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Since I gave "First Test" 5 stars, I really need 6 for this one. It's even better! The second book in the Protector of the Small series, "Page" covers Keladry's last three years as a page in knighthood-training school. We meet several new characters: Lalasa, Kel's maid, whom Kel hires in order to protect her from ill treatment by others; Owen, the young page whose favorite word is "jolly"; and a new animal friend (in addition to Kel's cranky yet loyal horse, Peachblossom, and her helpful flock of sparrows), the faithful dog Jump. Kel continues to stand up to bullies and works to conquer her fear of heights. Her mysterious benefactor bestows more gifts on her. Keladry of Mindelan is an admirable and likable heroine, and in this book she shows her courage, resourcefulness and leadership ability. If you haven't read the two previous Tortallan series, The Song of the Lioness Quartet and The Immortals, don't delay! These are all well-written, exciting, fun fantasies that can be enjoyed by both young readers and grown-ups.
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on July 27, 2017
Really good series. I have enjoyed the first and this one, Page, second in the Protector of the Small series. I believe there are 4. I wish there were more. Ms Pierce is a good writer. This series might have been written for the young adult audience, but I am enjoying these books, too.
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on July 30, 2015
I almost wrote "for young adults" in the title for this review, because it is a great series for them, but I also think it's a great series for adults. One of the many things that I like about Pierce's characters is their humanity: they have flaws, they work hard to overcome difficulties, and they don't always succeed--at first; but they do learn, they do persist and they do grow.
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!
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on April 24, 2012
Second in the Protector of the Small fantasy series for children revolving around Kel of Mindelan, only the second girl to want to become a knight of Tortall.

My Take
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.

The Story
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.

The Characters
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
The title is short and succinct as it covers Kel's years as a Page.
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on January 26, 2016
I already had the books in paperback and a copy of them all bound in one hard cover book. Now I have the audio book version to go with the collection. I've started doing this with each of Tamora Pierce's series that's how good they are.
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on October 15, 2014
Fantastic story - I love the messages of perseverance in the face of doubts and obstacles, and rewards for integrity and hard work (as well as standing up against bullies!) I would love to have my 9 year-old read the series, as it is at her reading level, but I do not feel comfortable having her read about sexual tension and domestic abuse. Without these elements, it would be a perfect and inspirational read (as would the rest of the series). I wish that there were a version of the series without the more adult elements, as it is so well written and there are so many great messages for young girls.
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on February 16, 2017
Love this book series it draws you into the excitement and you'll never want to put it down
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on January 24, 2016
This was one of my favorite books in elementary and junior high school. Kel trains to become a knight despite the prejudices of her contemporaries, who claim that girls are not suited to be warriors. Kel is an excellent role model for youth: she stands up for her those who are picked on by bullies, and she does what's right despite the cost her herself. She teaches young readers to be proud of who they are.
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on December 26, 2014
Mel's journey is a joy to read. This book only lost a star because I measured it against "Squire," the best of the quartet. In Page, the best plot line in my opinion is what most consider a minor one -- the development of the relationship between Lalasa and Kel, and Lalasa's own growth under Kel's gentle guidance. And of course there's Owen, who's a truly fun character. If it weren't for Joren and his buddies... But then again, that's the source of dramatic tension inthe book. A fun read all around.
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on November 18, 2015
Kel proves she was the best page of the group, maybe ever. "Would that you had been a boy", is that supposed to be a compliment?
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