4/5; 4 stars; A-A stronger story than the second book. Here we see Alanna truly growing up and beginning to accept herself, both the bad and the good. The only thing she can't seem to cope with is her guilt over killing Roger. I can't figure that but then I am not thinking like a 20 year old. I really enjoyed the Bazhir and the desert culture and history. I also thought Pierce did quite a bit of character development of Jonathan 'on the sly'. It was kind of in passing, while reading Alanna's story but some of the foundation she laid came in handy in the fourth book.