This story, all four books, is about the making of a hero. It’s also about a very stubborn girl.
Alanna of Trebond wants to be a knight of the realm of Tortall, in a time when girls are forbidden to be warriors. Rather than give up her dream, she and her brother–who wants to be a mage, not a knight–switch places. She becomes Alan; Thom becomes a student wizard in the school where she would have learned to be a lady.
The quartet is about her struggle to achieve her goals and to master weapons, combat, polite behavior, her magic, her temper, and even her own heart. It is about friendships–with the heir to the throne, the King of Thieves, a wise and kindly knight–and her long struggle against a powerful enemy mage.
She sees battle as a squire and as a knight, lives among desert people and tries to rescue an independent princess. Singled out by a goddess, accompanied by a semi-divine cat with firm opinions, somehow she survives her many adventures to become a most unlikely legend.