Squire (Protector of the Small, No. 3)

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9780679889168: Squire (Protector of the Small, No. 3)

At the age of 14 and standing 5 foot 10, Keladry of Mindelan is a squire. A squire serves and learns from a seasoned knight for four years, then faces a final test. That final test is the Ordeal, which takes place in a magical room called the Chamber. There, a squire encounters the parts of him or herself that the Chamber deems to be the most difficult to face–be they fears, failings, or unrepented wicked deeds. Does Kel have what it takes to survive?

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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

About the Author:

In the sixth grade, Tamora Pierce was encouraged by her father to start writing and she immediately got hooked. Once she discovered fantasy and science fiction, she tried to write the same kind of stories she read, only with teenaged girl heroines who were usually missing from the 1960s stories.

Before her junior year at the University of Pennsylvania where she studied psychology, Pierce rediscovered writing when she wrote her first original short story since tenth grade. She sold her first story a year later and then enrolled in a fiction writing course during her senior year. When her teacher suggested that she tackle a novel, her childhood ideas came back to her and she began her first sword and sorcery novel.

Pierce then worked as a housemother in an Idaho group home for teenaged girls, who loved hearing Alanna’s story from the in-progress quartet, Song of the Lioness. As Pierce continued to write and send out manuscripts, she moved to Manhattan to get her publishing career off the ground.

Pierce still lives in Manhattan with her husband, writer/filmmaker Tim, and their three cats, two parakeets, plus a floating population of rescued wildlife. She enjoys her hectic life as a full-time writer and she hopes that her books leave her readers with the feeling that they can achieve anything if they want it badly enough.

Tamora Pierce is a popular author of fantasy books for teenagers. In her latest quartet, Protector of the Small, readers follow heroine Kel as she rigorously trains for the knighthood.
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