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First Test

9780375829055By: Tamora Pierce

Protector of the Small series, bk 1

Keladry of Mindelan (Kel) is the first girl to take advantage of the decree permitting females to train for knighthood. She is determined and supported by her parents. She isn’t supported by Lord Wyldon, the master in charge of training the pages and squires. He believes girls shouldn’t become knights and so he puts her on probation, he may be forced to train her but he will not do it willingly. So Kel finds herself facing not only the grueling schedule and traditional hazing faced by all pages but also a trial period no other page has ever had to endure. It is hard enough being the only girl, the probation serves only to separate her from the others even more. Kel is more determined than others realise and they will find out just how much they have underestimated her.

Kel is young, showing great focus and determination. She knows what she wants and though the challenges along the way are harder than she expects she doesn’t back down. Kel relies on her heart and her smarts. The learning she acquired when in foreign courts with her parents and she puts that training to good use. Kel is an amazing character. Her sponsor and friend Neal, sums her up this way, ‘You’re the oldest 10 year old I’ve ever met…It means I’m trying to justify to myself the fact that the best lesson I’ve ever had on the heart of chivalry came from someone five years younger than me.’

In Kel’s story we learn a little something of heart, knowing yourself and bullying. Pierce writes in a way that has these characters jumping off the pages. Kel is surrounded by characters that support her and those that try to destroy her and they are woven together in a manner reminiscent of school yard environs. This is very much Kel’s story and she is one of my favourite characters. I love the way Pierce presents the world and the characters she has populated it with. I also love reading about strong female characters and adore this series. Highly recommended.

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Published: 01 August 2004

Format: Paperback 216 pages

Categories: Fiction Science Fiction Family Fantasy School Stories

ISBN 13: 9780375829055

Purchase: here or use logo to connect to Booktopia site

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