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By: Tamora Pierce

Protector of the Small bk 2

Keladry of Mindelan returns to the royal palace to continue with her training. It is a rigorous schedule of physical fitness, weapons training, magic and tactics amongst other skills. The older pages haven’t stopped their bullying and as much as she’d like to try and wait her last year with them out, they simply won’t leave her be. It’s not all bad though, she has a loyal and growing circle of friends, a scruff dog who appears to have adopted her and a timid maid she is teaching to gain strength and confidence.

Then one day on a training camp her group of pages find themselves trapped by bandits and it is Kel who keeps her head and leads them. Is this a sign of things to come? People in power are watching her closely as both Kel and her training master push harder. Then there is her mysterious benefactor who seems to know exactly what she needs, and those who will stop at nothing to see her fail.

Book 2 of the Protector of the Small series and Kel’s return is welcome. She is a remarkable character, a strong female physically and mentally, who isn’t gifted through magic but achieves her successes through her own hard work. Kel is a wonderful example of girl power in that she competes for a level playing field and works harder knowing it isn’t, along the way she is fueled by determination and a strong moral code based on justice and fairness. She never tries to manipulate or use feminine wiles to get what she wants. She is wonderfully real, makes mistakes, gets angry, frustrated and learns.

Pierce then surrounds Kel not with weak characters but strong ones: Neal was strong enough to befriend her when others wouldn’t; Wyldon throws all he can at her because he is convinced a woman’s place is not at war; even Peachblossom the tough, smart warhorse. We should not discount Kel’s parents, while they do not play a large part in the story they still play a crucial one, they advise and support. Kel’s relationship with her mother is a wonderful one. As Kel learns she teaches those around her. Kel has heart and it is that which drives her to succeed and pull others along with her.

Obviously I am a fan. I make no apologies for that. Pierce presents us not only with well rounded characters but a tight and thoroughly engaging story in an incredibly well developed world.

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Published: 01 August 2004

Format: Paperback 257 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Family, School,

ISBN 13: 9780375829079

Purchase: here or use logo on side of the page to go to Booktopia

 

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