Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads to the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, in on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Alanna and Thom take matters into their own hands. The twins switch places, and Thom goes to the temple where Alanna was to go, planning to study sorcery.

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Chapter 2. He was already looking at a book. His two children left the room, closing the door behind them. I want to be a great sorcerer! Shoulders back, Alanna. Thom and Alanna of Trebond were twins, both with red hair and purple eyes. The only difference between them—as far as most people could tell—was the length of their hair. In face and body shape, dressed alike, they would have looked alike. Alanna looked around and checked the hall for servants.

The Daughters of the Goddess are the ones who train young boys in magic, remember? And maybe we can talk to Maude. Part of her wanted to stop this before it got out of hand, but not a very big part.

Alanna shook her head. Will you have the guts for it? His eyes were cold. When Alanna finished, the woman turned and stared out the door for long minutes. Finally she looked at the twins again. She had taught them all the magic she possessed. They were both capable of learning much more, but there were no other teachers at Trebond. Thom wanted everything he could get from his magic, but he disliked people. He listened to Maude only because he thought she had something left to teach him; he hated Coram—the other adult who looked after the twins—because Coram made him feel stupid.

The only person in the world Thom loved, beside himself, was Alanna. Maude thought about Alanna and sighed. The girl was very different from her brother. Alanna was afraid of her magic. Thom had to be ordered to hunt, and Alanna had to be tricked and begged into trying spells.

The woman had been looking forward to the day when someone else would have to handle these two. Now it seemed the gods were going to test her through them one last time. She shook her head. I must try and See, in the fire. I thought you could only heal. She was afraid. Thom, vervain.

Thom soon followed, carrying leaves from the magic plant vervain. Maude knelt before the hearth and motioned for the twins to sit on either side of her.

She felt sweat running down her back. People who tried to use magic the gods had not given them often died in ugly ways. Maude gave a silent prayer to the Great Mother Goddess, promising good behavior for the rest of her days if only the Goddess would keep her in one piece through this.

She tossed the leaves onto the fire, her lips moving silently with the sacred words. Power from her and from the twins slowly filled the fire. Power shot up their arms. Thom yelped and wriggled with the pain of the magic now filling him up. Alanna bit her lower lip till it bled, fighting the pain her own way.

Suddenly Alanna frowned. A picture was forming in the fire. Maude was the one who had cast the spell. Maude was the only one who should See anything. Ignoring all the laws of magic Alanna had been taught, the picture grew and spread. It was a city made all of black, shiny stone. Alanna leaned forward, squinting to see it better. She had never seen anything like this city.

The sun beat down on gleaming walls and towers. Alanna was afraid—more afraid than she had ever been. Maude let go of the twins. The picture vanished. Alanna was cold now, and very confused. What had that city been? Where was it? Thom examined his hand. There were no burn marks, or even scars.

There was nothing to show that Maude had kept their hands in the flames for long minutes. Maude rocked back on her heels. She looked old and tired. Maude looked at her sharply. He turned to Maude. The healing woman sighed. Tomorrow Thom and I go to the City of the Gods. Coram still did not know the change in plan. Alanna did not intend to enlighten him until they were far from Trebond.

The letters were quickly opened and read. Lord Alan entrusted his son to the care of Duke Gareth of Naxen and his daughter to the First Daughter of the convent. He was busy with his studies and trusted the judgment of the Duke and the First Daughter in all matters.

He was in their debt, Lord Alan of Trebond. Many such letters went to the convent and to the palace every year.

All girls from noble families studied in convents until they were fifteen or sixteen, at which time they went to Court to find husbands. The boy sat back with a grin, knowing it might be years before the confusion was resolved. While Thom climbed into a riding skirt, Maude took Alanna into the dressing room. The girl changed into shirt, breeches and boots. Then Maude cut her hair. I had a dream last night. A warning, it was, as plain as if the gods shouted in my ear. You see only the glory. Think before you fight.

And if you want to pay for those lives you do take, use your healing magic. Her twin stared back, violet eyes wide in his pale face. Grinning, she wrapped herself in her cloak.

With a last peek at the boy in the mirror, she followed Maude out to the courtyard. Coram and Thom, already mounted up, waited for them. Thom rearranged his skirts and gave his sister a wink.

Maude stopped Alanna as she went to mount the pony, Chubby. The gods mean for their gifts to be used. The pony, sensing that the good twin was on his back, stopped fidgeting. When Thom was riding him, Chubby managed to dump him. The twins and the two servants waved farewell to the assembled castle servants, who had come to see them off. Everyone knew how the twins felt at being sent away. The road leading from the castle plunged into heavily overgrown and rocky country.

For the next day or so they would be riding through the unfriendly forests of the Grimhold Mountains, the great natural border between Tortall and Scanra. It was familiar land to the twins.

While it might seem dark and unfriendly to people from the South, to Alanna and Thom it would always be home.


Alanna: The First Adventure

Chapter 2. He was already looking at a book. His two children left the room, closing the door behind them. I want to be a great sorcerer! Shoulders back, Alanna. Thom and Alanna of Trebond were twins, both with red hair and purple eyes. The only difference between them—as far as most people could tell—was the length of their hair.


Alanna, The First Adventure

Search The Song of the Lioness This story, all four books, is about the making of a hero. Alanna of Trebond wants to be a knight of the realm of Tortall, in a time when girls are forbidden to be warriors. Rather than give up her dream, she and her brother—who wants to be a mage, not a knight—switch places. She becomes Alan; Thom becomes a student wizard in the school where she would have learned to be a lady. The quartet is about her struggle to achieve her goals and to master weapons, combat, polite behavior, her magic, her temper, and even her own heart. It is about friendships—with the heir to the throne, the King of Thieves, a wise and kindly knight—and her long struggle against a powerful enemy mage. She sees battle as a squire and as a knight, lives among desert people and tries to rescue an independent princess.


The Song of the Lioness

There, she and her friend Prince Jonathan defeat the much-feared Ysandir, a race of demons that has kept the Black City captive for generations. In the process, Jonathan learns that Alanna is a girl. Despite this, he chooses her as his squire when he becomes a knight. Plot summary[ edit ] Alanna of Trebond and her twin brother Thom may be twins , but are very different; Alanna is a tomboy who dreams of being a knight, and Thom wishes to become a sorcerer.

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