The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
These books have been out for a while (almost 30 years), so they’ve had a few covers. Here’s a selection; I have a hard time choosing a “best” from these, but it’s not the third one.
The Song of the Lioness quartet is the adventurous story of one girl’s journey to overcome the obstacles facing her, become a valiant knight, and save Tortall from conquest. Alanna douses her female identity to begin her training in Alanna: The First Adventure, and when she gains squire status in In the Hand of the Goddess, her growing abilities make her a few friends — and many enemies. Books 3 and 4 complete Alanna’s adventure and secure her legend, with the new knight errant taking on desert tribesmen in The Woman Who Rides like a Man and seeking out the powerful Dominion Jewel in Lioness Rampant. Continue reading