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In the Hand of the Goddess: 06/21/17
In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce is the second book in the Song of the Lioness series. In this book Alanna comes of age and trains to face the thing she fears most. In the interim, there's an evil sorcerer wrecking havoc on the kingdom, and there's a war brewing on the border.
Alanna early on in the book, while on an errand for the prince, picks up a cat who has a direct line with the Goddess. This magical cat serves a bit like Cerberus from Cardcaptor Sakura in that he's cute, all powerful, and tuned into Alanna's powers.
Alanna's "secret" is clearly not as secret as she thinks it is. The older she gets the more among her friends and colleagues who figure it out. But she's useful, brave, loyal, and smart. Rules can be bent to keep someone like her around.
I liked this book better than the first one because Alanna is already established. She's proven herself, has made allies, and some enemies, and now the focus can be on bigger things like the sorcerer and the border dispute.