DNF For Now: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce

Title: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Author: Tamora Pierce
SeriesSong of the Lioness #3
Publisher: Atheneum Books For Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 1986
Pages: 260
Format/Source: Paperback/Purchased 

Age Group/Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy

“Let her prove herself worthy as a man.”

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.

Alanna’s journey continues…(Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)

*Warning:  This is the third book in a series.  While I really don’t like spoilers, you might find some slight spoilers for the first two books in this review.*

For some reason, I just couldn’t get into The Woman Who Rides Like a Man. I was trying to read the whole series for the A Series A Month reading challenge, and I enjoyed my re-read of Alanna, and enjoyed In the Hand of the Goddess, but I just hit a snag when I started reading Woman. I’m not sure if I was just wanting to mix it up and read something else, or if it was the book itself, but I found myself very bored while trying to read it. And I did have a few issues with the book which is at least partially why I ended up DNFing this one.

For one thing, Alanna set off at the end of book 2 wanting to go on an adventure. Everyone else wanted her to stay in the city, but she felt like she had to go off and do her own thing. And early on in this book she finds a tribe of Bazhir and she was still with them more than 1/3 of the way into the book, where I stopped reading. I wasn’t interested in her hanging around these people and teaching them magic. I wanted to see her go on an adventure.

And in this book, the Bazhir really seem like a stereotypical primitive tribe. They are portrayed as culturally rich and intellectual one minute, and then stupid and overly primitive in the next. Which one is it? I understand them not being able to relate to or understand Alanna’s ways, since they are tribal and she is not, but they seem smart and yet then they seem to be portrayed as really unintelligent. It just didn’t seem consistent and that also contributed to the fact that I didn’t care about her hanging out with their tribe.

I did enjoy the fact that there was action right from the beginning. And I did enjoy the first two books in the series, so I know that one day I’ll pick this book up again, and hopefully I won’t be in a funk again. So that’s why I’m calling this one a DNF For Now.

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Simon & Schuster


  1. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    May 5, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Sometimes I like blazing through a series or author, but sometimes I have to break it up. Hopefully when you're ready to return to this series it'll be with fresh eyes and you'll recapture the magic of the first two books!

  2. Micheline D

    May 5, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    If I hadn't done these on audio, I probably would have given up on the series as well. As it was, I could mindlessly listen while drive to and from work and it was easier to get into the story I guess. I can relate to your feelings about Alanna wanting to go on an adventure but then staying with the tribe. She basically stays with them for most of the book, only heading out right at the end O.O Personally, my favorite was the first book and the rest of the series went downhill from there…but you enjoyed book 2 so maybe you'll get into this one another time :)

  3. fakesteph

    May 11, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Didn't read because of spoilers, but I'm so disappointed you didn't finish this one. I'm really excited for this series and my roommate bought them all, so they are on my summer reading list.

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