First Test

First Test In The Medieval And Fantastic Realm Of Tortall, Keladry Of Mindelan Is The First Girl To Take Advantage Of The Decree That Permits Females To Train For Knighthood Up Against The Traditional Hazing Of Pages And A Grueling Schedule, Kel Faces Only One Real Roadblock Lord Wyldon, The Training Master Of Pages And Squires He Is Absolutely Against Girls Becoming Knights So While He Is Forced To Train Her, Wyldon Puts Her On Probation For One Year It Is A Trial Period That No Male Page Has Ever Had To Endure And One That Separates The Good Natured Kel Even From Her Fellow Trainees During The Tough First Year But Kel Is Not A Girl To Underestimate, As Everyone Is About To Find Out

Hey, folks I just discovered that apparently I have given some very popular books single star ratings except I haven t How do I know I haven t Because I haven t read those books at all So before you go getting all hacked off at me for trashing your favorites, know that I ve written GoodReads to find out what s going on.I return to my regularly scheduled profile Though I would love to join gro

❮BOOKS❯ ⚡ First Test Author Tamora Pierce –
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • First Test
  • Tamora Pierce
  • English
  • 23 April 2018
  • 9780679889175

10 thoughts on “First Test

  1. says:

    Recently I decided to reread all of Tamora Pierce s books, because, well, it s been too long since I read them For her Lioness Quartet, Circle of Magic books, and The Immortals series, I was refreshing my memory, but with the Protector of the Small series, it was almost like reading them for the first time I read this series only once, when I was a preteen, and I had honestly forgotten just how much I love Kel.At first glance, the story of Keladry of Mindalen seems like a rewrite of Tamora Pierce s first series, The Lioness Quartet, which features a spunky girl named Alanna who dresses as a boy in order to train as a knight When I read the books years ago, I loved them, and saw Alanna as a hero, but now, as a college freshman, I see her character a little differently In my opinion, Alanna chooses to be a knight as an alternative to learning to be a lady Although she is a tomboy, she does not choose Knighthood because she loves to fight and longs to protect her country she does it in an attempt to escape From the start she is helped by the heir to the throne, her manservant a trained knight in his own right , and the goddess herself Although she has honor, Alanna is spiteful with a terrible temper, and is able to use her magical gift to help her through the worst of times.In contrast, we have Keladry of Mindalen, who is allowed to apply as a page without concealing her gender But by being honest about her sex, Keladry makes herself vulnerable to all sorts of sexism and abuse Because she is a girl, Kel is forced to undergo a one year probationary period which is not required of boy pages so that she may prove herself During this first year, Kel is constantly bullied and experiences hazing and abuse the likes of which Alanna never saw However, Kel quickly proves, against all odds, that she is as good, if not better, than the boys.Unlike Alanna, Kel knows that she wants to fight She doesn t want glory, thanks or praise, but rather, seeks her shield so that she may protect those who cannot protect themselves Kel has no real help from her idol, Alanna, no manservant to help her through, and no magical gift to fall back on Instead, she uses her strength and determination to prove herself to even the most skeptical trainers After reading this book I realized, with a start, that I absolutely adore Kel Although some reviews may disagree, I believe that Tamora Pierce has improved upon her Lioness Quartet with the Protector of the Small Series.Hooray for Kel

  2. says:

    No review I could ever write would do this book or series justice This series to me is the pinnacle of Tamora Pierce s career She had many wonderful books but the emotional and physical turmoil her protagonist Kel goes through to earn her knighthood is nothing that I have ever experienced in another YA book Kel perseveres against every trial imaginable, and while at times she can seem a bit too mature she s only 10 in this one , she is unique and refreshing in a world of cliche She is what every female warrior should be And what s For once an author cast a tomboy who wasn t secretly some beautiful girl she was normal, plain, a Lump You won t ask it, but I ll do it anyway, she thought stubbornly You ll see I m as good as any boy I m better And how about that awesome battle scene Kel promptly forgot her staff lessons Holding the spear as she would her glaive, she cut with it in a sidelong arc The weapon s slim razor point sliced through the spidren s chest and arm, releasing a dark spray of blood Kel reversed the spear and cut back, dragging the blade down It bit into the spidren at the neck and stuck there as crossbow bolts riddled the immortal I m sorry, how is that not epic And can I remind you she is only 10 YEARS OLD in this book Now, let s talk about Neal.Her best friend Neal stands out as my favorite side character best friend in any book I have ever read, and as my Goodreads BFF Monica who is doing the buddy read with me pointed out, every single line he says is quotable He is like Buffy Kenji Veronica Mars an over dramatizing girlfriend combined, in guy best friend form Sarcasm drama to perfection And he has her back at every turn.There is no romance between them in this first book view spoiler or really any of them since he never knows about her crush hide spoiler

  3. says:

    This is my first book series from Tamora Pierce, meaning that I did not read her Song of the Lioness series prior However, although Alanna, and as I discovered, multiple other characters from the author s other books in the same world are mentioned, I did not feel as though there was something I was missing to enjoy this particular story.Actually, because Alanna was mentioned so many times, I now feel very interested in picking Pierce s Song of the Lioness up Though it s true there are some spoilers in this series, so I would say read it after Song of the Lioness, or before, if it s not that problematic for you It wasn t for me.This is the story of a girl who wants to become a knight For that to happen, Kel must be trained by the King s trainer, who dislikes her Unfortunately, even if girls are technically allowed to become knights now, because of Alanna, they are not exactly welcomed to pursue a path that is believed to be reserved for men by many But Kel is ready to face the prejudices She feels it in her bones that this is what she is meant to do Kel couldn t have been a better heroine She is strong, ready to prove to everyone how wrong they are about her But the best part is, she doesn t dismiss her feminine side, so as to look tougher or manly Indeed, she wears dresses from time to time and shows sympathy towards both humans and animals Because everyone has, at one point or another, been misjudged, underestimated and perhaps bullied or discriminated against, it s easy for the reader to connect with Kel and invest themselves in the story I want to point out that Kel is ten years old, but that this is Young Adult than Middle Grade It is serious and complex, plus the characters she interacts with are usually much older Really enjoyed Eager to read the rest of the series Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin

  4. says:

    3rd Read 12 16 2016Edit Raised this up to 5 Stars, because after discussing it with Rachel E Carter, I ve decided that yes, Kel is the awesomest I had forgotten how good this series is It s hard to decide which is my favorite, this one or Alanna.2nd Read 7 20 2015Original Read 11 11 2012

  5. says:

    Mini review Trigger warning Animal abuseMinor spoilers ahead DNFTamora Pierce is an author I have heard off On a whim I decided to try on of her books Unfortunately this book didn t work for me.In the beginning the first chapter Kel stops these boys from drowning kittens While attempting to rescue the kittens a monster comes And starts to eat them I couldn t make myself read any I felt sick to my stomach I do still recommend it As Kel s a very strong character and I have a feeling others will enjoy this .

  6. says:

    I started this series with the thought that it was going to be a do over of Pierce s previous, successful Alanna the Lioness Quartet, which followed a girl named Alanna, of course who dressed like a boy and took her twin brother s place in page training while he took her place in magic school not dressed as a girl The four books of that quartet follow her progress from page, to squire, to knight and king s champion with her sex being discovered along the way I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only does Pierce give Keladry her own unique strong personality and story, but also that in some ways I enjoyed Keladry s story than Alanna s Keladry s struggle to be the first openly female page in Tortall strikes me as being braver than Alanna s secret struggles Being openly female Keladry has to deal with all the aggression and contempt of the males who don t want to her to succeed, as well as a blatant double standard even though the law since Alanna s time says that girls can train as pages, Keladry is put on probation for her first term.On top of that, where Alanna has the help of her magical powers and the Mother Goddess of her universe, Keladry works through her problems on her own.Definitely a girl empowering story

  7. says:

    I liked this book listened to it as an audio book It was a quick, fast read I was mostly interested, but the story was entirely predictable My biggest problem was that Kel is a 10 year old girl, but at no time did she actually act like it She was way too mature for her age both in how she acted, her physical abilities and even how she spoke It was in no way believable that she was a child My other gripe is view spoiler I rolled my eyes for the entire ending the idea that the elite kings guard would take along 20 ten year old kids on a dangerous mission is just absurd hide spoiler

  8. says:

    I am going to save my reminiscing about this series for the third book Or at least I m going to try Some might creep in unnoticed.First off I HATE SPIDRENS I HATE SPIDRENS I HATE SPIDRENS I HATE SPIDRENS.Spidrens were, actually, the first Immortals I ever read about, because I went straight from the Lioness Quartet to this series So in the first chapter or so, when Kel finds a spidren biting the heads off kittens, I was deeply disturbed I still am What I love about that scene is Kel s reaction She wades across a river, gathers a handful of stones, and goes after the monster with only rocks for ammunition Seriously, this girl is the most badass ten year old EVER She s awesome And she s got a great attitude, to boot chock full of determination and not about to let traditionalists keep her from becoming a knight Her motivation to seek knighthood, too, is wonderful she has a powerful, idealistic belief in chivalry and cannot ignore injustice This is the kind of pure good straight up heroine that it s always great to come back to, because you never doubt her she works for her goals and keeps them always in mind You know the quip about how a woman has to work twice as hard to be considered half as good as a man That s the situation Kel is in, and she handles it admirably, right down to making sure everyone remembers that YES, tradition has been broken and there is a girl in their midst by wearing dresses to dinner every night She is so mature, so confident at such a young age it s awesome Rarely does she doubt herself, and she s never ashamed of her gender despite the disadvantage it places her at and the cruelty some of the other pages subject her to because of it.Of course, Kel doesn t do this alone She gains an excellent group of friends over the course of her year on probation, and that s what helps this series be than just an Alanna Redux As Raoul says in Squire, there are several kinds of knights Alanna is the lone hero type, and Kel is the leader type It makes sense, then, that while Alanna s story was really focused on her and her adventures, Kel s has a wider supporting cast and they re given plenty of development This is, of course, building towards the moment when she needs all of them in Lady Knight From quirky Nealan of Queenscove, who s the oldest of the pages and Kel s sponsor, to Kel s year mate Merric of Hollyrose, they re all great characters and people I would want to be friends with, especially in Kel s position And they care about her, as evidenced when Neal calls her out for roaming the halls looking for wrongs to set right It s wonderful to see a tight knit, realistic group like this portrayed in YA Kel is no Bella Swan esque moping loner, and it makes her a far richer character.I m not really sure where this review is going, or for that matter where it s been It s a bit messy up there, I think A lot of what I want to say about this series I m saving for the later books, so for now If you re new to Tortall, you can start here easily if you re familiar with the world, this entry in its history is not to be missed Kel is a heroine to root for and look up to, and if I had my way young girls everywhere would be reading about her adventures instead of about sparklepires and the like.

  9. says:

    Alanna clenched her fists What was going on Was Jonathan inclined to give way to the man who d saved his children And with that, possibly the stupidest line Pierce has ever written, Kel s story begins I m big on details lately, and the introduction is shaky on them Here are places the writing is less than precise The training master absently rubbed the arm in its linen sling At last he bowed in his chair May we compromise, sire Maybe that first line is here to show Wyldon s hesitation before answering Jonathan with the probation proposal The problem is that his gesture calls to mind the reason for the sling hey, remember when my arm was raked by a hurrok while I was saving your kids which makes the gesture not quite absent.And then Alanna stalks out, while The men stared at the door Each of them was trying to remember if Alanna the Lioness had ever spoken to Jonathan in that tone before.1 Why would Wyldon care 2 Seriously, this is Alanna I understand this line is for impact, but it s blunted quite a lot when it s centered on a character who gets mad at people for breakfast And now, finally, we meet Kel Here s the thing I gave this book three stars a few years ago, and I m going to stick to that, if only so I can illustrate how the series gets progressively better Expect four stars for Page, and gasp five stars for Squire But there are also some reasons three stars are warranted First Test very much sets the stage There are a lot of ideas initially laid out without being fully developed, along with the imprecise writing That starts right away, with Kel s dream The short sword is the sword of law Without it, we are only animals The long sword is the sword of duty It is a terrible sword, the killing sword Her words struck a chord in Kel that left the little girl breathless She liked the idea that duty was a killing sword.This is an idea Pierce reaches for, but I don t think she ever gets there Though it would be fascinating if she did, a sort of justification of the violence of this world Anyway, Kel decides to go even though she ll have to be on probation I m tempted to say Obviously, or there would be no story, but there s a certain worth to stories that baldly lay out sexism and then show how baseless it is It drives home a point, yes, it s message oriented, yes but it also drives Kel as a character because it gives her something to fight, which means it s an important motivation and we re not so far off from having women in the real world face exactly the same situation, which means it stands as a reminder historically of what things used to be like, in the not so distant past.In general, Kel fighting for equal opportunity much so than Alanna, who had to hide her identity means this fantasy world doesn t feel set so long ago It modernizes this medieval setting It s an interesting approach.So she marches in and no one will sponsor her Until Joren steps up, which leads to sloppy writing Why would Wyldon refuse Joren as Kel s sponsor Joren is Wyldon s prize page And he s okay with Neal I ve read this part three times and it still makes no sense to me It s too contrived.More importantly, though NEAL Neal is so great Here s where Pierce s best skill, dialogue, really shines Wyldon s eyebrows snapped together You have been told to mind your manners, Page Nealan I will have an apology for your insolence Nealan bowed deeply An apology for general insolence, your lordship, or some particular offense One week scrubbing pots, ordered Lord Wyldon Be silent Nealan threw out an arm like a player making a dramatic statement How can I be silent and yet apologize HUMOR THE SPICE OF LIFE Neal is funny from the first moment he s introduced, and not only is that entertaining, but it comes to form a cornerstone of his character, and it s consistent, and it s great. Later on, Duke Baird is said to wear constant mourning for the two sons he lost If Pierce could ve said why, and how, and how that affected Neal, instead of that remaining a throwaway detail Alright, onward Neal takes Kel to the touristy parts of the palace, including the portrait gallery, where Kel gets to see a painting of Jon and Thayet, and Neal gets to introduce the current political situation and position Wyldon as the cranky conservative, angry at Thayet s Kmiri notions teaching women to fight, teaching everyone to read How does the guy work for Jon, who not only agrees with Thayet, but also covered for one of the most respected knights in the land while she worked earn her shield and prove that women can fight The setup in this novel creaks sometimes Tangent for a moment Jon wanting women to train he sent out heralds ten years before clashing with the conservative training master he can t afford to lose, is such a good way of showing the constraints of kingship for a country that s not an absolute dictatorship That s something this series gets very right even the best of intentions don t always translate practically Kel comes in pretty upset at Jon, because she doesn t know about any of this political jockeying, and she s still awed by his speech after dinner the first day Each one of you is a gem, all the precious because we lost so many Combined, you are the treasure of the kingdom Treat yourselves as such Build your stores of learning Do it not for yourselves or your teachers or your monarchs Do it for the kingdom Do it for us all He looked over them one last time, nodded briskly, then strode out of the hall He was gone before any of them remembered to bow.Whewwww Always loved that part Jon relies on charisma, sure But he also shows up and makes them realize they re seen and valued Kel grudgingly recognizes why people are so loyal to him, even calm, pragmatic people like her father Incidentally, I d love to hear about that Later, Wyldon apparently doesn t know why they have a treaty with the Yamanis Wyldon, YOU LIVE IN THE PALACE Why are you allowed to be stupid whenever it s convenient for the plot So Kel gets in, gets a sponsor, and goes to her first day of classes, where she almost throws the instructor by mistake The instructor, by the way, recognizes the throw immediately as one of Nariko s Hurray for not living in a vacuum Especially since they re Shang, and they re supposed to, you know, travel. Sometimes the Tortall is the bestest stuff, which is really heavy handed in the Daine series, feels too piled on There s a better balance here.Kel s story is strongest when it isn t told in isolation, when relevant details from Tortall s past series are brought in to give greater scope to the work Kel saying she fell down rather than that she got into a fight, for example I don t believe falling down is an offense for which I can be expelled Seriously, lol And it s so clever to extend the lie like that It s a perfect excuse.It s a little stupid that only Kel recognizes how violent and stupid the bullying is, by the way It undermines everyone else s brains Tradition everyone says Sure, Neal s Mr Tradition That s why he s a first year page at fifteen Come on Neal s my favorite, though, so I don t like when his brains are discounted He tells Kel, when Kel mentions Daine and Numair, He s too old for her, you know YOU TELL EM, NEAL He also tells Kel about Numair turning the Scanran into a tree just two years ago, at Fief Dunlath can someone explain the timeline of the Tortall books to me And while you re explaining why are the servants allowed to break up the pages fights Usually they don t mix in at all And there s a lot of brouhaha about nobles rights BUT BACK TO NEAL How dare they say the Lioness cheated growled Kel Great Goddess, she fights ogres and spidrens and armies all the time You really look up to her, don t you Neal asked She s a hero She s proved it over and over And will go on doing so until the day she dies, he said evenly You can smack some people in the face with a haddock and they ll still call it a mouse if a mouse is what they want to see That s that s timeless, you know I ve thought about that line for over a decade now, ever since I first read this book.I like when Neal demonstrates he s been to a university, too, and that he s older than Kel Though maybe it s a little strange he s friends with a ten year old Maybe I m obsessing over age differences, but it s because Pierce has conditioned me to do so That s what happens when you pair a sixteen year old and her teacher TOUGH.One thing Pierce does here she shows the sexism Kel faces, when she openly goes where no woman has gone before and she shows the sexism Alanna faces as an adult knight, even after she s proven her heroism, because people latch onto any little thing they can to discount Alanna entirely Different causes, same effect I like that.I like that Kel has a lot to learn, and that she s shown learning Tilting, and swordwork she humiliates herself sometimes, especially in front of Lord Raoul, which is a great moment I don t like that Kel gets to be Daine without Wild magic, though Like, you can just be nice to the animals now, and they ll lead you to monsters Without being able to reach you through magic That s having your cake and eating it, too I m not a fan.Overall, though This, warts and all, sets up a series I ve enjoyed for a long time And I can t wait to read further.

  10. says:

    This book changed my childhood I had read stories about lady knights before about women dressing as men, fighting the odds, and changing the world But this story is different Kel doesn t dress in drag, she doesn t hide herself, she doesn t try to change the world She just wants to be a knight, and will do whatever it takes to achieve her goal She is my number one female character in a YA novel, and that has not changed in a long long time.I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone To people who want to feel better about humanity, people who want female characters who are realistic and soulful, or just people who love knighthood, battles, and magic.A

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