Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-In this second tour through the fantasy kingdom of Tortall, Keladry begins her second year as the first "official" girl page. She has a new friend, a shy and uncertain maid who has been bullied and possibly molested, whom she helps overcome her fears by teaching her self-defense. Kel and her friends meet new challenges as they continue their training to become knights, face down a pack of raiders, and rescue one of their own from kidnappers. Appearances by familiar characters from the previous book will please fans, but new readers will have no trouble following the story. The plot is engaging and Kel's character growth continues as she deals with puberty, works to overcome her fear of heights, and gains the respect of her peers and teachers. Many books portray girls excelling in traditionally male roles through manipulation and finesse, but Pierce makes Kel sweat for her success through perseverance, hard work, and skill. Readers will appreciate this true example of grrrl power!-Heather Dieffenbach, Lexington Public Library, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr. 5^-8. Keladry, who survived her probationary year of knight training despite considerable opposition in First Test (1999), moves on to the next three years as a page. She fights only when protecting someone being bullied, befriends a stray dog, and takes on a maid who needs the job to avoid being harassed by the nobility. Mature beyond her years, Kel remains refreshingly untemperamental, working hard to retain her calm demeanor and quick wits even when her group is attacked by bandits. The book gets off to a bit of a slow start, but the pace builds as Kel is tested on all fronts, with vividly described fight scenes and a rescue attempt that almost costs Kel her hard-won status. To the adventure, Pierce adds just a touch of romance and some practical concerns as Kel develops breasts and starts her "monthlies." Pierce's legion of fans will love this, they will and anxiously await the next in the Protector of the Small series to see who chooses Keladry as squire. --Susan Dove Lempke
Horn Book Review
In this sequel to [cf2]First Test,[cf1] Keladry of Mindelan completes the final three years of training as a page at the royal palace. Her fear of heights, love of animals, and determination to prevent the older pages from hazing the first years remain the same, but she also faces new challenges as the only girl page. Although the book can stand alone, it will be most enjoyed by those who are already familiar with the tenacious Kel. From HORN BOOK Fall 2000, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.