Keladry (often referred to as Kel) is a ten-year-old girl who has requested to become a page for the king. Sounds simple enough, however, there are many who are adamantly against any female taking this type of role. Although Kel is accepted to join in the training it comes at a price which she pays over and over again. You frequently forget her age as her responses to many situations are quite mature, due to her unusual upbringing and training. Author Tamora Pierce makes Kel very likeable because even with all the adversity she faces, she does not outwardly complain and just accepts her poor, yet unfair treatment. I repeatedly felt as though I was reading a Sharon Shinn novel and it even had a few things that reminded me of Shannon Hale’s the Books of Bayern novels. This book will charm anyone who enjoys fantasy or an underdog story. Pierce has created over twenty-five books set in the same fantasy realm as this one, with this particular book being the first of the Protector of the Small quartet. If her other books are anything like First Test, they’ll be excellent!
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House
Profanity/Language: 5 religious exclamations. Note: Words used were actually “Gods” and “Goddess”.
Violence/Gore: Many (26) brief incidents with very little detail including character joking about wanting to push someone down the stairs; character wanting to die of embarrassment; character has battle scars; discussions of potential fights; reference to a sword being a “killing sword”; discussion that fantasy characters attack even in winter; remembering war and deaths having occurred; second hand report of fight; very brief second hand report of (just mentioned) character committing suicide; character kidnapped and killed by fantasy characters; a few incidents of humans fighting fantasy characters; seven incidents of bullies fighting characters; character’s room vandalized.
Sex/Nudity: Character removes clothing to change and notices bruises from training.
Mature Subject Matter:
War; kidnapping; death.
Alcohol / Drug Use: