Mark Reads ‘The Woman Who Rides Like a Man’: Chapter 6

In the sixth chapter of The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, EVERYTHING HAPPENS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Woman Who Rides Like a Man.

Chapter Six: Ceremonies

SWEET BABIES, SO MUCH HAPPENED IN ONE CHAPTER. (Note: There are three videos at the end of this, which comprise the commission for chapter 6, so you are welcome to scroll down and watch those first before reading my review.)

  • This chapter is just jam-packed with plot twists and character development. Holy shit.
  • Alanna basically helped create a school of magic for all of the Bazhir. THEY ARE ALL COMING TOGETHER, IT’S SO NEAT.
  • For real, I mention it multiple times in the videos, but let me just say it again here: Alanna, stop concerning yourself with the veils that Kara and Kourrem wear. It’s a cultural thing, it hurts no one, so leave it alone.
  • This entire chapter deals with Jonathan’s presence in a fascinating and engaging way, and I really appreciate that this is so complex. Pierce navigates Alanna’s feelings for her own independence and her love for Jonathan. Again, it’s also nice that people can have sex so openly without it being this big huge deal, you know?
  • It seems that Jon is concerned about gaining power, but he also doesn’t want the Bazhir to assimilate culturally with the rest of Tortall. That’s relieving, as I was worried that him becoming the Voice would mean that the Bazhir might risk losing their cultural practices in the process.
  • GOD, I LOVE HOW TAMORA PIERCE DEALS WITH THE IDEA OF MARRIAGE. Oh, it’s just great. Alanna recognizes that she doesn’t want that sort of commitment for political reasons, or to be a part of Jonathan’s rebellion, or to make a statement.
  • “For the first time she could be fully and completely Alanna; she was still learning just who “Alanna” was.” Man, there are a ton of great lines in this chapter, but this one’s probably my favorite. THANK YOU FOR THIS, PIERCE.
  • “You’re brave, to admit you don’t know everything and then do something about it.” No, stop it, Myles, I have so many feelings about you and your treatment of Alanna.
  • Then, right after PURE JOY, sadness. Ali Mukhtab is dying, and Alanna must keep him alive long enough to teach Jonathan what he needs to know to become the Voice of the Tribes. Jesus. 🙁
  • Proof that Alanna doesn’t know everything: she tries to criticize Ali Mukhtab that he should have fought his illness earlier and harder. And as close as Alanna has come to death, she still doesn’t understand that for some folks, their time has come. I think this is actually a significant issue with her character. She is so vibrant and alive, that despite being selfless so often, she’s not actually ready to give up on living. That doesn’t mean she wouldn’t act in a way to give her life to save another person; I think we’ve seen her demonstrate that multiple times. I just mean that still wants to live.
  • Y’all, I need to really stop reading books and watching shows where everyone dies because I’ve just started thinking that this is the inevitable outcome of every conflict I come across. While it made more sense to me that Jonathan would win his combat with Amman Kemail so that he could earn the trust of the Bazhir, I did worry that Pierce would throw in a plot twist to upset the story. Instead, she uses this conflict to have Alanna openly rage at Jonathan for his behavior and treatment of her. God, when she’s angry, she’s brilliant.
  • Okay, you can’t casually reveal that there’s a character called “The Wolf” and then give me nothing on them. Who the fuck is The Wolf, and when can we see more of him?
  • Jonathan was smart not to kill Amman and to admit that the man was only voicing his dislike of the new Voice of the Tribes. Do more of this, Jonathan, and I think the Bazhir may eventually accept you.
  • Whenever Myles casually reveals he knows everything that’s going on, I just have to laugh. He’s so perceptive, and Alanna still hasn’t figured this out.
  • “Love’s wonderful, but it is not enough to keep us together for years of marriage.” Goddamn it, I LOVE THIS CHAPTER SO MUCH.
  • “Ceremonies” is clearly setting up Alanna to take leave of the place, and I bet by the end of this book, she’ll either travel back to Corus or set out on a new adventure.
  • Ugh, Alanna asked for Kara and Kourrem to be witnesses in the ceremony that bound her as Myles’s daughter/heir. Alanna’s thoughtfulness is one of her best qualities.
  • “Then she realized she now had a father who loved her, and she laughed as tears ran down her face.” 40 billion percent done with every emotion ever. My god.
  • Oh, okay, one tiny complaint: the resolution of the connection between Duke Roger’s sorcerer’s rod and the ~evil sword~ was kind of disappointing. Like… that’s it? Oh, boo.
  • Wow, Jonathan really thinks Alanna isn’t going to say no to his proposal.
  • Congrats to Kara and Kourrem! The first women shamans initiated by Alanna. How exciting!

So, does this mean Alanna is going to leave the Bazhir soon? Oh god, I am still so unprepared.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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