The Woman Who Rides Like a Man  - Tamora Pierce ARGH, again with the incomplete stories! This book is so obviously the first half of a story that will be concluded in Lioness Rampant, and it's frustrating to see it ended abruptly as if it were a complete novel in itself. But maybe this was back when Pierce didn't have the clout she has now and couldn't get a fatter book published.

My main thought about this book boils down to SCREW YOU JONATHAN. He assumes that Alanna wants to marry him without even waiting for her answer, and then when she confronts him about it, he calls her unwomanly and says that at least the girls at the palace "act like women." GTFO, PRINCE JON. At this point I'm frustrated with Alanna for not realizing that she's better off without him, but perhaps that will be resolved in the next volume. I like George Cooper a lot, but I would also be satisfied if Alanna ended up alone and went her own way. She wants to be a Knight and go on adventures, and I don't think she should give that up for a dude.

I liked the continuation of feminist themes in this book. Alanna trains two young girls to be sorceresses, which upsets their tribe at first. It's hard to believe that just a couple of years earlier Alanna was still pretending to be a boy and terrified that someone would find out her secret. Now she's "The Woman Who Rides Like a Man," shaking things up and subverting expectations everywhere she goes.

I'm still side-eying you, Crystal Sword. You too, Thom. You three, Claw. I feel like I'm supposed to assume that Claw is secretly Duke Roger, but wouldn't someone have recognized him by now, scars or no scars?