Contents of blog copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2023
I've been gone a while. I started reading fanfiction to escape and I got sucked in an abyss.

I have no idea if someone else is hosting similar challenges. I just grabbed some of what I have hosted before.

Here's to a happy year of great reading
Jan2023: Not much has changed. Writing a fanfiction now O_o as well as reading but I bought 7 new books in December and hope to get those read soon. Crossing fingers about adding challenges (late!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Protector of the Small

Jonathan and Thayet from the "Song of the Lioness" quartet are now King and Queen of Tortall. Jon knows girls can be knights, he went through training with the Lioness. He even sends out a decree that girls may try out for their shield, just like the boys.

Now it is ten years later and Keladry wants her shield.

This is a four book series (First Test, Page, Squire, Lady Knight) and Keladry does get her shield. The problems for her start when the Training Master gets the letter from her parents. He thought that "our noble parents loved their daughters too much to place them in so hard a life" and wants the girl to be on probation her first year. The Lioness is excited another girl wants to try and is ready to help with knowledge and friendship. Too bad the training master has one more condition. The Lioness must not have any contact with the girl. "You rarely deal with the lads, my lady. If you help the girl, it will be said that you eased her path in some special way. There are rumors that your successes are due to your magical Gift."

Once she reaches the castle, her room is, um, a little messed up, while she and her father are talking with the training master. Bullies, fights, weighted equipment and the choice between a bruiser of a horse with a hard mouth and mare that should have been retired for a mount. And to top it all off, the training master calls her probationer while calling the boys by their names and she thinks the Lioness hates her since she hasn't even caught a glimpse of her.

The good news is that she makes friends. We know she makes it through the year but she does so with honor. Plus, someone wants her to succeed. Keladry receives anonymous gifts that are exactly what she needs right then. And that's just her first year.

The other three books deal with the remain three years of Page training, waiting for a Knight to pick the girl squire, four years of Squire training and her first duty as a Knight. There is a kidnapping, "flying lessons" that are really lance practice, bandits, earthquakes and a baby Griffin. An animal that leaves a magical mark on you so that when the parents find you, and they will, they can kill you for stealing their child. And to top it all off, people still are not happy that "a girl" wants to be a Knight.

At the end of Squire, she enters the "Chamber of the Ordeal". The Chamber is supposed to temper you or crack you open. Some leave, refuse their shield and some die inside. Twice during one year the door of the chamber opens to bodies and once opens to a boy wanting an audiance with the Crown - never a good thing. Kel gets a "you'll do" and then a job to do. The war on the northern border isn't going well because of huge spider-like metal monsters. The mage responsible for making them is using children's spirits and the Chamber wants it stopped. It is Kel's job to stop it.

Book 4: Lady Knight
The war continues and while some are still not happy about another girl knight, she has passed all her exams and survived the Chamber. Too bad she's in charge of the refugee camp and not in the thick of battle where she wants to be. She has nightmares about the mage, Blyce, and how can she possible look for him if she's in charge of the Refugees?

This quartet is set in the same universe as the "Song of the Lioness" and "The Immortals" quartets so you'll see some of the same characters but they are a stand alone series.

First test was just right but Page was too short for me when it covered three years. Squire coves all four years of her squire training and it packs a lot of activity into it's 380 pages.

I don't think Lady Knight covered more than a couple of years in it's 409 pages and it does leave me with questions and hope for another series.

I'm pretty sure this the fourth time reading the series. I have no problem recommending this to a girl or a boy - there are enough battles - as young as 9. However, Kel may start the series at 10, but she does grow up. Including her reaction to breasts and her monthly cycle. It may be a little young for a "worldly teen" but talk them in to reading them at home so their friends don't see them read it if you have too, they're a great story!

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