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Tamora Pierce

Well let’s hear from one of my fave authors.

Lady Knight

By: Tamora Pierce

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

Purchase: here or use link to Booktopia on side of page


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


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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