. She sets her sights on what she wants and fights for the right to be able to do it.
The books are straight fantasy, so there is no technology to age the stories. Ms Pierce's world building is absolutely superb and completely believable and you can just fall into her universe. If you decide to try these out and you find yourself wanting more, fear not, there are lots of others.
The Immortals Quartet
Circle of Magic Quartet
Protector of the Small Quartet
The Circle Opens Quartet
Will of the Empress, and Melting Stones
Bekka Cooper Series
Most of her series are set in the Kingdom of Tortall and its environs and you'll see favourite characters appearing in different series. What a treat you are in for. Try THIS link to find out more about each of the different series. I find myself almost wishing I hadn't read them so that I could start again at the beginning. Find them, try them and I guarantee that you will love them.