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Protector of the Small by Tamora Pierce

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Submitted by Megan O'Hara 
(Feb 15, 2004)

I found the many series about Tortallion to be very well created and inspired. But although the characters were people you could relate to, and the imagery and word choice in the stories were nice, what really sucked me in, was the in-depth history and realistic challenges that the characters would have (and did) face in that era. The Medieval world seemed very lifelike as readers would follow the three women through a world of sword lessons, riding, magic, and mythical beasts. The battles were very descriptive as well. In the whole, I found all three series to be worth the time it took to read them and eagerly await Tamora's next installment.

Submitted by elana 
(Jan 20, 2004)

I have been a huge fan of Tamora Pierce for more then half my life, so when I found out that she was writing a new series I was incredibly excited. Unfortunately, this series was an incredible disappointment. It seems like it is written for much younger children and the protagonist has no flaws. Kel is apparently a perfect person who is fighting against everything bad.

These books are full of moral lessons that would be new to third graders but no one else. Kel never developes a relationship with Alanna which would add some depth to the plot. If you are interested in a good fantasy story with strong female characters then read The Song of the Lioness, don't read this series.

Submitted by Avalon of the Pirates Swoop 
(Nov 30, 2003)

I started reading Tamora Pierce when I was sleeping over at a friend of mine's house who was visiting from England. I found Alana: The First Adventure and I couldn't put it down. I found the three other books at my local library and I thought that it ended there with Lioness Rampant, but I was so surprised when I started reading her other books, particularly Wild Magic, to realise that the story didn't end, but continued with Daine!!

I was so happy for another Lady Knight. I was so especially glad that Kel seems so...real. She doesn't have the Gift, like Alana, nor does she have Wild Magic. But she continues going, pushing herself to the limit, no matter how many times she's told that she can never be a knight.

I think my opinion is put well by Lady Alana in Protector of the Small: Squire -

"I had the magic, don't you see, and the hand of the Goddess on me. Everyone could and did say that I was a freak, one of those once-a-century people. No one else needs to strive for what I did, because they couldn't reach it. But you, bless you, you are real. Those girls watched you, and talked about your style in the saddle, and the things you did. They swore they'd take up archery, or riding, or Shang combat, because you had shown them it was all right. I was so proud."

I really love that quote, because it is so true.

Though Kel is a fictional character, she has simple flaws in her personality, just like everyone. She falls in and out of love easily, she's exceptionally tall, and people can relate to that. Who wants to read about someone perfect? It just makes you feel inferior and eventually you throw the book away. Kel had to work through many things that makes her someone the girls in the books, and the ones that read them, can look up to and want to be like.

Tamora Pierce has created an artwork of female characters that all are strong, beautiful and independent which is something that is very important to me. She shows that women can be diplomats (like Thayet) and warriors (Kel and Alanna) and be strong role models for girls inside and outside the books. Thank you Tamora!!

Submitted by Anonymous 
(Apr 04, 2003)

I found this series fascinating. It's most definitely different to Tammy's other work. Kel is totally believable and is portrayed as a persevering sort of girl (which is constantly reinforced by her putting up with - and fighting against - bullying, etc). The books are fantastic with a very good storyline, though I must admit, I still like, say, Alanna or Daine in Tammy's other series a bit more than I like Kel. The mention of some characters from some of the other books was a nice touch; we get to see what happened afterwards!!
All in all, a good read which I'd recommend to anyone except those who are like me in most respects except for 'persistently adoring of Tammy' - coz they probably couldn't stand the main character!

Submitted by moonhopper 
(Feb 11, 2003)

I am a huge fan of Tamora Pierce, and even though I'm a senior in high school, I still devour her books. I first discovered Pierce and the world of Tortall with the first Daine book, and quickly read the Alanna and Daine novels. I was elated to discover she had yet another Tortall series.
In my opinion, the Protector of the Small series is the best one yet. Keladry is a formidable and believeable heroine, the first female to seek out becomming a knight since Alanna. Kel posesses no magical powers like Alanna or Daine, and that makes her an even greater heroine and role model. The series is replete with fighting, humor, friendship, a little romance, and a powerful underlying message for females. Anyone (at any age) will love these books! Kel's journey and struggles are believeable and compelling, and she works with sheer determination and will. A must for any female, esp. those who love adventure and animals. I recommend reading the Alanna and then the Daine books first, for history and background.
Believe me, once I started reading them I couldn't put them down!

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