%% Please do not add YMMV tropes to this page. The main Tortall Universe series page is the correct place for them.
%% If the bullet point comes up as scales when you preview the article, take it over there.

[[quoteright:265:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alannatfa_9622.jpg]]
->''“You frighten them. You are too new; you are too different. Will they have to behave differently, now that you are of the tribe? Better that you die and become a legend. Legends force no one to change.”''

''Song of the Lioness'' is the first series set in the Literature/TortallUniverse and stars Alanna of Trebond, a young girl who disguises herself as a boy to become a knight. The books follow her from the beginning of her training to adulthood as she struggles with issues both internal and external: chiefly her feelings about her gender and sexuality, and then the court intrigues surrounding the King's brother as well as becoming part of Tortalll's army as it wars with its neighbors... to say nothing of her dealings with gods.

Originally meant as one book for the adult market, Pierce divided it into four and made a large amount of cuts to conform to the rules of length and content that YoungAdultLiterature had in TheEighties. It is also a famous work of FeministFantasy due to the focus given to gender issues and its message that girls have nothing to be ashamed of, whether compared to men or other kinds of girls.

A list of characters is found [[Characters/TortallUniverse here]], but because many of the characters appear in subsequent series, there are many spoilers.

* ''Alanna: The First Adventure''
* ''In The Hand Of the Goddess''
* ''The Woman Who Rides Like A Man''
* ''Lioness Rampant''
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!!Tropes present in this series include:

* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Kourrem, Kara, and Ishak--Alanna's students in the third book--are shunned by the rest of the Bloody Hawk tribe because their {{Jerkass}} shaman rails against them as demonic.
* AnimalAssassin: In the second book, Roger magics a boar to kill Alanna in her snow shelter. Later, he does the same with a man-eating wolf and its mate. Alanna defeats both.
* ActionGirl: Alanna herself, of course. Thayet and Buri also count.
* AfraidOfNeedles: Alanna faints when getting her ears pierced, much to Thayet's amusement.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Delia and Duke Roger, and the Tusaine king's brother.
* AmplifierArtifact: The Dominion Jewel. It has been used by famously [[TheGoodKing good rulers]] and tyrants alike; it all depends on who's holding it.
* ArrowCatch: Liam, the Shang Dragon, catches one of the assassin's arrows during the assassination attempt on Thayet in Rachia.
* ArtifactOfDeath: The crystal sword in ''The Woman Who Rides Like A Man''. It's soaked in Roger's magic and incites horrible bloodlust in anyone who wields it while trying to drain their life-force. Alanna eventually claims it and puts a lot of work into neutralizing it.
* AsleepForDays: Alanna does this after the battle by the river in ''Alanna: The First Adventure''. It happens again again after her ordeal to gain the Dominion Jewel in ''Lioness Rampant''.
* AxeCrazy: Josiane of the Copper Isles. Literally. Stated to have been the result of inbreeding in the island kingdom.
* BackFromTheDead: Alanna kills the BigBad of the first quartet very dead in book two. Alas, it doesn't stick.
* BadassNormal: Liam Ironarm is one of the most skilled fighters in the world. He hates magic.
* BatmanGambit: [[spoiler:Roger]]'s plan in ''Lioness Rampant'' is this. [[spoiler:Alanna only manages to stop it when she realizes he is expecting her every move, then does what he doesn't expect of her]].
* BetaCouple: Sir Myles and Eleni Cooper. Jonathan and Thayet are also played like this, despite being the future rulers of Tortall.
* BigfootSasquatchAndYeti: The Roof of the World, Tortall's equivalent of the Himalayas, has its own version of the Yeti.
* ABirthdayNotABreak: When Alanna and the other knights and squires are sent off to fight in Tusaine, she notes how she'll be in her first war before she turns 16. Indeed, her birthday comes during that grueling summer which is filled with fighting and death.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: People who like Alanna are good; people who do not like Alanna are bad. Particularly stark with Alanna's friendship with the [[ThievesGuild Rogue and his Court]] means that one of the Realm's knights, [[spoiler: and later other knights as well as the Crown Prince himself]] are aware of crimes being committed but do nothing to interfere.
* BurnTheWitch: In ''The Woman Who Rides Like A Man'', Alanna intervenes when a village, suffering from a drought and inflamed by a religious fanatic, turns on its local healer and tries to burn her at the stake.
* CameBackWrong: [[spoiler:Implied to be the case for Duke Roger. At first it seems not so, thanks to his very clever and self-effacing attitude after coming back to life, but during the final battle it's pretty clear he's gone completely insane (and lost much of the nasty manipulations and misleading obfuscation that made him such an admirable villain the first time around).]]
* CentralTheme:
** Love and femininity can be great strengths rather than weaknesses.
** [[AmbitionIsEvil Don't be ambitious for ambition's sake]].
* ComesGreatResponsibility: Before Alanna goes to Corus, Maude warns her that her Gift has the power to both heal and kill, and she ''must'' use the healing to make up for the deaths she'll cause as a knight.
* ContemptibleCover:
** One of the [[http://adkwriter15.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/song-of-the-lioness.png reprints]] puts a very pouty Alanna in modern-looking clothing. The third book is the worst--see below for the whole thing.
** Some of the foreign editions can get... ''interesting''. One of the Thai covers traces over that picture of Napoleon (you know, the iconic one) and just gives it a feminine face.
* CoversAlwaysLie: [[http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1442427655/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1P06XNHK2G11J8DCPW2P&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=247518427&pf_rd_i=468294 One edition]] of ''The Woman Who Rides Like A Man'' looks like the male models for [[{{Literature/Twilight}} a certain other]] series got lost on their way to the shoot. Aside from the fact that Alanna's romantic woes are only a tiny part of the story, look at the characters' clothes -- you'd be forgiven for thinking that the book takes place in modern times...
** To a lesser note, the horse pictured on this edition's covers for ''In The Hand of the Goddess'' and ''Lioness Rampant'' is a very decidedly dark brown color. One would assume that this horse is meant to be Moonlight, Alanna's signature mare, who is described on several occasions in the novels to be more of a creamish color.
* CutHimselfShaving: Page Alanna always excuses the cuts and bruises (and in one case, a broken arm) from Ralon's beatings as "I fell down." Stefan elaborates that he did fall down, several times, after Ralon pushed him.
* DeadManWriting: [[spoiler:Liam Ironarm]] writes a final message for Alanna in ''Lioness Rampant'', only to be read if he dies. (Which he does.)
* DeusExMachina: In the climax of book one, Alanna saves the day with a magical ability we'd never heard about before, with a flashback abruptly thrown in of her learning it. This is a result of the book having to be considerably trimmed down to fit the maximum page length of young adult novels at the time.
* DevilInPlainSight: Roger. [[spoiler:Turns out to be justified when it's discovered that he was using a spell to keep anyone from suspecting him.]]
* DividedForPublication: As the summary says, Alanna's story had been written as a single book. Pierce says that fixing it up for YA publication improved it significantly.
* TheDragon: Alexander of Tirragen. Goes from DeadpanSnarker and TheQuietOne to a BloodKnight and TheRival. Alanna even has to face him before she can defeat the BigBad.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Guard Captain Sklaw, the pages' sword instructor in ''Alanna: The First Adventure''.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** This series departs from its main heroine's viewpoint far more than any other Tortall series.
** Demonic entities like the Ysandir have not appeared in any subsequent series, although they did get a mention in the third ''Literature/ProvostsDog'' book.
* EasilyForgiven:
** King Roald forgives Alanna's SweetPollyOliver act very quickly. Less good is how quickly he forgives Roger's high treason [[spoiler:after Roger comes back from the dead]]. See HeadInTheSandManagement below.
** Numerous individuals ({{Mooks}} and all) who sided with Roger against Jon. Their lives would otherwise be forfeit, but Jon doesn't want to start his reign by killing a bunch of his people.
* EldritchAbomination: The ''thing'' inside the Chamber of the Ordeal can come off as a less malevolent, if not outright LawfulNeutral, version of this, given all the wonky descriptions about how it is not a god and how it is completely incapable of defining time and space in ways that can be comprehended in human terms. About the only thing missing is the idea that contact with it can potentially break one's mind. ''That'' it does rather deliberately, but it also doesn't play favorites. If the would-be knight can face his/her fears and make it out alive (and with mind intact), he/she will truly be made stronger for it and can serve Tortall admirably. And because its power is so great and can overcome that of mortal sorcerers, it enables Alanna to tear through the veil keeping a villain from suspicion, so she can understand the extent of his plot.
* FaceYourFears: Alanna's experience in the Chamber of the Ordeal.
* FantasyContraception: A magic charm to prevent pregnancy, usually worn on a necklace, is commonly available.
* FantasyPantheon: The huge pantheon of Tortall is introduced here, with Alanna being chosen to do the work of the Goddess.
* FauxAffablyEvil: The main villain of ''Song of The Lioness''. There's a reason George calls him Alanna's "smilin' friend". And it's precisely ''because'' he seems too nice on the surface that Alanna suspects him, since she's figured out that villains aren't always ObviouslyEvil. He also plays up the ModestRoyalty angle by attempting to be familiar and informal. ("Please don't call me Your Grace, it makes me feel old!")
* FeministFantasy: Pierce's first published work starts a career of writing these.
* FieryRedhead: Alanna, so very much.
* FinalBattle: They get to do this twice, thanks to the BigBad being brought BackFromTheDead. The second time involves ''everybody''--while Alanna is busy getting sage advice from Thom's OldMaster, takes out Princess Josiane, and then goes to face TheDragon and the BigBad, Jonathan has to hold the land together with the Dominion Jewel, George has to face Claw [[spoiler:(actually Ralon of Malven)]], and then he, Rispah, Coram, Buri, Raoul, and Gary have to face the combined forces of Claw's rogues and revolutionaries led by Tirragen and Eldorne soldiers. Even Myles, Thayet, and Mistress Cooper get involved.
* [[FirstGirlWins First Guy Wins]]: George Cooper is the first guy Alanna meets in Corus.
* ForbiddenFruit: Roger invokes the hell out of this trope to make sure Jon really wants to visit the Black City, giving the pages a big long lecture about how dangerous it is, and the Bazhir stories are just boogeymen to scare their children but ''no really'' lads even ''I'' know not to tangle with whatever's going on in there, etcetera etcetera....
* ForcedKiss: Happens to Alanna twice in ''Goddess''--first by George, who takes advantage when her hands are full, and later Jon.
* GentlemanThief: George Cooper.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: The Ysandir in book one. The only thing approaching foreshadowing for them is Alanna's visions of a city.
* GrassIsGreener: Alanna feels stifled by Tortall's gender roles, and rightly so. But she gets some perspective when Thayet informs her that the consensus among ''Sarain's'' nobility was that Alanna should have been put to death for daring to take a man's role.
* AGodAmI: Part of Duke Roger's motivation, crossed with RageAgainstTheHeavens.
* GodWasMyCopilot: Alanna is blessed by the Goddess. [[spoiler:Faithful is hinted to be this as well, which is confirmed in Daine's quartet.]]
* HalfIdenticalTwins: Alanna and Thom are able to pass themselves off as each other as children, long enough to get to where they'd prefer to go. Not so much as adults, though.
* HeadInTheSandManagement: King Roald was known as the peacekeeper and as a result would avoid confrontations at any cost. On one hand this means that he did not punish Alanna for lying about who she was to become a Knight, and on the other hand Roger got off free from his attempts to kill the Queen [[spoiler: after his revival]].
* HealingHands: Kourrem, one of Alanna's Bazhir students, is a natural healer.
* HeroesWantRedheads: The love triangle between Jon, George, and Alanna.
* HeroicSacrifice: During the FinalBattle, [[spoiler:Liam Ironarm]] dies TakingTheBullet for Jon. (Well, arrow.)
* HideYourGays: WordOfGod says that Duke Roger and Thom were supposed to be in a homosexual relationship, but the MoralGuardians of the late 1980s wouldn't have allowed it in a young adult book (which does not mean she took out all the subtext). This is also a rare case where it was probably for the better, as the only gay characters being the {{Big Bad}} and a weak-willed guy he's stringing along would carry plenty of {{Unfortunate Implications}} of its own.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: BigBad [[spoiler:Roger]]'s death is made of this trope. [[spoiler: Crosses into TooDumbToLive territory, for while in his defense he could never have expected Alanna to surrender to anyone, and thereby release the sword, once he saw it coming at him he should have released his spell.]] Even if for some reason he couldn't, the [[AGodAmI rather mad]] way he acts suggests he doesn't even care at that point... which is rather dumb.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: After members of a foreign delegation insults the prowess of Tortallan knighthood, Alanna is chosen to defend Tortall's honor in a duel against Tusaine's champion. She does well enough until her opponent manages to wound her in her right arm. Instead of accepting his victory, the knight presses in for the kill. At this point Alanna switches to her left hand, [[CurbStompBattle beats him in short order,]] and delivers a ReasonYouSuckSpeech. The best part? Alanna was only a squire at the time and [[CrowningMomentofAwesome this was her first serious duel]]. {{Justified|Trope}} in that Alanna had to learn to fight with her left as well as her right after a bully broke her right arm during her time as a page.
* IdleRich: The King of Tusaine spends most of his time lounging around and sleeping around--it's his brother and cousin who start the war. When they're captured, the king sues for peace immediately so they can go back to running the country for him.
* KaleidoscopeEyes: Liam's eye color changes depending on his mood.
* KingIncognito: More of a case of Prince Incognito: "Johnny," the rich young merchant's son befriended by the King of Thieves, is really Prince Jonathan. Also Thayet in Lioness Rampant when on the run during a civil war.
* KnightErrant: Alanna starts doing this in ''The Woman Who Rides Like a Man'' to escape court and find adventure.
* LastMinuteHookup: Despite being the future rulers of Tortall, Jonathan and Thayet come off as this after Jonathan and Alanna decide they are BetterAsFriends and she [[FirstGirlWins hooks up with George]]. [[TropesAreNotBad The characters have a lot in common, are genuinely smitten with one another, and truly do make a great couple]], but the fact Thayet isn't introduced until the last book of the quartet (''after'' [[WordOfGod Pierce had decided]] [[ShipSinking Alanna was better with George]]), and that there's a definite element of LoveAtFirstSight involved (especially on Jonathan's part) makes [[CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds this sort of writing]] inevitable. Pierce herself [[http://tpwords.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/alannageorgejon-triangle-jonthayet-and-general-thoughts-on-love/ says]] it wasn't quite at first sight, but it ''was'' fast.
* LostForever: Pierce created the four final books by literally cutting up her original single manuscript and pasting pieces together, meaning it's impossible to ever see it. And she insists it's better that way, as she much prefers the story she ended up with.
* LoveTriangle: [[LovableRogue George]], [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Jonathan]] and [[HeroesWantRedheads Alanna]] have this issue until Alanna cuts them loose to pursue adventure and other options, though ultimately [[FirstGirlWins George wins]].
* MagicKnight: Alanna has a very strong Gift. Unfortunately, conservatives use this as a reason girls shouldn't be allowed to train for knighthood in later books, claiming that she could only have achieved knighthood through magic.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: One of Roger's men puts a burr in Duke Gareth's saddle so the horse will throw him. While it's not lethal, it does break his leg and Roger takes over leading the army in the Tusaine war.
* MauveShirt: Most of the soldiers Alanna befriends in camp when at war with Tusaine are this. Several become a SacrificialLamb as well.
* MeaningfulName: Ralon of ''Malven'', who starts off as an arrogant bully, grows up to become a [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil rapist]], gets [[HollywoodAcid acid thrown on his face]] [[LaserGuidedKarma by the maid of his almost-victim]], and ends up becoming [[spoiler:the would-be King of the Rogues, Claw]]. For all this, he remains rather pathetic and easily dispatched in the end.
* MightyWhitey: When Prince Jonathan becomes the Voice of the People to the Arab-inspired Bazhir Tribesmen, and Alanna becomes a respected shaman to the Bloody Hawk Tribe.
* MindControlDevice: Roger's sapphire pendant and the crystal on his staff. (Later series establish that this trick can be done with any shiny or eyecatching object).
* ModestRoyalty: Prince Jonathan.
* MookChivalry: Averted [[http://tpwords.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/choreographing-fight-scenes/ whenever possible]], but justified a time or two - Alex wants to test himself against Alanna for real, so tells the soldiers with him to stay out of the fight.
* MysticalPlague: The Sweating Sickness that hits Corus in the first book. Although the illness was previously known, ''this'' version specifically targets healers by draining their magic when they try to treat people, leaving none capable when it reaches its intended target--the royal family.
* NobleSavage: The Bazhir in the third book have elements of this, being {{Proud Warrior Race Guy}}s who are ''very'' big on honor and ritual and live in nomadic tribes. Alanna says more than once that she finds their more honest ways preferable to the social maneuvering at court. (Pierce has said that she does regret playing into this trope.)
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Completely averted. Alanna panics when her first period begins, as nobody ever explained it to her, and outed herself to George when she went to see his mother for medical help.
* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler:Duke Roger]], thanks to the Sorcerer's Sleep. Backfires on him though, as [[AndIMustScream this leaves him]] BuriedAlive until [[spoiler:Thom]] resurrects him, with the end result he CameBackWrong.
* ObfuscatingStupidity:
** Sir Myles has a mild form of it, both when it comes to Alanna's true identity and how she obtained her magical sword in the first book. The latter is a tactic he and Alanna agree on to fool the court and Duke Roger, but the former is one he pulls on Alanna herself when her healing Jonathan of the Sleeping Sickness gives her away.
** Thom freaks his teachers the hell out when he stops doing this.
* OldRetainer: Coram to Alanna's family, and Buri to Thayet's. Shortly after Alanna and Thayet meet, they have a tongue-in-cheek commiseration about how old family servants don't always do what you want them to.
* OldShame: Not the actual books, but Pierce's original single manuscript before she had to divide and edit it for a younger audience. Despite numerous requests by fans to see at least some of it, she insists what we got was far better and that draft is best left forgotten.
** She's also said that she regrets the StalkingIsLove writing in Alanna's romance with George. It was the way most romances were written at the time, but now it's the part of the whole Tortall Universe that she most wishes she could go back and change.
* OnceIsNotEnough: [[spoiler:Roger. He was NotQuiteDead.]]
* OneLastFling: Alanna and Liam. They eventually break up after they realize that they're too alike.
* OnlyTheChosenMayWield: Lightning. Its vault only opens when Alanna is there (after sending Myles prophetic
* ParentalSubstitute: Both Myles of Olau and Coram replace Alanna's distant and neglectful father (to the point that Myles adopts her and Coram outright says he has "a father's inerest" in her).
* PleasePutSomeClothesOn: In "Alanna: The First Adventure," when Alan (Alanna) and Jon are fighting the Ysandir, said evil magicians make her clothes disappear, revealing her naked girlyness. Jon ogles her for a moment before blushing and offering his tunic. Also been described as the "lolwutboobies" moment.
* PolarOppositeTwins: Alanna prefers using her muscles and is overall more trusting then her brother Thom, who prefers using magic and does not trust anyone.
* ThePowerOfBlood: Pretty much every Bazhir ritual involves bloodletting and, in some cases, blood ''mixing''. Kids, don't try this at home.
* PrinceCharming: Justified in Prince Jonathan of the realm of Tortall who is a lover and a fighter. And oh boy is he a lover - right up until he meets Thayet, anyway, and she steals his heart and his ability to speak in all of ten seconds.
* TheQuest: Alanna's search for the Dominion Jewel in ''Lioness Rampant'', which was added [[ExecutiveMeddling at the behest of Pierce's editor]] because fantasy's ''gotta'' have quests. Basically, Alanna hears about this thing and decides it'll be a useful way to prove herself as a worthy person to Tortall (rather than a disgrace or a curiosity) and it'll be handy for Jon to rule the kingdom with.
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: Roger's motivation, in a particularly pathetic example-he decides to tear down the gods (and die in the process) simply because they didn't bother to notice him, or grant any of his requests for power. Essentially, "if they won't help me, I won't believe in them". On the other hand, considering [[JerkAssGods what is learned about the gods in later series]], [[StrawmanHasAPoint he may have had a point]]. Not that that excuses either his methods or his ultimate goal.
* RealityChangingMiniature: In ''Song of the Lioness'', the BigBad's wax figure of Lianne that he places under a running fountain [[NightmareFuel to wash away her life]]. Meanwhile he has figures of the king, Jonathan, the Provost, Alanna, and Sir Myles wrapped up in a black sack to "obscure their vision" so they cannot be suspicious of him.
* RealityIsUnrealistic: Played with. Alanna at the slightly below-average 5'4" is often called tiny, though this may only be because she spent much of her life disguised as a boy among other boys, and carried over even after she revealed her true gender.
** This also might be because they were ExpectingSomeoneTaller.
* RealWomenNeverWearDresses: {{Deconstructed}}. Alanna hates being a girl for most of her childhood, but she learns to accept and enjoy being a woman (including fancy dresses) with some encouragement from Mrs. Cooper and the Great Mother Goddess.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Duke Gareth of Naxen, Gary's father, in ''Song of the Lioness''. Very stern, but very fair. See how he handles the Ralon of Malven situation in book one. He [[TheGoodChancellor becomes a key adviser]] to Jonathan in later books, along with Sir Myles.
* RedOniBlueOni: Alanna and George.
* ReforgedBlade: Alanna's sword Lightning is broken and reforged during ''The Woman Who Rides Like A Man''. Being an ancient artifact, normal reforging techniques turn out not to be sufficient, and Alanna has to figure out a special reforging method, which has its own consequences later.
* RichBitch: Delia of Eldorne. [[AxeCrazy To what extent she gets any]] CharacterDevelopment, Princess Josiane is also this.
* TheRival: Alex, to Alanna. She also has a Bazhir one in the third book, after she becomes a Bazhir shaman [[YouKillItYouBoughtIt against her will]].
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Jonathan. Roger too, but [[BigBad it would be better if he didn't]].
* RoyallyScrewedUp: Thayet's family. She was able to escape from them.
** The royals of the Copper Isles due to inbreeding.
* RuleOfSymbolism: Used a number of places in ''Song of the Lioness''. The most obvious would be the final battle, where Jonathan wearing the Dominion Jewel creates a FisherKing bond with the land which, if he is killed, will wreak utter havoc on the world. But as early as the first book there is the scene where Alanna rescues Jonathan from the world of the dead [[spoiler:(and faces off with the Dark God himself)]] by descending into a dark well. Her obtaining of the sword Lightning from the Old Ones' ruins (and activating its latent power to save her life) comes only after she "surrenders" to death. (Which doubles as a nice ChekhovsGun to how she ends up defeating the BigBad in book four.) In the second book, the obscuring magic the BigBad uses to keep anyone from suspecting him is represented literally by putting dolls of everyone in a black sack. Later, after Alanna used the Chamber of the Ordeal to "tear through" this veil, she finds a hole in the sack, from which the doll representing her has slipped. Book three's resurrection of a certain character naturally occurs at Tortall's equivalent of Halloween.
* [[FirstEpisodeSpoiler Second Book Spoiler]]: The identity of the BigBad in ''Song of the Lioness''. All right, it's more of TheUntwist, but considering the first book ended with Alanna ''thinking'' he was the villain but being unable to prove it, while the very first POV we get from him in the second chapter of the next book makes it clear he ''is'' the villain...it kind of makes it hard to discuss the series without giving away too much. A secondary example, with the same villain, occurs after he comes BackFromTheDead: much mileage is gotten out of playing up just what forbidden thing Thom did in book three, and whom he brought back...only to have the resurrectee's identity revealed by the cover blurb on book four. Sigh.
* SheatheYourSword: In a metaphorical way, Alanna passes Lightning's SecretTestOfCharacter like this. Once she stops struggling against the magic and accepts that it will kill her, it goes away and leaves her with the sword.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Alanna's first one comes in ''In the Hand of the Goddess'', when she starts taking lessons from Mistress Cooper in feminine dress and behavior, and George and Jon see her in a dress. Lampshaded by Alanna after Jon starts coming onto her:
--> ''This was what came of wearing a dress! Men got ideas when a person wore skirts!''
** Also in ''Lioness Rampant'', where her comrade/lover Liam, despite thinking she looks pretty, reacts snappishly and tells her basically that she can't be a warrior ''and'' a lady and she'd better straighten out her priorities. Later he apologizes.
* SmugSnake: Akhnan ibn Nazzir, the shaman of the Bloody Hawk tribe. He continually picks fights with Alanna even though she's both more powerful and more ''competent'' at magic than he is. He endangers the tribe several times by sloppy magic, including trying to summon a demon without putting down the right protections, claiming the evil crystal sword that Halef Seif wanted to leave in the desert, and ostracizing three kids rather than teaching them how to control their magic. When he tries to wield the crystal sword against Alanna, its power easily eats him up.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: In the first couple of books, but this is justified by the fact that women are restricted from doing most of the things that Alanna is involved with. More female characters become prominent later on.
* StalkingIsLove: In ''The Woman Who Rides Like A Man'', George has Alanna tailed during some of her adventures and says that they're destined for each other. [[WordOfGod Pierce admits]] this seems creepy now.
** There's also his forcing a kiss on her ''immediately'' after promising to give her space. The '80s were a different time where portrayals of romance were concerned, and Pierce has since said she regrets writing their romance this way and it's the thing she most wishes she could go back and fix.
* StressVomit: In ''In The Hands of the Goddess'', Alanna throws up after killing for the first time and again after helping the wounded in the field hospital. When she feels ashamed for this, Jon confesses that he threw up himself.
* TakeThat: Pierce's major inspiration for the story was her disappointment at the end of Éowyn's character arc in ''{{The Lord Of The Rings}}'', where her {{Action Girl}} credentials are portrayed as just something she needed to get out of her system before she could happily {{Stay In The Kitchen}}.
* TallDarkAndHandsome: Most notably Jonathan of Conte. Duke Roger, too, so it's probably a trait of Conte men.
* TechnicolorEyes: Alanna and Thom have PurpleEyes that match the color of their magic; so does Faithful.
* TextileWorkIsFeminine: Alanna starts learning how to spin and weave from the women of the Bloody Hawk tribe, having never properly learned while she was being a tomboy in Trebond. When Ishak scoffs at this 'women's work', Alanna uses a few pieces of thread magic to show him the error of his ways. Kourrem and Kara later make use of it themselves.
* ThievesGuild: The "Court of the Rogue" is introduced here, with George as its head.
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: ''In the Hand of the Goddess'' has Alanna trying to figure out who is plotting against Jonathan and his parents, a search which is interrupted by the seemingly unconnected war with Tusaine which draws her, Jonathan, and their friends off into battle. [[spoiler: But it turns out the king of Tusaine and his mages were manipulated into the war by Duke Roger so it all ends up being connected after all.]]
* VestigialEmpire: The historic Thanic Empire, whose states are the modern Eastern Lands. Roughly analogous to Ancient Rome.
* VillainousBreakdown: Roger flips his lid when "Alan" is [[BrokenMasquerade revealed to be female in front of the entire court]]. It's probably not as much misogyny as the fact that [[TheChessmaster something escaped his notice]].
* ViolationOfCommonSense: Alanna learns to win she must sometime surrender.
* WarIsHell: The Tusaine War. Although it only lasts a summer and doesn't go into gory detail, Alanna doesn't enjoy the experience at all and finds both killing and the aftermath of battle to be horrific.
* [[WorldsMostBeautifulWoman World's Most Beautiful Woman]]: Thayet, called The Peerless. Her mother, Kalasin, was reported to be just as beautiful, if not more.
* WomanScorned: Josiane allies with Roger after being dropped by Jonathan.
* YouKillItYouBoughtIt: If you kill a Bazhir shaman, you are obliged to take over his duties until a permanent replacement can be arranged. Alanna winds up serving as a Bazhir shaman this way.