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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing End of Series
Lady Knight concludes the Protector of the Small series beautifully. Kel has grown into a wonderful knight who is bright, witty and freshly knighted. Unfortunately, the chamber of ordeal won't leave her alone even though she's come out unscathed. The chamber of ordeal has given her a task. The task may interfere with her new orders which everyone feels is wimpy...
Published on September 9, 2002 by Beth Jones Henkel

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trading off quality writing for quality story-telling?
Tamora Pierce's first two books were obviously written by someone who didn't quite know their style yet. The "Lioness" quartet isn't written spectacularly, but the story is interesting and catchy, and the characters and action are enough to keep readers going. While perhaps the second two books of this first quartet weren't as good (slightly slower, unfortunately), they...
Published on June 28, 2007 by Biblibio


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing End of Series, September 9, 2002
Lady Knight concludes the Protector of the Small series beautifully. Kel has grown into a wonderful knight who is bright, witty and freshly knighted. Unfortunately, the chamber of ordeal won't leave her alone even though she's come out unscathed. The chamber of ordeal has given her a task. The task may interfere with her new orders which everyone feels is wimpy orders. They will keep her from the actual war with Scanran. She's having to watch over a refugee camp. In the end, she realizes she may have to walk away from all her dreams of knighthood to truly fulfill her destiny.
Although, in true Pierce style, Kel's destiny means her friends stick by her side despite the fact they could be branded deserters and face dire consequences. Owen, Neal, Dom, Diane and Numair are all back and helping out in their unique ways. And she makes many new allies among the refugees.
It's wonderful to see all the old characters back. I applaud Pierce for her amazing ability to make me care and love about these characters even after all these years. If this is the end of the Tortallan Series, it's an amazing book and brings very nice closure for the reader.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing? Never!, September 9, 2002
By A Customer
Having bought this book at far more than its going price, I was determined not to find it a disappointment, as some of my friends seemed to have done. And you know what? I didn't.
I LOVED it. This wonderful final installment is a must-read for all Tammy fans.
Lady Knight proves that Kel is in her element as a commander as she takes charge at a refugee camp. She does well, but is restless, knowing that she needs to carry out the task that the Chamber of the Ordeal has set her. But when something goes terribly wrong, she knows that she has to take things into her own hands.
The book rarely focuses on Kel's personal life, which I missed a little, but she's a knight, her country's at war, and she has other things on her mind, so I can't blame her. If you're looking for romance, this isn't the book you'll find it.
The book doesn't answer all your questions- especially about Kel's relationship with a certain King's Own sergeant (hint hint!)- but if it did, it wouldn't be half as much fun. The return of Neal, Owen, and other characters that were missed in Squire is a definite plus.
Read it!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not enough stars . . ., September 15, 2002
By 
I went to a Tamora Pierce signing in November of 01. At the signing, she gave us a preview of the forth book in the series Protector of the Small. Since then, I have been waiting for Lady Knight to come out. When it did, I bought it right away. I wasn't dissappointed. I think Lady Knight was the second best book in the Kel series (the first being Squire).
At last, Keladry of Mindelin has become a knight. As the first lady knight in centuries, she has become well known. Her country is at war with Scanran, a country to the north. Every knight gets an assignment. Kel gets a dud, and she is sure that her old trainging master is trying to keep her safe, but, as Wyldon tells her, she's the onlt one for the job. Manning a refugee camp was not what she wanted to do as a knight, but it's what's she's doing. When the Scanrans attacks her camp when she is away, she is willing to do treason to get them back. They trust her, and she could never let them down. So she sets out at night, alone, and goes after her refugees. On the road the Kings Own catch up to her under Raoul's order. Later on, Owen, Neal and Merric catch up and they start the adventure of their lives togerther.
Lady Knight tells little of Kels personal life, but that's understandable; she's busy 24-7. Kel's, unlike all of Tammy's other quartets, quartet ends with her without a suiter. We'll just have to wait and see!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lady Knight, October 22, 2002
Although still good, this book has to be my least favourite of the Kel series. All the battles at the beginning dragged a bit, and I wanted to see more stuff with the characters (not just romance, though that would have been good, but Kel just having time with her friends like she did in the first two books) This book picked up a lot by the second half, though, once it got past all that strategy stuff which I found a bit boring, and it had one very good point: Neal was in it. He's been my favourite character from the very beginning and I was disappointed when he was hardly in Squire. Even though he was betrothed to Yukimi and all that, I was still hoping he would go out with Kel some time. Oh well...
I have suspicions that at some future book set in Tortall, Kel and Dom will make an appearance as a couple, which would be fun. :)
It may be a slight let-down after the other three, but Lady Knight is still a good book and this quartet is definitely my favourite out of all that Tamora Pierce is written. I agree with the other reviewers - you can't really imagine being Alanna or Daine (or any of the people in Circle of Magic who have magic and that) but Kel is an ordinary girl you can identify with.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just What I Was Hoping For, September 1, 2002
By 
Emily (United States) - See all my reviews
I was waiting for what seemed like years for the fourth and final book of Kel's series to finally come out, and when I got it, I read it in two days. It's a thrilling, gripping ending to an amazing series.
Kel has finally gotten her shield, and she's sent with all the knights of the realm to the northern border to fight in the war against Scanra. But she's disappointed when she's put in command of a refugee camp instead of getting to fight and go on her personal quest to find the maker of the horrible machines being sent against Tortall. But she does what she's told, just like the Kel we know.
I was very pleased when Tamora Pierce got rid of Cleon, who I didn't like. I missed her usual romance in this book, but it did seem like Kel to not want a lover. Although I'm thinking about Dom...
I was also happy to find that all the characters that had seemingly been forgotten in the third book appeared again, like Neal, Owen, and her other year-mates. I loved all the new characters in this book, like Kel's servant boy Tobe, and the refugees she had to take care of. There was a lot of adventure and fighting in this book, but just enough to make you love it. And everything was done in a humorous and realistic way.
Kel acted just like herself in this book, which really made up for the mistakes in the third book. This is definitely a worthwhile read. This is my favorite of all of Tamora's series, and she's my favorite author. This is a must-read, and once you pick it up, you can't put it down.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 really, September 28, 2002
I must beg to disagree with several of the reviews cited here.
No, there isn't much romance in Lady Knight. But surely this is a reflection of Kel's occupation with events. I don't think I'll be spoiling it for anyone if I mention that there is a war with Scanra. It was fairly inevitable. As such, Kel is pretty tied up with her all-consuming assignment, with very little time for romance. And I found the little hints about Dom (and Owen, though I may be paranoid) to be a quite intriguing; more so, perhaps, than out and out snogging, which is what you get with Alanna and Daine.
I thought Lady Knight was interesting and an amusing read. (That sounds condescending, but I'm avoiding using 'fun' as an adjective). The battle strategy, heavily used throughout the book, was fascinating, Pierce's trademark sly humour pervaded throughout, and many old favourite characters returned, including one of my personal favourites, Neal. Numair, Cleon, Dom, Quinden, Owen, Faleron, Raoul, Alanna, Baird, Merric, Wyldon, one of the hill bandits, Daine, Peachblossom, Hoshi and Roald all make appearances of varying lengths, and we are granted a blessed respite from Jon's arrogant presence. Buri, my very favourite character does not feature, although the epilogue mentions some interesting gossip on her situation! Added to this wonderful mix are some great new characters, including some difficult refugees.
Kel's character develops beautifully, and it is a joy to see, or rather, read.
The reason I have taken the 1/2 star off this marvellous book, however, is because of Cleon. Not giving too much away, I do not think Pierce dealt with Kel and Cleons' relationship adequately, but left poor Cleon out on a bit of a limb. (NB: This is not the same as 'not enough romance')
As for the ending, I found it more than conclusive enough. In real life, loose ends are not always tied up, and the protagonist doesn't always 'get' a true love. Pierce fans are just spoilt by Daine and Alannas' very satisfactory endings. I like this new method. As long as we hear more about Kel in future Tortall books, as we have about Alanna and Daine, I'm fine with this.
All in all a very satisfactory read, although reading the rest of the series first is a must.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grim, but a strong story, November 18, 2005
A Kid's Review
Unlike the majority of the other reviewers, I was very glad that Kel is not married, in love, or betrothed at the close of this story. SHE IS EIGHTEEN! In our society, that's too young to marry. Even Pierce's other heroines were not married at that age-Daine marries between this book and "Trickster's Choice" and Alanna is at least twenty. Also- if you thought that Cleon and Kel would be permanently in love, so did they. I wouldn't know, but my guess is that love and crushes always feel real when they are happening. That was realistic, as was the fact that teen romances do not always survive. Don't usually survive, actually. But a not of midevil realism- nobles did marry for politics, or money, and sometimes it wasn't just power manuvering. Cleon's people would have starved if he hadn't married the heiress his mother picked. I'm not saying it was right for him, but it was realistic in the context of a basically midevil world.

I like that Kel is a "commander", too. She is good at it. I coudl beleive her as she sorted out the squabbles and problems of Haven, just as I could beleive her as she fought or bantered with her freinds. I like that Neal is present, as a healer (remember whose squire he was- he definitely learned well from the Lioness) and both he and Kel have great lines. I like Neal espessially- and I like that he marries Yuki, rather than Kel. Their romance isn't visible, but he definitely loves her. His humor and temper (he rants at Kel, basicly with her permission, about the sergeants ignoring convict soldiers' medical problems) are both still there. He is DEFINITELY the same character. In some books where characters reappear, you wonder.

I found Kel's relationship with Fanche (a female refugee leader) interesting, espessially because Fanche is definitely a positive character even if she dislikes the heroine. Other minor characters were well drawn- I like Tobe, even if he is virtually invisible. At the end, I found myself worried about Saefas, who is an extremely minor character, because he was wounded as Kel went off to fight the Baddies in Chief. I found myself mourning for some of the "minor" characters who _did_ get killed- Tamora Pierce's world is that real to me. Kel mourns them, too.

Lord Wyldon shows a more positive- and more forgiving- side in this book. He gives Kel the refugee camp not to punish her, but because she is honestly the only person who can be trusted with it. He admits that he was wrong to order her not to save her people, and he forgives Kel and Owen for disobeying orders.

I loved Kel's love of clerks. Most military-fantasy heroines & heros are contemptuous of beaurucrats. However, they exist, and they are useful, and Kel knows that.

Incidentally, I like that in Tamora Pierce's books, the same characters reappear seen through different eyes and seem different- while remaining themselves. Alanna loves Jonathan but knows he has flaws; Daine is completely in awe of him, and Kel dislikes him but is loyal. The Stormwings have a similar change: Daine at first hates them, then grows to like Rikash, and finally tells the Great Gods that the Stormwings have a right to stay in the Mortal Realms. Kel hates Stormwings. She is about the only battle commander who insists on burrying the enemy dead as well as her own. Neal tells her that the Stormwings can't help being what they are. "They are what they were made to be...You're what you were made to be, too." Through most of the story, a female Stormwing whose name I'd have liked to have been told keeps talking to Kel. At Haven, she tells Kel that the Stormwings are a little sorry about the masacre (well, that's as much as you will get from Stormwings, except about kids. They are protective of kids...in Trickster's Queen they snatch some out of danger in a riot. They are not all evil) and later she lands and talks to Kel briefly a few times. AT the very end, Kel tells Blayce hte Nothing Man that she had thought that Stormwings were monsters, but htey weren't: He was. And that time only, she left the Scanran dead for the Stormwings. I couldn't help but remember Rikash's words to Daine (sorry for the cross-reference) about a woman who, traveling in lands destoryed by war, dreamed Stormwings into being "...she wished for a creature so repulsive that even humans would think twise before making war...that creature would defile what mortal killers left, so that no one could lie about how glorious a soldier's death is." I know that some people will think I am crazy...but Earth could use Stormwings. Blayce was the real monster. Let the Stormwings tear his body to peices; they at least are no mroe than they must be. THey are "a nightmare of battle", and if the nightmare keeps even one person from teh reality, I cannot hate tehm.

Sorry, that was completely off-topic. Lets get back on.

I liked all along that Kel is not beautiful. She is ordianery, and heroic in a beleivable way. This woman could exist on Earth. She would be extroirdinary, but she is in no way difficult to beleive. And in a midevil world- even if she's getting more distant, the Chamber's right about her being the Protector of the Small, seeing real people in thsoe weaker than she.

The villain Blayce is the Nothing Man, and I call him that in my mind because he is too repulsive to have a name. He murders children and enslaves their souls, for which crime he was expelled from the magic schools of hte City of the Gods. Kel calls him "a rat of a man", completley unremarkable, physically. I find that a releif- too many fiction characters are unbeleivably atractive, or ugly. The Nothing Man is a true monster... but I can beleive in his existance, too. On Earth he would not have been a necromancer, but I can all too easily beleive him as a Nazi or any other evil regime-helper. Stenmun is also evil but real, and the unseen Maggur is not blazingly unbeleivable, either.

I liked how Owen stayed in the action, and I liked how he and Tobe sneaked after Kel. (Not that Raoul sending Dom, and Neal, Merric, and the others coming along, wasn't just as great. But I have a soft spot for Owen- he was the first page that helped Kel fight bullies.) He's brave, and I just plain like him. THank goodness I can't actually meet him, I'd probably have a crush. Crushes sound like a royal pain.

There was a lot of violence in this book, which I don't like. But it is appropriate to the setting. The dark aspects of the book- slavery and rape on the parts of the enemies- are present in our world, too, like it or not. THe only thing that had a major role in this book and is impossible is the Nothing Man's necromancy and killing machines... and we have our equivalents. Blayce had nothing on atomic bombs. Other than that and minor things, it was completely applicable to Earth in a war zone.

I am glad that Pierce showed us a glimpse of the future- New Hope as a town, Kel and Neal attending Raoul's wedding, and the child seer Irnai's wry comments on Neal's future. With Haven's fate in mind, I really needed that glimpse of the future to tell me that Kel would survive this.

I appolagize for rambling.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Like Four and a Half...., August 27, 2002
By 
"dustykid" (Connecticut, USA) - See all my reviews
I was really looking forward to Pierce's new book a long time before it hit the shelves. When I picked it up on August 24, I had plans of starting it immiediately after I got home.
'Lady Knight,' the fourth installment in the Protector of the Small quartet, follows Keladry of Mindelan, now eighteen and fresh out of her training for knighthood, through her first adventure as a knight of the realm of Tortall. I was pleased that the final book did not forget the supporting characters we fell in love with in the earlier books (Neal in particular) and kept them as an important part of the story.
The story chronicles the bulk of Tortall's war with Scanra, the nation bordering it to the north. Kel and her friends are assigned to a position that mainly involves keeping civilian refugees as safe as possible from harm, especially at the hands of the montrous killing machines manufactured by a virtually unknown mage for the army of Scanra.
Though the book was fantastic, I did not put five stars on my review because I felt ther was something missing. Perhaps I felt that in the final book, Kel should have a somewhat defined love interest. And even though Pierce hinted slightly at Sergeant Domitan, it didn't seen to be enough for me.
But all in all, 'Lady Knight' is a fine conclusion to the brilliant quartet, filled with humor, emotion, and of course, lots of adventure. I believe at the end of the story, many will join me in waiting hopefully for another tale of Tortall, so we can fall in love with new characters, and have a great time with the old ones as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More to come, November 10, 2002
By 
lenap83 (Moraga, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Okay, so Kel doesn't have a major romance here, and the ending seems a little flat, but the villain is actually more realistic than most. He's a small man that does big (and terrible) things. Most thugs are. And I think there is still another Kel book in the wings. Pierce has hinted as such, and the way this book ends with so much left unanswered seems to promise more in the future. And to be honest, I find I like Kel more and more the more and more I read. She's a very normal girl. Not in the girl-next-door or everyman way touted by Hollywood, but in the sense that she doesn't have any abilities that a normal girl in our world couldn't have. Not to mention she much more personable than Pierce's characters usually are. We love our loners like Alanna and Daine, but a team player like Kel is a nice change. Being a leader instead of a hero isn't exactly the norm for fantasy genre protaganists, and to have that "Captain of the Gaurds" sort of figure as more than an interesting bit character makes for a more "realistic" feel to the storytelling. While there's still plenty of magic and Tortallian references for us old timers, there's also the feeling that with a few tweaks you could put Kel in the Red Cross and have her refugees be from Eastern Europe rather than Norther Tortall without skipping a beat. Classic Pierce with some fresh twists.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Way to End a Great Series, September 10, 2002
By 
"cdsky3" (Norton, OH United States) - See all my reviews
Throughout the series of Protector of the Small you follow Kel, who is battling her way in an almost exclusive male run buisness (that being war). In the first two books you follow a young girl, who learns that there are times that you must battle to achieve your goals. In the third book, when Kel becomes a squire, you watch her learn the reality of what she has chosen to become. Finally in this last book, you no longer see Kel as a girl, but you see her as a woman who knows her way in the world, and is willing to battle and defy anyone in order to uphold the vows that she chose to take on the other side of the Chamber of Ordeal.
This is a powerfull novel that address the problem about doing what is right, verses what everyone else is doing. There are many times through out the story that the main charecter could have done what was popular, instead she chooses the more difficult journey, making you want to cheer and encourage her all the more.
There are some people that may be disappointed that this series does not end with a romantic twist, as all of Pierce's other series have. However, I felt that this simply made the charecter even stronger and more realistic. True, you want her to find the right someone, as you wish for all fairy tale happy endings for most of your favorite charecter, but this charecter dosen't need one for you to know that everything will work out all right.
One other theme in this series must be discussed. As with all of Pierce's books, the subject and discussion of war is quite strong through out this series. Lady Knight, however introduces the young adult to more then just the deaths that are due to war, it also discusses what happens to civilians during a war.
I feel that this is Pierce's third best book to Alanna and Lioness Rampant. Of course, I would encourage readers out there to read any of Pierce's writtings, guranteed, you will enjoy them.
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Lady Knight: Book 4 of the Protector of the Small Quartet
Lady Knight: Book 4 of the Protector of the Small Quartet by Tamora Pierce (Paperback - August 24, 2004)
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