by: Tamora Pierce
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4 Stars
For ten years Tortall has allowed for girls to come forward to train to be a knight but Keladry of Mindelan otherwise called Kel is the first to step forward. With almost everyone set against her, from the training master to the other boys training with her, she must face down bullies, magical creatures and training masters to prove to Tortall that it is possible for a girl to keep up with the boys.
I am a sucker for a strong female character, and if there is one thing that Tamora Pierce has nailed it is this one. She isn't a shadow of Alana from the previous Tortall series, she is her own independent and believable creation. Kel has a fierce determination to fight injustice in all forms and this is what lends this little 11-year-old (goodness I have been reading a lot about those haven't I?) a wisdom which can reach to older ages.
I would definitely recommend this to a younger crowd, somewhere between 13 and 16, at least for a first read. I came across this when I was in middle school and have reread the whole series a few times since then. All of the characters she creates have a nice depth and consistency with what I see in the world around me. My favorite of this series is Squire which is the third installment but as a whole the series is one of my favorite's of Pierce's.