"I'm not sure I want to be a hero anymore." Having achieved her dream of becoming the first female knight errant, Alanna of Trebond is not sure what to do next. Perhaps being a knight errant is not all that Alanna needs....But Alanna must push her uncertainty aside when a new challenge... read more
The final chapter of this quartet finds Alanna and her manservant, Coram, far from Tortall, on a quest seeking a legendary stone that can provide untold powers in the hands of country rulers. Stopping in Berat, Alanna meets Liam Ironarm, the Dragon of Shang and the most powerful of the Shang... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The final chapter of this quartet finds Alanna and her manservant, Coram, far from Tortall, on a quest seeking a legendary stone that can provide untold powers in the hands of country rulers. Stopping in Berat, Alanna meets Liam Ironarm, the Dragon of Shang and the most powerful of the Shang fighters, who befriends her and agrees to accompany her on her quest for the Dominion Jewel. En route to the Roof of the World, where the Jewel is hidden, Liam and Alanna begin a love affair, despite their clashing tempers and his fear of all things magical.
The travelers pass through war-torn Sarain, ripped apart by a vicious civil war between the native K'miri tribes and the ruler, Warlord jin Wilima, whose armies persecute the K'mir. The war has been fueled by the death of the Warlord's K'miri wife, Kalasin, the most beautiful woman in the world, who killed herself as a rebellion against the persecution of her people. Caught in the midst of the battles, Alanna and her friends stumble upon Princess Thayet, the Warlord's only child, who is in hiding from her father's enemies who wish to either kill her or marry her to claim the Saren throne. Thayet and her friend/protector Buriram Tourokom, a gruff K'mir, join Alanna, Coram and Liam on their quest for the Jewel, knowing that it is best for Thayet to leave her country and never return.
The group travels to the Roof of the World, where Chitral's Pass is blocked off due to severe blizzards. Alanna knows Chitral, the mountain elemental who holds the Jewel, will never make it easy for her to obtain the Jewel, so she bespells her friends to keep them asleep and ventures into the blizzard up the mountain. She battles Chitral, who takes the form of a mountain ape, and though she is defeated, he gives her the Jewel anyway. Alanna, wounded, frozen and half-dead, passes out; when she wakes up, she is back in the hotel with her friends. Liam is furious that she witched him, and the two break off their romance but remain friends. Meanwhile, Alanna has been having strange dreams from home, of her brother Thom, George, Jonathan, and Duke Roger's dead body. When the group encounters Raoul of Goldenlake, he confesses to Alanna that Tortall is in turmoil. Queen Lianne is dead, and the King committed suicide soon after. A grief-stricken Jonathan has been made King but not been crowned, and worst of all, Alanna's arrogant brother Thom, in an effort to prove to the haughty Lady Delia of Eldorne that he is the most powerful sorcerer in the realm, has raised Duke Roger from the dead.
Alanna's friends accompany her back to Tortall, where she finds the people whispering of famine, black magic and a cursed reign for King Jonathan. She takes her place at Jonathan's side, giving him the Dominion Jewel, and Jonathan names her as his King's Champion, the first female Champion in history. Meanwhile, Alanna finds amusement when he falls in love with Thayet and begins to court her. Jon and Alanna agree that they were not right together, but when she looks to George to renew his romance, he treats her as nothing more than a friend. Her brother Thom is rapidly growing ill, poisoned by his own Gift, and Alanna is helpless to stop it. Meanwhile, Alanna and Roger have a vicious encounter where they renew their old hatred, and Alanna suspects that Lady Delia and others, including her old rival Alex of Tirragen, are plotting to overthrow Jonathan and put Roger in his place. On the eve of the Coronation, Alanna meets the Great Mother Goddess, who warns her that the Coronation will be a "crossroad in time." Sure enough, during the ceremony, insurgents wearing Tirragen and Eldorne colors storm the palace and Alanna and her friends fight to protect Jonathan. Thom dies, drained of life by Roger's spell, and Alanna's magical cat Faithful is also killed. Princess Josiane of the Copper Isles then tries to kill Alanna, and in turn Alanna kills her. In a rage, Alanna also kills Alex when he tries to detain her from reaching Roger, and she confronts her archenemy, who uses her sword - part Lightning, part the Bazhir shaman's sword - to bring her to him. The spell backfires when she stops resisting and lets go, killing Roger with his own sword and destroying his evil forever.
When the fighting dies down, Alanna sees that Liam is also dead, killed while protecting Jonathan. After the insurgents are captured, Alanna returns to the Bazhir to rest and clear her head, also to grieve for her brother, Liam and Faithful. Thayet and Buri visit her there, where Alanna gives her blessing on Thayet's upcoming marriage to Jonathan. The Shang Wildcat, who was once Liam's teacher, visits briefly to give Alanna a letter Liam had written before he died. In it, he says he knew that his time was near, and he tells Alanna to live a happy life with a man who loves all of her, and she realizes by the end that George has always been the one for her. Later, George visits her among the tribe, bearing the news of Thayet and Jonathan's engagement, and Alanna confesses that she still loves George and wants to be his wife. The series ends with George and Alanna cementing their own engagement with a kiss, and an announcement to the Bazhir.
“Sweet, everyone knows the Dragon and the Lioness were prowlin' Sarain. I heard two songs about you this week.”George Cooper
“....And Coram? I never want to see a man that drunk again.”Liam Ironarm
“Like it or no, you’re a legend, after the Bazhir and winnin’ your shield,” the Provost said in his blunt way. “Girls play at bein’ Lioness. I saw one chasin’ her brother down the street, wavin’ a stick and callin’ for the Conté Duke to submit to her sword.”Highlighted by 37 Kindle customers
“Yes,” she snapped. “Myself.” “Ouch. You should be nicer to your King, my Champion.”Highlighted by 29 Kindle customers
“The trouble with arguing with a cat is that cats don’t hesitate to say anything about you, no matter how crazy it is,”Highlighted by 28 Kindle customers
“Your artwork’s improved. The one you did of Delia made her look like a cow.” Pursing her lips, she added thoughtfully, “Though now that I think of it, maybe that was your subject matter—”Highlighted by 28 Kindle customers
“Life used to be simple,” he told his palms. Faithful jumped up to sniff at Liam’s plate. Probably more boring, too.Highlighted by 25 Kindle customers
“’Beauty is pain.’” “Is that supposed to be a consolation?”Highlighted by 24 Kindle customers
Either I’ve turned stupid, or life’s turned hard, he thought with a sigh.Highlighted by 19 Kindle customers
Alanna waved the drawing of Thayet in front of him, grinning wickedly. “You still want to marry me, Sire? Or were you just checking to see if the road is clear?”Highlighted by 16 Kindle customers
He never touched me.” “Maybe he didn’t,” Coram rumbled, as red as she was. “And maybe he’s plannin’ to.” Closing the door, he heard Alanna murmur, “Nothing wrong with that.”Highlighted by 14 Kindle customers
“You’re the Woman Who Rides Like a Man. You also helped to bring down the Black City. The other one to do that will be King. Your own tribe would be the first to say it’s your right to stand beside Jon.”Highlighted by 14 Kindle customers
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