Protector of the Small series bk 4
Keladry of Mindelan has done it, she survived as a page, a squire and made it through her Ordeal. Now she faces war. Tortall is at war with the Scanrans and her first commission is to oversee the refugee camp. Not a posting she thought to have after all her years of training. Her way of viewing others makes her uniquely suited to this command, even if she is untried. Kel chaffs at the task though because before she sets out for war she has a vision in the Chamber – she was shown the man behind the creation of the horrific battle machines and what he does to animate them. The Chamber told her their paths would cross and it would be up to her to stop him. Kel is torn between her duty to her commander and crown and to the quest she believes will save lives and change the course of the war. (Vague spoiler alert!) Then her command is attacked and she risks everything to do what she knows she has to do.
This is the final book of the Protector of the Small series and as such has a grander scope. Kel faces her own doubts as well as those of others. She struggles between duty and what she believes to be right. She abhors injustice and deals with the challenges her command hands her, in her own unique way. Kel’s way wins people over, she is smart, strong and very determined.
Added to the familiar characters is Tobe, another of Kel’s rescued strays. Tobe is an orphan with a smart mouth and a drive for self preservation, Kel also recognises the horse mage that is hidden under his beaten exterior. Pierce has put together an incredible and varied ensemble cast to surround and support Keladry, they are so well drawn that they appear so clearly in my imagination, part of me wants to follow them through the years. The world of Tortall is well travelled, well developed and this story is narrowly focussed as it sits comfortably in the bigger picture. There are elements of humour in some of the darkest situations adding to the wonderful texture. Tightly written and wonderfully told, Kel comes into her own here as she takes the steps than earn her the title ‘The Protector of the Small’.
Kel is one of my favourite characters of all time and I am so glad there are still stories flowing from the pen of Tamora Pierce.
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Published: 01 August 2003
Format: Paperback 431 pages
Categories: Fantasy Adventure War Courage
ISBN 13: 9780375814716
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