July 19, 2018 10:52 AM - by Tamora Pierce - Subscribe

"When they think you will fail . . . fail to listen. As the only female page in history to pass the first year of training to become a knight, Keladry of Mindelan is a force to be reckoned with. But even with her loyal circle of friends at her side, Kel’s battle to prove herself isn’t over yet. She is still trying to master her paralyzing fear of heights and keep up with Lord Wyldon’s grueling training schedule. When a group of pages is trapped by bandits, the boys depend on Kel to lead them to safety. The kingdom’s nobles are beginning to wonder if she can succeed far beyond what they imagined. And those who hate the idea of a female knight are getting desperate—they will do anything to thwart her progress."
posted by Eyebrows McGee (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
"There was never so much fighting before you came. It will end now."

It seems like this is pretty common whenever anyone different starts working or going to school with a homogeneous group. They're blamed for the fuss people make about them and also if they ever need anything slightly different from the other group.

"Hysterics—that's all I need for them to think I've gone completely female, she thought, biting the inside of her cheek until it bled. And what's wrong with being hysterical, if no one is hurt by it and it makes you feel better?"

She has to do a crazy amount of policing herself to not draw more attention for being different. Though at least this one isn't at odds with her childhood culture.

Even when Wyldon likes her, he says things like, "I would you had been born a boy." I like that Kel prefers being a girl, even when everyone seems to be giving her grief over it.
posted by Margalo Epps at 12:51 PM on July 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

Thanks for introducing me to the 'Protector of the Small' series. Que-ed!
posted by porpoise at 12:25 PM on July 22, 2018

I love Kel's crush on Neal in this book and that it goes absolutely nowhere other than to make her feel embarrassed. It's delightfully realistic.

Page is such a satisfying read, with Kel's steady growth and learning and the regularly scheduled classes, field trips, and passing of the seasons, and all those so-totally-mysterious gifts.
posted by asperity at 11:32 AM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I had the opposite reaction to Kel's crush on Neal, thinking that the age difference was creepily big and hoping it didn't go anywhere - but in retrospect, yes, it's quite realistic. I love the steady progression of Kel's skills in this book, and am well and truly re-hooked on the series.
posted by fever-trees at 6:37 PM on July 23, 2018

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