Lioness Rampant

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Lioness Rampant
Song of the Lioness - Lioness Rampant.jpg
Original Atheneum U.S. hardcover of the book featuring the title character.
Author Tamora Pierce
Cover artist David Weisner
Country United States
Language English
Series The Song of the Lioness
Genre Fantasy novel
Publisher Atheneum Books
Publication date
1988
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN ISBN 0-689-31116-8 (first edition, paperback)
OCLC 17619765
LC Class PZ7.P61464 Li 1988
Preceded by The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

Lioness Rampant is a fantasy novel by Tamora Pierce, the fourth and last in a series of books, The Song of the Lioness. It details the return of Sir Alanna of Trebond with the mystical Dominion Jewel, and the final battle between her and her archenemy, evil Roger of Conte.

Plot introduction[edit]

Alanna once again leaves and; this time, in search of the mystical Dominion Jewel, which possesses tremendously misunderstood magical abilities, to bring back to Tortall. She comes across new friends who help her along her journey such as the Shang Dragon Liam, Princess Thayet of Sarain and her loyal bodyguard. But while successful in her quest to gift her homeland with the Jewel, bad news greet her: Jonathan is now King of Tortall, and her archenemy; Roger of Conté, has returned to life due the aid of her twin brother, Thom, who has become an exceptionally powerful sorcerer.

Plot summary[edit]

The first 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 and abilities in the hands of country rulers. Stopping in Berat, Alanna meets Liam Ironarm, the Dragon of Shang and the strongest and 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 romantic love affair, despite their clashing tempers and his fear of all things magical and mystical.

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 and 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 Lord 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 and ambitious twin brother Thom, in an effort to prove to the haughty Lady Delia of Eldorne that he is the strongest and most powerful sorcerer in the whole realm, has returned Lord Roger to life.

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 magical mystic 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 his life-force energy by Roger's dark spell. Alanna's magical cat Faithful is also killed. In a sheer rage, Alanna kills Alex when he tries to detain her from reaching Roger, and she confronts her archenemy, who uses her magical mystical 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 sweet romantic kiss, and an announcement to the Bazhir.

Characters[edit]

  • Alanna of Trebond - Heroine and focus of the book/series
  • Jonathan of Conté - Prince and heir of Tortall and Alanna's best friend and old lover.
  • Gareth of Naxen the Younger - one of Alanna's friends, has succeeded his father.
  • Raoul of Goldenlake - Another one of Alanna's friends, and commander of the King's Own.
  • Alex of Tirragen - Yet another friend of Alanna's, who is as secretive as ever and a suspected worker for the Duke of Conté.
  • George Cooper - The King of the Thieves who waits for Alanna's return and becomes her betrothed at the end of the story.
  • Thom of Trebond - Alanna's twin brother who resurrects Roger to "prove" he is the most powerful mage.
  • Roger of Conté - Jonathan's treacherous and powerful sorcerer cousin who Alanna killed and Thom resurrects.
  • Liam the Shang Dragon - a master at martial arts who befriends Alanna and becomes her lover.
  • Princess Thayet jian Wilima - a K'mir Princess of Sarain, the most beautiful woman in the world, flees war torn Sarain accompanying Alanna to Tortall. Marries Jonathan of Conté.
  • Buriram Tourakom - Thayet's maidservant and guard, a K'mir tribeswoman.
  • Princess Josiane of the Copper Isles - Jon's mothers hopeful betrothal for her son, a traitor conspiring with Roger.
  • Delia of Eldorne - Roger former lover and aids in his plot to take over the Tortallen throne.
  • Si-cham - Priest of the Mithran Order who tries to help Thom overcome his illness.
  • Rispah - Queen of the Rogue. George's cousin. Marries Coram.
  • Myles of Olau - Alanna's adoptive father and a knight of the realm of Tortall.
  • Eleni Cooper - George's mother. Falls in love and marries Myles of Olau.
  • Faithful - Alanna's cat and goddess sent guardian. The supernatural cat has violet eyes, much like his mistress, and has an uncanny sense for detecting the characters of others, and also proves useful in warning Alanna in times of danger.
  • Coram - Alanna's friend and caregiver since birth.