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First Test (Protector of the Small #1) Paperback – August 24, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bluefire (August 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375829059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375829055
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In the medieval and fantastic realm of Tortall, Keladry of Mindelan (known as Kel) is the first girl to take advantage of the decree that permits females to train for knighthood. But Kel is not a girl to underestimate. . . .
Part school story . . . part fantasy . . . part animal story . . . this is a splendidly rousing feast. Booklist

About the Author

TAMORA PIERCE has completed four series of books set in the fantasy realm of Tortall. Pierce's fast-paced, suspenseful writing and strong, believable heroines have won her much praise: she was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature" in 2013. Visit her at tamora-pierce.com.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I would recommend this book to lovers of fantasy or science fiction.
Abraham Carl
She also creates such a strong female protagonist and shows that strength through both success and failures the character faces.
Mariam Ben-Neticha
First Test is the first book in the Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce.
Loren Weaver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Walter Slaven on April 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
First of all, I'm a girl posting this review. I was in junior high when I first picked up this book and I haven't put it down. Kel is a spledid character and, in my opinion, the most believable in the Tortall series. She's quiet, thoughtful, energetic, and the only main character in the four series who doesn't have magic. In her stories, Kel represents the ordinary girl trying to accomplish something extraordinary. This one doesn't have the big adventure aspect to it, but make no mistake. With a strong cast of characters, friend and foe, this story is great. Each of the main supporting characters, such as Neal, Roald, Joren, and Wyldon, feel like real people and have a great depth about them. People of all ages trying to fit in with whatever will be able to relate to Kel and her struggles.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
I liked this book a lot. I liked the book because I like a strong female character, someone who believes girls can do just as well as boys can. Kel is like me. I can see myself doing the same things as her. The book was exciting so I had a hard time putting it down. This is the first book of a series and I can't wait to read the next book.

In the story Keladry (Kel) of Mindelan is going to train to become a knight. It has been ten years since the law was past that allowed girls to be knights. The King and the training master have given a year probation to see how well she does. As well as training, she does her schoolwork, working hard to be as good as the boys. Only, some boys will make it hard as they can make it for her. She proves herself to others in the end by saving somebody's life.

If you are a girl in fifth grade or up I recommend this book. If you like strong, female characters, fantasy or you're a Tamora Pierce fan you'll love this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By book fanatic on June 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Keladry is a brave girl who it seems can withstand anything. She soon teaches the boys that she is not someone to be messed with. Soon she gains a chatter box friend named Nealan. She also becomes friends with a horse called Peachblossom. In fact Kel's whole year is an adventure. I'd recommend this book for ages 10 & up.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a fun quick read. The engaging lead character, Kel, is the first "probationary" page accepted to Tortall's knight training program. She has a great deal of inner strength and more training than most of her colleagues, but she must prove herself to the master of the training program in order to lose her "probationary" status. She must also grapple with the antagonism of most of the other pages. The realistic details of the daily grind of the pages balance out the fantastic (in the literal sense) world they inhabit. Pierce's pacing is excellent. There is a wonderful supporting character, Neal, and there is a lot of depth to Kel's personality, but the other characters are not very deeply drawn. I also found that Kel seems older than 10 years old (at least 12), due to her intense self-control and forethought, and also that the man-eating "Immortals" are a bit dark for a children's book. The final glimpse of the spindren babies is truly grisly. Additionally, there are several references to women needing to protect their chastity and the use of the word "Lover" referring to a woman living with her boyfriend. I found this shelved with middle-grade novels, but it really is more appropriate for kids 12 and older.
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Format: Paperback
I loved Kel and her story. I was in primary school when I first read The Song of the lioness series and I deeply loved Alanna. When I got older and joined junior high I was beside myself with joy to find out that my all time favourite series had a continued storyline set ten years after Alanna's series ended and following young Keladry in her ambitions. I can tell you as much as I loved Alanna, I fell in love with Kel even more. Right from the start unlike Alanna she doesn't have to hide who she really is and is free robe a strong willed female eager to learn and train. Unfortunately she is the first female brave enough to join since Alanna had it legalised and she copes a lot of crap from everyone until she proves she does indeed have what it takes and that they are the ones lucky to have her and not the other way around. I am however extremely disappointed that both Alanna and Kel's series are not available in kindle version. In this day and age where everyone relays so much on technology with children having iPads in schools why are these wonderful stories being left out of the tech world? Very sad. I do hope this is re assessed so my own children may purchase them on their iPads
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Format: Paperback
First Test is the first book in the Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce.

Keladry wants to be a knight. After the king gave girls the ability to try for their shields, she's decided that she's going to prove to everyone that girls can be knights just like boys. Except, Lord Wydon, trainer of the Pages, doesn't agree. He's put a stipulation that she has a one year probation, something no other page has ever suffered.

Kel won't let this injustice stop her, and soon she's fighting and scrapping along with all the boys. Finding her first friends, she holds him close and together she and Neal must prove that being different doesn't mean being worse.

Kel is a character you can really stand behind. She's stubborn, strong, and determined. She doesn't give up, even when everyone says she should. And she won't let bullies tell her what to do.
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