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Page: Book 2 of the Protector of the Small Quartet Paperback – August 24, 2004
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As the only female page in history to last beyond the first year of formal training to become a knight, 11-year-old Keladry of Mindelan has an uphill battle to fight. In addition to proving herself worthy of being a page, Kel spends her time defending first-year pages from bullies, staying on top of homework, conquering her paralyzing fear of heights, and keeping up with Lord Wyldon's grueling physical training schedule. Kel's detractors do everything in their power to thwart her progress, from tormenting her friends to sabotaging the Midwinter Festivities to kidnapping her maid and dog on the day of final examinations. The tide of resistance begins to turn slightly during the summer between Kel's second and third years, when she leads a team of pages in defensive maneuvers against renegade bandits--coincidentally on the same day that she gets her first period!
Tamora Pierce revisits the imaginary Kingdom of Tortall in this sequel to First Test: Protector of the Small. Fans of Pierce's exotic fantasy sequences will be hard-pressed to put either book down. Kel is a valuable role model: she's proud of being a girl, and she never wavers in her conviction that she can do anything a boy can--and usually do it better. Some rather bloody battles as well as discussions about Kel's developing body make this book appropriate for more mature readers. (Ages 10 to 14) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-In this second tour through the fantasy kingdom of Tortall, Keladry begins her second year as the first "official" girl page. She has a new friend, a shy and uncertain maid who has been bullied and possibly molested, whom she helps overcome her fears by teaching her self-defense. Kel and her friends meet new challenges as they continue their training to become knights, face down a pack of raiders, and rescue one of their own from kidnappers. Appearances by familiar characters from the previous book will please fans, but new readers will have no trouble following the story. The plot is engaging and Kel's character growth continues as she deals with puberty, works to overcome her fear of heights, and gains the respect of her peers and teachers. Many books portray girls excelling in traditionally male roles through manipulation and finesse, but Pierce makes Kel sweat for her success through perseverance, hard work, and skill. Readers will appreciate this true example of grrrl power!-Heather Dieffenbach, Lexington Public Library, KY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this series, Kel, has come to the palace to learn how to become a knight. Although there has been one other woman who has succeeded, she still faces many hurdles--often from those who are training her, as well as those training with her. This book covers the second and third years of that preparation, including battles with bandits and with beings from the Immortal Realm who threaten the kingdom.
Pierce's writing is great: her characters are vibrant, the plot is exciting, and the setting is marvelous! Grab the first book and read it. Then grab this one and read it too!
We get all the rest of the years Kel spends as a page in this one story. She matures and has all the complications which that entails including coping with falling in love with Neal and some of her school friends starting to see her in a more romantic vein.
Kel continues to set the moral tone with support from her friends. Well, those who haven't graduated into squires and gone off with their teaching knights.
Kel certainly fulfills the series' promise as it begins with Kel rescuing a dog from one of the kitchen apprentices about to lay into him with a meat cleaver when he steals a string of sausages. Nor does it seem that Joren and crew have stopped their harassment of the younger ones. Although Vinson seems too interested in Lalasa. Interested enough that Kel insists her maid learn how to protect herself. Her study group continues and the younger ones are starting to come to Kel for weapons training.
The hazing has spread to Kel and her friends, particularly at the banquets when the pages are serving. It's enough to result in punishment details and a compromise. The summer camping trips result in Kel's taking command during a surprise attack--it sure frosts Wyldon that Kel is so competent! Although he does takes advantage of Kel's fear of heights as he intensifies her training. And Kel continues to lead and win. In spite of the nasty tricks, the kidnappings...
The odd bit, Joren starts sucking up to Kel...and Kel's mysterious benefactor continues to send the most amazing gifts.
Keladry "Kel" of Mindelan is our heroine and she has survived her first year as a probationer in spite of Lord Wyldon' s restrictions. Nealan "Neal" of Queenscove was one of her first friends at the school. Other friends include Seaver, Cleon of Kennan of the poetic address, Merric of Hollyrose, Faleron of Kin's Reach, Esmond of Nicoline, Prince Roald, Owen of Jesslaw, Iden of Vikison Lake, and Warric of Mandash.
Baron Piers and Ilane are her parents. Adalia and Oranie are her older sisters. Innes is her second oldest brother and he takes Cleon on as his squire.
Joren of Stone Mountain is a fellow student; he and his cronies hate Kel, partially because she refuses to accept their particular brand of hazing. The cronies include Vinson of Genlith, Zahir ibn Alhaz who seems to be moving past this childishness, Garvey of Runnerspring, and Quinden.
Salma Aynnar is in charge of the pages' wing. Lord Wyldon is the training master in charge of the school and tried very hard last year to prevent Kel from being admitted as a student. Gower is the servant in charge of cleaning her rooms and fetching her water; Lalasa is his niece and he requests Kel hire her for her personal servant to keep her safe from the other servants and pushy nobles. Hakuin Seastone and Eda Bell are combat instructors. Now that she's old enough, she's serving in the banquet room--Master Oakbridge is the master of ceremonies. Sir Myles is their history and law instructor. Lindhall Reed. Numair Salmalín. Stefan Groomsman continues to manage the stables.
Daine has a cameo appearance. Queen Thayet and King Jonathan give Kel a bit of help. Uline of Hannalof is one of Kel's admirers and Neal's first crush.
The title is short and succinct as it covers Kel's years as a Page.