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By: Tamora Pierce

Protector of the Small series bk 3

Keladry made it through her first four years due to her incredible determination, only to fins she is worried that no knight will take her on as a squire. After waiting so long she is surprised when Lord Raoul Knight Commander of the King’s Own asks. She is thrilled but knows many will think she is not up to the task. Being away from the palace doesn’t take her away from the prejudices she has dealt with the while being a page.

Out in the field though Kel quickly proves she can hold her own; as a warrior, a jouster and guardian of a young griffin. Time and again she is able to show Raoul didn’t make a mistake in choosing her. Throughout this time she discovers new romance, becomes reacquainted with old friends and makes many new ones. Her determination, intelligence and strong moral code gain her valuable experience and respect not only among the King’s Own but those in power and in those who will look to follow in her footsteps.

There are still those who want to see her fail or dead before she can claim her shield, but Kel has no time to think on them as she prepares for the squire’s final challenge ‘The Ordeal’.

‘Commanders are as rare as heroes…You’ve shown flashes of being a commander Keladry. It’s my job to see if you will do more than flash…’ Lord Raoul of Goldenlake and Malorie’s Peak.

Kel’s training amps up as she is put thoroughly through her paces and once again proves she’s got what it takes. Kel is talented, flawed, uncertain and determined. She has a goal and works hard to attain it. Pierce allows Kel to grow further now she is out of the castle and it is a wonderful journey. Her detailed descriptions of life on the Progress, training and battle bring it all to technicolour life.

Raoul is a perfect counter point and trainer for Kel, totally opposite of Lord Wyldon, yet just as hard a task master. It is a treat to get out to the castle and spend time with other characters like Raoul, Dom and Buri. It is also a joy to read the scenes that blend the Tortallan way of life and the Yamani way as the Prince and Princess’ wedding approach. It is also interesting to watch Kel try to balance her dreams with new love.

Kel’s world and Kel herself are textured and shaded by a master creator. I am always happy to sink myself into the realm of Tortall, even to the point that when I finally got my own copies of this series I read it twice in a row while knowing I have a huge pile of other books waiting for my attention.

A word of note, sex is mentioned though not actioned in this book, however the way it is dealt with in no way makes this book something unsuitable for a 10 year old. Kel and her mother discuss safe sex.

Publisher: Random House USA Children’s Books

Published: 01 September 2002

Format: Paperback 409 pages

Categories: Adventure, Fantasy, Family

ISBN 13: 9780679889199

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

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