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    Children and Other Wild Animals

    Brian Doyle 9780870717543

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Protector of the Small #01: First Test

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Protector of the Small #01: First Test Cover

ISBN13: 9780679889175
ISBN10: 0679889175
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Decisions

Alanna the Lioness, the Kino Champion, could hardly contain her glee. Baron Piers of Mindeldan had written to King Jonathan to say that his daughter wished to be a page. Alanna fought to sit still as she watched Wyldon of Cavall, the royal training master, read the barons letter. Seated across his desk from them, the king watched the trainig master as sharply as his Champion did. Lord Wyldon was known for his dislike of female warriors.

It had been ten long years since the proclamation that girls might attempt a pages training Alanna had nearly given up hope that such a girl- or the kind of family that would allow her to do so-,existed in Tortall, but at last she had come forward. Keladry of Mindelan would not have to hide her sex for eight years as Alanna had done. Keladry would prove to the world that girls could be knights. And she would not be friendless. Alanna had plans to help Keladry through the first few years. It never occurred to the Champion that anyone might object.

Alanna, half turned to see Wyldon better. Surely he'd read the letter at least twice! From this side the puffy scars from his battle to save the younger princes and princess were starkly visible; Wyldods right arm was in a sling yet from that fight. Alanna rubbed fingers that itched with the urge to apply healing magic. Wyldon had the idea that suffering pain made a warrior stronger. He would not thank her if she tried to heal him now.

Goddess bless, she thought tiredly. How will I ever get on with him if I'm to help this girl Keladry?

Wyldon was not flexible: he'd proved that to the entire court over and over. If he were any stiffer, Alanna thought wryly, Id paint a design on him and use him for a shield. He's got no sense of humor and he rejects change just because it's change.

Still, she had to admit that his teaching worked. During the Immortals War of the spring and early summer, when legendary creatures had joined with the realms human enemies to take the kingdom, the squires and pages had been forced into battle. They had done well, thanks to their training by Wyldon and the teachers he had picked.

At last Lord Wyldon returned the letter to King Jonathan, who placed it on his desk. "The baron and the baroness of Mindelan are faithful servants of the crown,” the king remarked. “We would not have this treaty with the Yamani Islands were it not for them. You will have read that their daughter received some warrior training at the Yamani court, so it would appear that Keladry has an aptitude."

Lord Wyldon resettled his arm in its sling. "I did not agree to this, Your Majesty."

Alanna was about to say that he didnt have to agree when she saw the king give the tiniest shake of the head. Clenching her jaws, she kept her remark to herself as King Jonathan raised his eyebrows.

"Your predecessor agreed," he reminded Wyldon. "And you, my lord, implied agreement when you accepted the post of training master."

"That is a lawyer's reply, sire,” Wyldon replied stiffly, a slight flush rising in his cean-shaven cheeks.

"Then here is a king's: we desire this girl to train as a page."

And that is that, Alanna thought, satisfied. She might be the kind of knight who would argue with her king, at least in private, but Wyldon would never let himself do so.

The training master absently rubbed the arm in its linen sling. At last he bowed in his chair. "May we compromise, sire?"

Alanna stiffened. She hated that word! "Com---" she began to say.

The king silenced her with a look. "What do you want, my lord?"

"In all honesty," said the training master, thinking aloud, "I had thought that our noble parents loved their daughters too much to place them in so hard a life."

"Not everyone is afraid to do anything new," Alanna replied sharply.

"Lioness," said the king, his voice dangerously quiet. Alanna clenched her fists. What was going on? Was Jonathan inclined to give way to the man who'd saved his children?

Wyldon's eyes met hers squarely. "Your bias is known, Lady Alanna." To the king he said, "Surely the girl's parents cannot be aware of the difficulties she will encounter."

"Baron Piers and Lady Ilane are not fools” replied King Jonathan. "They have given us three good, worthy knights already,"

Lord Wyldon gave a reluctant nod. Anders, Inness, and Conal of Mindelan were credits to their training. The realm would feel the loss of Anders-whose war wounds could never heal entirely-from the active duty rolls. It would take years to replace those who were killed or maimed in the Immortals War.

"Sire, please, think this through,” Wyldon said. "We need the realms sons. Girls are fragile, more emotional, easier to frighten. They are not as strong in their arms and shoulders as men. They tire easily. This girl would get any warriors who serve with her killed on some dark night.

Alanna started to get up. This time King Jonathan walked out from behind his desk. Standing beside his Champion, he gripped one of her shoulders, keeping her in her chair.

".But I will be fair," Wyldon continued. His brown eyes were hard. “Let her be on probation for a year. By the end of the summer field camp, if she has not convinced me of her ability to keep up, she must go home."

"Who judges her fitness?" inquired the king.

Wyldons lips tightened. "Who but the training master, sire? I have the most experience in evaluating the young for their roles as future knights."

Alanna turned to stare at the king. "No boy has ever undergone a probationary period!" she cried.

Wyldon raised his good shoulder in a shrug. "Perhaps they should. For now, I will not tender my resignation over this, provided I judge whether this girl stays or goes in one year's time."

The king weighed the request. Alanna fidgeted. She knew Lord Wyldon meant his threat, and the crown needed him. Too many great nobles, dismayed by the changes in Tortall. since Jonathans coronation, felt that Wyldon was their voice at court. If he resigned, the king and queen would find it hard to get support for their future changes.

At last King Jonathan said, "Though we do not always agree, my lord, you know I respect you because you are fair and honorable. I would hate to see that fairness, that honor, tainted in any way. Keladry of Mindelan shall have a year's probation."

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Alexandria Rhiner, August 8, 2012 (view all comments by Alexandria Rhiner)
This is a fantastic book about the next girl to try for being a knight. Loved it!
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emmejo, July 9, 2009 (view all comments by emmejo)
Anyone who has not read Tamora Pierce's Tortall stories needs to read at least one. She is a brilliant author and has created a wonderful world in which to set her books.

Keladry (Kel for short) is the first girl to try and become a knight since the king decreed that girls were allowed to try. She is determined and brave, but many of the boys she is learning with are certain that no girl can ever become a true knight.

The writing is good, characters interesting and fresh, plot consistent and without holes, what more could you want? Those fully wishing to dive into the world of Tortall may want to start with The Song of the Lioness series, but you can start here if you wish.
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(3 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
brookemiddle55, October 9, 2007 (view all comments by brookemiddle55)
Keladry is a young girl who is not interested in learning how to sit in a chair like a lady.She wants to become a knight like her brothers and idol Alanna. But she is on a year probation to see if she can prove herself. This is one of the best books I have read I would recommend it to young teenagers and adults.
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(15 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679889175
Subtitle:
Book 1 of the Protector of the Small Quartet
Author:
Pierce, Tamora
Publisher:
Laurel Leaf
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Royalty (kings queens princes princesses knights etc.)
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Fantasy
Subject:
Fantastic fiction
Subject:
Social Situations - General
Subject:
School & Education
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Sex role
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Juvenile fiction
Subject:
Knights and knighthood
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Knights and knighthood -- Fiction.
Subject:
Historical - Medieval
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Protector of the Small Paperback
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
20000523
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 7 up to 11
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
6.90x4.21x.73 in. .28 lbs.
Age Level:
10-14

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » Medieval
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Young Adult » General

Protector of the Small #01: First Test Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Random House Children's Books - English 9780679889175 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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.
"Synopsis" by , Keladry (known as Kel) is the first girl to take advantage of the decree that permits girls to train for the knighthood. The only thing that can stop her is Lord Wyldon, the training master of pages and squires. He does not think girls should be knights and puts her on probation for one year. It is a trial period that no male page has to endure and one that separates the friendly Kel even more from her fellow trainees. But Kel is not someone to underestimate. . . .
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