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In the final thrilling installment of Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series First Test Page and Suire our sturdy young heroine Keladry of Mindelan aka Kel has finally been knighted Never one to rest on her laurels Kel champs at the bit ready to tackle the horrific magic killing devices she was shown in the Chamber of the Ordeal during her knighthood initiation The huge insectlike machines made of iron coated giants' bones chains pulleys dagger fingers and toes and a long whiplike tail feed on the souls of dead children and are systematically killing off the citizens and warriors of Tortall Thoroughly disgusted to discover that not only is she not going to be assigned a combat post but she has been placed in charge of a refugee camp instead Kel in her usual noble stoic way swallows her disappointment and sets out being the best refugee camp commander possible Of course destiny has a way of sneaking up on a young woman like Kel and soon she is fulfilling the ordeal the Chamber set out for her and then some Tamora Pierce once again draws her legions of fans into her story blending humor pathos exhilarating battles and gripping drama with a very real very appealing protagonist It's easy to make war appear black and white a matter of good versus evil Pierce finds the shades of gray Ages 12 and older Emilie Coulter


10 thoughts on “Lady Knight

  1. says:

    I'm going to make a statement which I probably will contradict in the future because I'll forget and which likely contradicts something I've previously said and forgottenKeladry of Mindelan is my favorite Tamora Pierce heroineI thought for a long time while reading this book about that statement and how true it was and eventually decided that it was accurate I love them all of course but with most of them there is an aspect I just can't sympathize with Mostly Sandry Tris Daja Alanna Daine it's the magic factor Pierce does a really good job of writing plausible magic but as a result it's such an integral part of her characters' lives that it is difficult for me to empathize The underlying themes are just fine but the tangible day to day stuff of their lives is inherently fantastic just because of who they areKel is significant to me for the same reason she's significant to other Tortallan girls Lady Alanna proved that women could be knights but she had magic to help her; Kel proves that anyone so long as they have the determination can win their shield Because she has no magic to help her along a lot of her troubles are similar to those faced by students in the real world challenging classes unfriendly classmates strict teachers conflict of ideas This is a school story in a way that few people write them any where the school part is linked to the plot and not just background It's also a good way to shore up worldbuilding because whenever Pierce shows a fragment of a class she's telling us something about Tortall as well as creating a sense of realism to the education her characters are undergoingBut that's not the only thing that makes Kel my favorite After all the school setting was only a part of the story for the first two books; though Suire was still education centric in a way Lady Knight is far from it So at this point when Kel has been knighted and is off serving the realm far outside my personal knowledgeexperience base what is it that makes her still sympathetic?Without a doubt it is her strengthYou will be hard pressed to think of a heroine in recent YA who is as strong as this girl There are some good ones out there though most of the barrel seems to be bad apples but Kel trumps them all Her strength is not just physical or even mental but in her convictions She has an absolutely stunning sense of duty and justice that just blows me away every time She has integrity And she is also honest with herself even though she believes in abstract concepts like duty and justice and fights for them she doesn't glorify the act of fighting nor pretend like her decisions have no conseuences You all know why we're here she told them You know the enemy He will be on us soon When he comes we will fight not for some glorious cause but to surviveAnd do her decisions ever have conseuences I wouldn't dream of spoiling it but let me just remind you that as we saw in the finale of Page Kel will risk anything for people under her protectionSpeaking of the people under her protection the side characters in this book are just fantastic Even the ones who get just a sentence or two feel like real people view spoilerWhich means it really sucks when they die in the next sentence hide spoiler


  2. says:

    If Alanna is Dana Scully petite sharp tongued redheaded; uick with a weapon and with a penchant for shadowy corners and impossible uests Kel is a much less exuberant Leslie Knope hardworking dedicated to civil service willing to put in the work to make a difference in her community I'll always love Alanna but there was something particularly special about this latest comfort re read of Kel's story I'll never be as selfless or stoic as Kel as willing to stubbornly pursue injustice and stand up for those who can't—but I wish I was It might be a problem with the novel that Kel has very few character flaws while Alanna has a temper and Daine is shy and scarred Kel is hampered only by her gender and the inflexible standards of the men in power But I don't really care if this is bad writing or poor characterization because what's important about Kel is that all of her achievements are driven through pure sweaty hard work Alanna had the Goddess's hand on her; Daine had wild magic and a divine lineage Kel has a powerful moral compass and an indefatigable work ethic and clear eyed determination toward her goals Kel has grit And I guess this resonated with me because those are the ualities most valuable to me right now the ones I most wish I could embody grit Hard work Putting in the time The clench teethed refusal to accept power imbalance and the mistreatment of those who cannot defend themselves In another context it's easy to imagine Kel as a doctor Protector of the small carer of the sick It's funny how many fierce bookish women I've met over the years who cop to a childhood fondness for Alanna We were special we were strong we took up our own swords in her likeness literally for my best friend Hannah a collegiate fencing champion But I wonder if now at 27 Kel isn't a better role model To bring this back to Leslie Knope in the Parks series finale Leslie gives a commencement address at the University of Indiana She tells the class about the virtues of public service and ends with an exhortation Find your team And get to work It's a phrase that's echoed around in my head since I heard it because it seems like the most important thing I can with my life at this point Kel has a team too she would not have made it through knighthood to Scanra without a solid core of people and animals willing to go to bat and war for her And she did the work she ran when she could have walked she fought when she could have looked the other way she faced her fears when she could have accepted defeat I want to be like her and like Leslie Where's my sword?


  3. says:

    Buddy reread wMonica 2115 2415This book was a beastYou cannot top Tamora Pierce in YA fantasy I don’t care what anyone says they are wrong Now you can argue which series of hers is best –or even which protagonist the constant debate between Monica I Alanna or Kel? but you cannot argue her brillianceThis final book had almost zero romance Which would normally make me cringe but in true Tamora fashion you are so involved with her characters you just don’t care I rooted for each and every one of them her side characters have purpose not merely artificial compliments to her main characterMy one itsy bitsy issue with this one Cleon view spoilerTamora I get why you let him go but you could have given my 10th grade self a little warning that the romance would end without a final meet between characters That was cruel hide spoiler


  4. says:

    What an amazing finale Kel is what everyone should aspire to be and in this book that's exactly what happensThe world of Tortall is one of the few places where it captures you in I definitely need to read the other books in Tamora's gritty midevil world😍


  5. says:

    It's been a very Tamora Pierce week I reread all the Kel books two of the Alanna books and now I'm filling in the gaps between post earthuake Tortall and Kel's Tortall with the first Daine book Anyway I don't have a lot to say about this I first read it years ago and it was never my favorite Kel book There are really great moments like when Raoul gets angry at Wyldon little character asides that rise to the heights of previous books but mostly this is a book where Kel is beloved by everyone worthwhile and she almost single handedly wins the war She's too perfect here It's frustrating I love this world I really do And I love how Pierce paints with strokes just fine enough to suggest an entire world of detail outside her descriptions because that gives Tortall a richness beyond what she actually depicts But her strength lies in plots where characters are challenged and Kel isn't challenged much here The Numair series has a release date now and I have to say I'm nervous about it Pierce hasn't done all that well with fill in the blanks books until now see Melting Stones and I don't want past books as much as future ones That's so much compelling what does happen next in this constantly changing realm?


  6. says:

    Given the past week's events it's been especially nice to escape into a fantasy realm where knights risk their lives to defend refugeesSide note I wish Goodreads had a way to track re reads of books because I've been returning to this one since sixth grade


  7. says:

    I was just the tiniest bit disappointed by this book I really loved it but not uite as much as Suire and not enough to be a full five stars It's only a little longer than book three but it felt so much longer while reading it The ending was exciting and there were numerous exciting things that took place during the book but the first two thirds dragged a bit for me I was still interested but it took a concerted effort to keep picking this book up I didn't fly through it the way I did the first three booksThere wasn't a pacing issue in this one since it wasn't taking place over a specific period of time The events just happened as they happened no need to skip long months of time It takes place over the course of less than a year making it the shortest time period of any book in the series I think that helped the pacing but it did make the book drag just a littleBeyond that my thoughts are the same as for the first three I love Kel's character The feminism is great It's a fantastic ending I absolutely recommend this series You don't technically need to read Alanna or the Immortals first but I would recommend at least picking up Alanna I think it explains a lot about the world and helps with appreciating the books overall


  8. says:

    This was all set up to be a wonderful conclusion The pacing was uick Kel has developed into my favorite Tamora Pierce character thus far and we had easily the most evil villain Tortall has produced thus far for our heroine to vanuishEverything up until the last few chapters I really liked I enjoyed her new command what she made of it and how she disobeyed orders to go after captured innocents disregarding their station as peasant class individualsVery in keeping with her character as the girl who saved her maid risking her own advancement of her dream It's not that I hated the last few chapters they just felt a bit lame Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't the last book in the series but I didn't feel it was the thrilling conclusion Kel deserved Everything wrapped up nice and neat in a couple chapters and everyone got to live happily ever after No real sense of suspense or drama just put the swordglaive actually through the bad guy and ride off into the sunset I appreciate the complete disregard of the love triangle earlier in the series and the focus on Kel as an individual coming into adulthood on her own Kel as a character is the best and most smoothly developed I've read from Tamora Pierce I think she warranted a better ending


  9. says:

    This book was pretty unputdownable; pretty action packed from beginning to end Thinking back there actually wasn't that much action at the beginning per se but there's a sort of divine prophecy that starts to book off so even when not much is happening there's still this level of expectation I had so much empathy for Kel and everyone around her throughout the story Jeez why is no one sending her backup when she's got hundreds of civilians to defend and weekly raids from the enemy?? The little spurts of action left me nettled and on edge for all the charactersKel is definitely a kick ass fighter and strategist but she's kind of dense to how other people are going to reactrespond Kind of a standing trait for heroes though; I feel like I'm in a constant eye roll in regards to heroes have the no I'm the only one who can be risking life and future; go home the rest of you argument over and over again But of all of Ms Pierces main characters she's the one I'm most curious about for what the rest of her life is going to bring She's the only one so far without a firm romantic interest developing by the end of her books which was also kind of refreshing; because what are the odds that you'd be sent away from everyone you know focused on heroics and war and still have time to fall for someone new? and we didn't get a whole lot of epilogue for herETA On rereading I realized actually how violent this book is Not that Ms Pierce ever dwells on the details but it is a book about war in an age of swords and battle axes and they're fighting against monsters There are a lot of deaths in this book and they aren't drifting away in their sleep I think watching Game of Thrones has maybe added some new entries to my mental image bank to pull from or something but all the deaths in this book struck me as far gruesome than they did on first reading And Kel now suddenly reminds me of Brienne of Tarth


  10. says:

    Sadly this book is not my favorite of the series But it deserves an extra half a star or so since the series in general is strongI love Kel and her compassion for the 'small' I love her nickname 'Protector of the Small' I always am incensed when I read about the No Name Man and Stennum I can't believe that so many people are willing to condone the deaths of children to win a war I find the amount of war a bit tedious in this volume I don't mind the fighting but it's just got a bit repetitive I'm sad that Cleon and Kel didn't work out I really hope that Dom and Kel end up together I think they make a cute couple ^ ^I'm glad that Wyldon didn't have to send Kel to traitor's hill He has really grown since the first book