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Squire: Book 3 of the Protector of the Small Quartet and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
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Squire (Protector of the Small Quartet, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – August 27, 2002

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Editorial Reviews Review

In Book 3 of Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small sequence, 14-year-old Keladry of Mindelan is ready to begin training as a squire after undergoing four grueling years as the first girl to be officially educated as a page. Disappointed at first that Lady Alanna (whom we first met in the Song of the Lioness Quartet series) does not choose her, Kel is delighted when gruff, good-natured, down-to-earth Lord Raoul takes her on. The next four years prove to be tough but happy, for the most part, as Raoul and most of the others in the King's Own (a corps of 300 men--299 now, plus Kel--that enforces the law and helps local nobles deal with problems such as centaur attacks and forest robberies) treat Kel as an equal. Throughout, Kel is physically and mentally preparing herself for the final test in the Chamber of the Ordeal, in which fourth-year squires must successfully face their greatest fears before becoming knights.

In this sequel to First Test: Protector of the Small and Page: Protector of the Small, Kel continues to be an admirable role model: stoutly loyal, strong, independent, honest, yet very real in her fears and weaknesses. Romance lurks for the budding adolescent as she develops a crush on one fellow and begins a sweet kissing-only relationship with another, after a very frank discussion about sex with her mother. Although the buildup to the Ordeal is watered down a bit by Kel's periodic visits to the Chamber door for a taste of what's to come, overall, this latest in Pierce's series is a rousing tale of chivalry and heroism that any reader will be sorely challenged to put down. (Ages 12 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-In this third installation in the series, Pierce at last relieves fans' concerns about who will take on young Keladry as a squire. After hanging tough with the page program, she is at last ready to take the next steps down the road to knighthood, accompanied by her friends and her faithful mutt. To her sorrow, she is not selected by the Lady Alanna, who taps Neal for her squire. Kel is chosen by Lord Raoul, commander of the King's Own, and she quickly discovers that she has landed the better situation. She soon finds herself fighting centaurs, cleaning up after floods, and caring for a baby griffin. Kel's nemesis, Joren, fails quite badly in the Chamber of the Ordeal, which will leave readers nervous about her own designated time there. What she faces in the Chamber nicely sets up the next book in this series. Pierce continues to create a broad range of fully realized characters, even if Raoul is a little too good to be true. Her plotting is sometimes a little rushed and Tortall often seems more like background scenery than a real place. However, the author has created a strong female protagonist who accomplishes her goals with her integrity, sense of humor, and her self-esteem intact. She faces decisions about sex, her relationships, and the effects both will have on her personal life and her future career as a knight and commander. Kel's fans will delight in seeing the parallels to their own lives, and Alanna and Daine's fans will enjoy seeing their favorites, if only in cameo roles.
Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (August 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679889191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679889199
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of fantasy books for teenagers. Her books, known for their teenaged girl warriors and wizards, have received critical acclaim and a strong fanbase.


Tamora Pierce was drawn to books from a young age. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, the child of a "long, proud line of hillbillies," her family never had much. "We were poor, but I didn't know it then. We had a garden where my folks grew fruit and vegetables and our water came from a well," she explains. But one thing they did have was plenty of books. So Tamora read.

A self-proclaimed "geek," she devoured fantasy and science fiction novels, and by the age of 12 was mimicking her literary idols and writing her own action-packed stories. It was thanks to her father that Tamora began writing. "He heard me telling myself stories as I did dishes, and he suggested that I try to write some of them down," Pierce says.

But Tamora's novels had one major difference: unlike the books she was reading, her stories featured teenaged girl warriors. "I couldn't understand this lapse of attention on the part of the writers I loved, so until I could talk them into correcting this small problem, I wrote about those girls, the fearless, bold, athletic creatures that I was not, but wanted so badly to be."

Seventeen years later, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, a brief career in teen social work and some time spent writing for radio, Tamora Pierce held true to her childhood crusade, and published Alanna: The First Adventure, the first in a quartet about a valiant, young, female warrior. Pierce's heroine struck a chord with readers across the country and quickly earned her a loyal following.

Pierce is now a #1 New York Times bestselling author and has written twenty-five books, including her newest, BEKA COOPER #2: Bloodhound. "It's a pretty good life, if I do say so myself. Struggling along as a kid and even through my twenties, it's the kind of life I dreamed of but never believed I would get. Yet here I am, after a lot of work, a lot of worry, a lot of care for details, and a massive chunk of luck, the kind that brought me such strong friends and readers. Pretty good for a hillbilly, yes? And I never take it for granted," she says.

Pierce lives in upstate New York with her husband Tim and their three cats and two birds.


"[Tamora Pierce's heroines] faithfully reiterate an ideal of feminine power that relies on brains, not beauty; of feminine attractiveness that relies on competence, not helplessness; and of feminine alliances that grow stronger, not weaker, in the face of conflicts." -The New York Times


"With its rollicking adventures [and] appealing characters . . . Terrier will be in strong demand by Pierce's fans. It will keep readers on the edge of their seats." -School Library Journal, Starred

"Memorable characters and well-drawn settings. . . . This timely and appealing anthology will surely help swell the ranks of teenage fantasy readers." -School Library Journal

"The plot sweeps readers along in a whirlwind of court intrigue, deception, murder, and romance. The humor is wicked, and the plot twists will keep the pages turning to the supremely satisfying end. Teens will be inspired by Aly's determination, her resourcefulness, and her heart." -School Library Journal

"Aly arrives fully formed, a snarky, talented uber-heroine. Cameos of old favorites complement a rich cast of new characters. Aly's difficulty with the complexity of colonialism adds surprising, welcome depth." -Kirkus Reviews

"Unrelentingly realistic in its depiction of the horrors of war, this novel draws the reader into a complete and believable fantasy world. Pierce provides exquisite details of the weaponry, topography, and culture of her world, and her control of a voluminous cast of characters is masterful." -Voice of Youth Advocates

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#92 in Books > Teens
#92 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Well, first of all, I might be a bit biased, because the "Protector of the Small" series is my favorite out of all the Tamora Pierce series, but I'll just say now that I definitely recommend "Squire." In this book, Keladry of Mindelan, who has been the first openly female page at the Tortallan court for four years (since the age of 10) goes through four years of being a squire before becoming a full knight at 18. She becomes the squire of Alanna's friend Raoul of Goldenlake; faces down her old foe Joren of Stone Mountain; negotiates with the King and Queen to change laws that go against the rights of commoners such as Kel's maid Lalasa, who was wronged by Joren; falls in and out of love; and, finally, encounters the Chamber of the Ordeal. But...well, I suppose I will talk about individual things in the book. I absolutely love and admire Kel's determined, down-to-earth yet idealistic personality. However, in this latest installment, other characters' personalities became underdeveloped. For example, we barely ever see her old friends Neal, Owen, Merric and the others, and when we do, they are sort of skimmed over. I think Ms. Pierce was trying to concentrate on Kel's growth, but it was disappointing. I especially missed Neal and Owen!!! Kel has a romance with Cleon in this book. I thought that was really sweet, but I wondered...why him?!? He'd never been a fully developed character like Neal, and so it was sort of confusing why Kel was so attracted to him and why she fell in love with him after being in love with Neal (who was really more her type!) for years. I guess Ms. Pierce is doing the "well, nothing turns out the way we expect it" thing, and that's admirable... but still, it's as if Kel feels obligated to love Cleon because he loves her.Read more ›
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Crystal on September 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
First I need to defend the fact that I'm 23 and writing this review. I just want to point out that tamora pierce was around when I was a tween and a teen. Her books are so well written, I've just kept buying them.
I would first like to commend pierce on writing a much longer book than usual. Her thanks in the authors note go out to JK Rowlings (and if you're unfamiliar with Rowlings I must ask if you've been living in a cave) who wrote and succeeded with a 700+ page book for kids. I have long thought that childrens (well, tween and teen books) were much too short. We need to give kids the credit due them and realize that they can sit down and read these longer books.
Squire is the third book in the protector of the small series. Pierces protagonist is Kel (or Keladry) the first non-magic aided girl to want to become a knight of tortall (the only other being Alanna of Treborn--see her 4 book series for more info) and the struggles she faces because of it. Pierce deftly handles Kel's early teen years and honestly and frankly deals with Kel having a crush and then moving into kissing boys. She has Kel have a frank conversation about sex with her mother which I commend Pierce for again.
There have been criticisms of the almost triangle in this book. I liked it...Kel is a normal girl. She likes one boy but can't help but notice and have a crush on another...ladies don't you remember being 12-15? I do...and it still occasionally happens...I'm in a relationship, not blind.
Pierce writes her characters very well. They are well developed, (although cleon could be more developed and I hope he will be in the next book) and have personalities that are both believable and likable. I have read many adult writers who could not accomplish this, a major reason why I will continue to dart into the young readers section at my local bookstore and buy the new books as they arrive.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 2001
Format: Library Binding
This is the most reacent book in Tamora Pierce's Protector of the small series. Now Kel is a squire and she has a new training master, one who is much more lenient on her. She can carry her Yamani glaive and he teaches new jousting skills. The Yamani princess arrives, Kel finds a baby Griffin and she meets up with all of her old friends again, including Neal of Queenscove. In short, because I know no one likes to read long reviews and to fit everything in this would be a LONG review, this is an excelent book from a renound author, who gets better with each book she writes.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Unlike the other Protector of the Small books, this one lacks certain aspects that make the others incredibly appealing. However, the book is still an interesting read -- and I encourage most to do so.
Tamora Pierce's great aspects as a writer consists of her ability to implement humour, exemplify personal character traits, engage the reader through endless torments that lead to an unpredictable end. This book falls short of the aspects mentioned above. First off, there is an inconsistency in Kel's character, and maybe it's me, but her "affair" with Cleon seemed totally out of character, and perhaps not the best resolution for the budding tension between Neal and Dom. It also baffled me that the characters we loved from the first book, Neal (especially), Merric, Lasala, Roald, etc. were BARELY mentioned in the book. Cleon, of course, got the most attention. It was rather disappointing that these characters got such minor roles, there personality traits and significance lost and forgotten.
An author must keep certain constants, yet adopt changes as well. Tamora succeeds brilliantly in introducing new angles, however, the abruptness of the changes often leaves the reader incredulous -- the staples of personality traits and scene were often undermined as a result. Kel loses some of her frank Yamani characteristics, loses some of her innocence, and is immersed into this entirely different angle of life. She loses her love for Neal, and loses most contact with her friends. The book didn't make me cry out for joy or laugh heartily when Kel stubbornly set out to prove her abilities -- like the last books where she stood up to Joren and his friends and accepted a loss. The book loses steam often, however, this is similar of all of Ms. Pierce's books...
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