Title: In the Hand of the Goddess
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: Song of the Lioness Quartet #2, Tortall #6
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Medieval fantasy, Strong women
Publisher: Omnibus Books
5th sentence, 74th page: Faithful leaped on to Alanna’s lap as they rode on, startling Darkness not a bit.
Alanna’s final years as a knight-in-training are everything that her first years as a page were – they are filled with laughter, danger and intrigue. The revealing of her secret at the end of Alanna: The First Adventure just helps to further her tale as she continues to battle enemies, both inside and out. Yet, as she gets older, the stakes are also raised, and Alanna is constantly forced to face even greater challenges. Not to mention that In the Hand of the Goddess brings forth her patron – the Mother Goddess.
At the very beginning of this story, Alanna is told that she must learn to face her three fears; love, the Ordeal and Duke Roger. Pierce beautifully takes us on her journey to overcome and conquer the seemingly impossible. Well, impossible for Alanna.
The battle of wits between Alanna and Roger continues throughout this story, and it is only when Alanna is able to finally admit how she feels about the man, that she is able to release herself from his hold. Roger is everything that people are drawn to – influential, charismatic, rich and powerful. Yet, from his first appearance in Alanna: The First Adventure, something isn’t quite right. It is frustrating to watch as Alanna is unable to face up to her fears and confront the worrying man. There is always something creepy about those who are too liked, and too perfect – and Roger is a great reminder of the ugliness that can hide beneath a beauty.
Personally, it is Alanna’s ability to overcome her fear of love that is the most intriguing and meaningful personal journey that is embarked on in this story. Fearing love due to her father’s fate is completely acceptable, and even understandable, yet, until she is able to embrace her love for others, and theirs for her, she is somehow more lonely and isolated than the rest of her friends. It is a great reminder that whatever path we walk on, sometimes the pain is lessened when we have someone to come home to at night.
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