Mark Reads ‘In the Hand of the Goddess’: Chapter 1 – The Lady in the Forest

In the first chapter of In the Hand of the Goddess, HAASFJH A;LKDSF AHASD;F ASD;KL WHAT THE HELL. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to start In the Hand of the Goddess.

I: The Lady in the Forest

HAHAHA I WAS RIGHT ABOUT PRETTY MUCH NOTHING AT ALL. OH MY GOD, WHAT IS HAPPENING? I AM SO UNPREPARED THAT IT HURTS.

  • Wait, why is Alanna on an errand? How did she get assigned an errand before returning home?
  • Where is Prince Jonathan?
  • WHY ARE THERE GIANT WOOD-SPIDERS JUST FALLING OUT OF TREES? Shouldn’t someone look into that? That definitely should not happen. EVER.
  • “Why do boys say someone acts like a girl as if it were an insult?”
  • I don’t give a shit that this is obvious. I don’t. THIS IS BEING DISCUSSED IN A FANTASY BOOK. h e l p
  • There is quite a bit of summarization of the previous book here, though most of it is re-contextualized by what happens in this chapter. It doesn’t bother me.
  • Man, I want to have the power to sneeze when someone’s sneaking up on me. That’s such a convenient thing to have!
  • Oh damn, I WANT THIS CAT. I LOVE BLACK CATS. Are any of you surprised?
  • Wait, it has purple eyes.
  • WAIT.
  • SHE IS SNEEZING. FIVE TIMES. OH SHIT.
  • My initial thought was, “No, GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE, ALANNA.” I would be awful in any fantasy world, I swear. A total coward, making inappropriate jokes all the time, and being generally useless. I have no skills for a fantasy world! I can write blog posts or read bad fanfiction. What would my role in this world be?
  • How the hell does this woman know who Alanna is? THIS IS BAD, ISN’T IT???
  • “Suddenly she remembered that she had heard the woman’s voice before.” Oh, you’re kidding me. This is how the second book starts???
  • HAHAHA HOLY FUCK, IT’S THE GODDESS. THE MOTHER. SHE JUST STRAIGHT-UP APPEARED TO ALANNA RIGHT AT THE GODDAMN BEGINNING. I can’t. I CAN’T.
  • And now I just realized that this book isn’t taking place directly after the end of the last one. I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS. Oh god, how much time has passed???
  • No, Alanna is just so FIERCE in the face of the Mother. She barely tolerates her being there, constantly wishing internally that she’d just stop meddling in her life. I LOVE YOU, ALANNA.
  • “…you have no living mother to advise you.” Why don’t you just keep crushing my heart over and over again, Tamora Pierce? I only have like seventeen books to get through. Thanks.
  • WHAT THE FUCK IS ORDEAL OF KNIGHTHOOD??? No, I cannot cope with this idea. So, all of Alanna’s friends made it through the Ordeal, but it basically gave them all POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER? Alanna describes Prince Jonathan’s reaction as if A PART OF HIM DIED IN THAT ORDEAL. What the fuck is it? I AM SCARED, EVERYONE. I AM SO SCARED.
  • Bless the Mother for pointing out that throughout the journey Alanna has been on, she’s learned so much that even if she fails the Ordeal (she won’t, I’m predicting), she’s changed her whole life for the better anyway.
  • This book’s treatment of romance is SO GREAT. First, Alanna just outright rejects even wanting it. So there’s that trope inversion. But the Mother frames this in a fascinating way: she explains that Alanna fears love. She refuses to let it in. And this is interesting to me because it’s not necessarily romantic love. It’s more of an emotional thing in some respects, as if Alanna fears that love will make her too feminine. And I can already tell that this sort of exploration of gender roles and Alanna’s journey will make me SQUEAL WITH DELIGHT.
  • Okay, so this is pretty much a definite confirmation that Duke Roger is evil, right? I mean, COME ON. Wouldn’t the Mother correct Alanna if she was wrong about him? HE’S TOTALLY EVIL.
  • “You have been given a hard road to walk. Love will ease it.” UGH I LOVE THIS THEME SO MUCH.
  • Wait did the kitten really reply to her
  • CAN THE KITTEN TALK TO ALANNA
  • CAN IT THIS WASN’T REALLY CLEAR TO ME
  • Okay, I have just a small complaint about a narrative choice. I am, largely, very cool with this accelerated timeline. The pacing in Alanna was not what I was used to, so I’m definitely used to the idea that this series will cover a long period of time. However, the last book ended on a cliffhanger of sorts, and there’s no real resolution of that here? I mean I was left wondering if Alanna and Jonathan would get in trouble. I wanted to know how the Bazhir would react to the two of them ridding the Black City of the Nameless Ones. But… nothing? Nothing at all?
  • I accept that this might be addressed later, but for now, it’s not my favorite thing.
  • The cat is named Faithful. Yes. I hope she calls it “old Faithful” at some point later in her life just so I can giggle.
  • I love that Faithful follows Alanna so much that the teachers just give up trying to stop him coming into classes. I guarantee high school would have been so much better for me if I had been allowed to have a cat companion that actually came from a god.
  • Okay, Faithful freaks the fuck out over Duke Roger. There is no denying it anymore. He is evil. I am sticking to it.
  • Can Thom and Alanna see each other in this book? I’d love that. THANKS.

Y’all, I’m so ready for this book. SO READY.

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About Mark Reads

Vegan cyclist, Internet community nerd, atheist bookworm, high-five purveyor.
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One Response to Mark Reads ‘In the Hand of the Goddess’: Chapter 1 – The Lady in the Forest

  1. AtlaNtis1UK says:

    Oh god I loved these books, I just started re-reading the immortals series ( seT acts this series) I am sooo sooo glad you are enjoying these books. I wish I had read them in childhood, but I didn’t I read them a decade ago (21) they stand up to re-reading them and the characters stand up to the test of time and memory in my mind.

    And yes that ordeal of Knighthood, I get the same way as your are right now!

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