The Tortall Books by Tamora Pierce

These books are three series in one.

The Song of the Lioness series. Atheneum Books/Macmillan Publishing Company: NY.
Alanna: The First Adventure 1983
In the Hand of the Goddess 1984
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man 1986
Lioness Rampant 1988

The Immortals series. Atheneum Books/Simon & Schuster: NY.
Wild Magic 1992
Wolf-Speaker 1994
Emperor Mage 1995
In the Realm of the Gods 1996

The Protector of the Small. Random House, Inc: NY.
First Test 1999
Page 2000
Squire 2001
Lady Knight 2002

Alanna: The First Adventure: Alanna switches places with her twin brother in order to train to be a knight. Her brother wishes to train to be a wizard. Disguised, she is put through many tests and gradually proves herself capable. Her relationships are as important as the hard lessons she learns.
In the Hand of the Goddess: Alanna becomes Prince Jonathan's squire. She tells him she is a girl, but no one else until the end of the book. She also deals with her suspicions of Duke Roger (Jon's cousin) and eventually confrontation with him. This book and the rest of the series are rated YA because of relationships. The relationships are not detailed, but they are a big part of this first series.
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man: Alanna becomes part of the Bazhir (a group that joins as one telepathically) and learns to accept and manage her Gift of magic.
Lioness Rampant: Alanna meets Princess Thayet while on a quest. She also meets and learns from the Shang Dragon. They travel and adventure together. She eventually has to confront Duke Roger again-for the last time.

The ability to communicate with animals is thoroughly explored in the Immortals series-with some unique and interesting ideas. The supernatural theme continues as do the good vs evil and saving the realm.The writing flows much better in this 2nd series, and the focus of relationships is centered more on companionship. Boys may enjoy this series more than the first even though the focus is still on a female.

Wild Magic: The first book is an introduction of Daine-her background, how she meets Numair who becomes her mentor, and her distrust of others.
Wolf-Speaker: Daine now has more confidence and more trust in Numair and her animal guide (the beaver). She starts to explore beyond her obvious abilities and test her limits.
Emperor Mage: Daine and Numair travel to Carthak as a diplomatic visit. It is revealed that the Emperor of Carthak is an old classmate of Numair from the University. The Emperor is jealous and competitive, and Daine becomes a key factor in the conflict between Tortall and the Emperor.
In the Realm of the Gods: Daine and Numair are transported to the Realm of the Gods when Daine is in trouble. This book mostly deals with their travels within the immortals' world and the rules within it.

In the Protector of the Small series, Keladry is the first girl accepted into Tortall's knight training program-after the Lioness has proven girls can become knights. The decision is controversial, so she is accepted with a probationary condition.

This is the best quadrilogy of the Tortall series. It has the strongest characters and storyline, and the reader has more empathy for Keladry because it is easy to imagine being in her situation.

First Test: Kel is proving that she is worthy of being a trainee. She must physically excel and simultaneously show superior mental judgment and strive to secure friendships and supporters. In some ways, Alanna's storylines are similar, but there are also many contrasts. Alanna was protected by her friendship with the prince. Kel has to face her enemies early and often. At first, she does it alone. Alanna was accepted by her peers before everyone knew she was a girl. Their powers also are different. Kel's is communication with animals like Daine, but Daine can transform unlike Kel.
Page: The second book follows Kel through three years training as a page. She is still facing bullying enemies, but she now has support from staunch friends. She finds herself in a situation in which she must take control from the designated leader and ultimately save others' lives. On the day of her final test as page, she is forced to make an excruciating decision and face her worst fear. This challenge will have a far-reaching impact on the school.
Squire: The next step in training is to serve and learn from an experienced knight. At the end of that time, there is a final test. The squire is left alone in the Chamber to confront whatever is most difficult for him/her-fears, failings, or unrepented deeds. Some squires have lost their minds or lives facing the Ordeal. This year more squires than ever fail this test. Kel goes last, and the Chamber has something extra in store for her.
Lady Knight: Now that Kel is a knight, life is not what she expected. Tortall is under attack by Scanrans, and instead of fighting the enemy, she has been put in charge of a refugee camp. She is perfect for the job because she is the only one who truly see the refugees as people with abilities. Besides managing the camp, she also trains them in defense. She is, however, torn the whole time between fulfilling her duty and joining the troops. After the camp is attacked, she believes she must pursue the people who are creating the monsters that are attacking Tortall. She risks her career and her life to do so.

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