The sequel continues Alanna’s adventures, and at the end reveals her gender identity to those around her. Pierce continues with her ability to cast Alanna as a successfully ungendered individual until the middle of the book, when both George and Jon, who know her as a girl, begin to show interest. Alanna’s response at this point becomes less credible than her earlier lack of interest was. Kristin Cashore deals much more effectively with the balance between female sexuality and independence within a patriarchal society in Graceling (2008). Still, Pierce’s writing is good, and the story compelling, albeit less successfully in this book than the first.