First Test (Protector of the Small #1)

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 more from her fellow trainees during the tough first year. But Kel is not a girl to underestimate, as everyone is about to find out... (Summary and cover courtesy of


There’s something about Kel that is really appealing in the context of the Tortall realm.  Unlike Alanna she doesn’t have the Gift or the hand of the goddess on her and unlike Daine, she doesn’t have a special ability.  The fact that Kel is completely normal, granted noble, is a refreshing change of pace to follow (although I do have extreme love for the other series). 

I have always been absorbed stories about training and conquering challenges and this book falls squarely in that category.  The story is similar to the first in the Alanna quartet in that Kel is struggling through her first year as a page.  There are some very interesting changes however, and I adored seeing characters from the other series popping up again. 

Kel as a character is also very appealing because I grew up such a tomboy.  Many of the things that she goes through were not all that different than what I did, granted not quite as extreme.  When I have daughters one day, I’ll definitely encourage them to read books like this so they know to stand up for themselves!

Warning: Contains violence

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of the Tortall realm or strong female leads!

Want to read the whole series?

  • Page (Protector of the Small #2)
  • Squire (Protector of the Small #3)
  • Lady Knight (Protector of the Small #4)