Protector of the Small #1. Author: Tamora Pierce.
Keladry is the first girl to take advantage of the decree that permits girls to train for the knighthood. She is tall and strong for her age, but she has more than just strength and drive going for her. She has a legacy of Yamani training and a fierce desire to protect all in need, whether it’s a drowning kitten or an unarmed man. The only thing that can stop Kel is Lord Wyldon, the training master of pages and squires. He does not think girls should be knights. So while he is forced to train her, Wyldon puts her on probation for one year. It is a trail period that no other page has to endure and one that separates the friendly Kel even more from her fellow trainees. But Kel is not someone to underestimate…
It almost seems like this would be better in the middle grade section, except for the occasional violence. The protagonist is ten, the prose is simple, there are no problems. (Perhaps the eating of kittens automatically bars a book from middle grade.) However, I still enjoyed it. Kel has satisfying spirit and good morals. She can do anything a boy can, but she’s not posing as a boy – she’s a girl and proud of it. She wears trousers to practice and dresses to dinner, and she can throw any boy in the yard with her Yamani training.
Sexual content: Kel is not allowed to have boys in her room or be in a boy’s room unless the door is open.
Violence: Several fistfights. Several staff-fights in the nature of fistfights between pages. Monster eats two kittens. Monster is killed.