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First Test: Book 1 of the Protector of the Small Quartet Hardcover – Jun 7 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 225 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (June 7 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679889140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679889144
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.9 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 225 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,199,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Ten years after the proclamation that girls are eligible for a page's training at the court of King Jonathan of Tortall, 10-year-old Keladry applies and is accepted, but on probation, a condition never forced on male applicants. Resolutely accepting the challenge, the hostility of the royal training master, and harassment by fellow pages, Kel makes her way through this difficult year. Trained from early childhood by stoic Yamani warriors, she is capable of hiding her feelings, fearless in a fight, and willing to work hard to develop the necessary physical capacity. Her sympathy and support for the underdog and her sense of chivalry earn her the admiration of a group of fellow pages. She also befriends the sparrows that live outside her window and wins over a difficult horse. Kel performs well in her first real battle and is grudgingly allowed to stay for another year of training. The medieval/magical world of Tortall has been the setting for eight of the author's titles; in First Test, the first of a new series, this fantasy world is clear and well developed, allowing the book to stand on its own. Characters who may be familiar to readers of the previous titles are reintroduced successfully or remain on the sidelines. The scrappy Kel is an appealing and believable girl whose struggles to integrate a formerly all-male world are both familiar and freshly told. This is smooth storytelling and a satisfying read.
Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Pierce begins a new sequence of books set in her imaginary kingdom of Tortall with a new heroine, 10-year-old Keladry, who must fight her way through her first year of knight training as a page. Despite Alanna's success years before (recounted in The Lioness Quartet), both the knight trainer, Lord Wyldon, and Kel's fellow pages oppose a girl being introduced into the program, so Kel uses her wits and courage to overcome the many obstacles set for her in her probationary year. Pierce takes small liberties with her medieval setting (Kel has a privy and eats with cutlery) but does a fine job making Kel's perceptions of the concrete details come to life. Part school story, complete with bullies; part fantasy with powerful evil creatures such as the disgusting Spidren; and part animal story as Kel makes friends with a flock of sparrows and bonds with her balky gelding Peachblossom, this is a splendidly rousing feast. Susan Dove Lempke

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love all of Tamora Pierce's book. The only issue I have is that all her books are roughly the same theme, girls proving that they can be quite a fighter just like boys. Still, a good read, each character different from the others, their world always changing.
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Format: Hardcover
The first time I read this book, I was in elementary school. Once I had finished, I begged my mother to buy me the next book because I had absolutely loved it. I was afraid that I wouldn't enjoy it as much again because I was no longer in the target audience, as with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but I was glad to see that it was still an enjoyable read.

Reading it now, after so many years, I found that I understood a lot more than I did back then. Unfortunately, it isn't possible to enjoy a book the same way as I did the first time I read it because I can no longer discover it; having a faulty memory did help with the reread, though. It makes me sad to think that if I had read it for the first time now, I could've enjoyed it that much more because nothing beats exploring a book for the first time (and understanding everything in it on the first go).

The beginning is what made me feel as though the plot would move too quickly and be without depth (which is typical of children's books), but after a few chapters I was able to immerse myself into the world and the pacing settled down perfectly - although that doesn't mean that I had an easy time putting the book down. The ending, while not abrupt, felt as though it could've done with more of a lead up, though, but it was a good one (although not so good at the same time since I remembered it differently).

The characters are absolutely wonderful, too. It took me a while to remember characters since many of them were introduced in groups, however seeing them a few times helped make them memorable since they all behaved in their own special ways. Neal is my absolute favourite; his sarcasm and his joking attitude always make me smile, and I became fond of him really quickly.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Every book I have ever read by Tamora Pierce has been well written and interesting. When I read this book I was far from disapointed, in fact I think that it is one of my all time favorites from Tamora. The First Test has all the basic elements of a good action book. There are interesting enemies, awesome main characters, but there are things about this book that make it stand out. Keladry, the main character in this book really comes to life through the writing. The author really makes you understand and feel her struggles. Not only did I get to know Kel well, I came to admire her. In this book and along with the rest of the series, she has to work extremely hard to get where she wants to go. In many books the main character ends up getting breaks when things "magically" fall into place. This isn't the case here though. Kel works her butt off and in the end proves that you can do whatever you set your mind to. This book gets you hooked from the first page and takes you through the story as if you were part of it. I would definately recommend this book to anyone out there looking for a good read!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic and the Circle Opens books, I knew I had to read every single book she hade wirtten. I decided to start with this series, seeing as I got the fourth book for Christmas. It fascinated me. I finished both of the two books in two days, I could never put them down. I neglected my school work often. It is a wonderful and charming tale of Kel; a girl different from most. Though you may find the plot predictable, never before had I seen a book in which the girl training to be a Knight gave up her mornings and afternoons to train her fellows. I had never seen before a girl who would not whine because the boys bullied her. She did not whine. She still maintianed her friendship with animals, even though it is a sign of weakness. Kel also gained many friends during her first year, a predictable plot would be that of she only makes one friend and then together they prove the others wrong. In small, wonderful written book that is tormented from people wh only wish to but a bad name on to a wonderful wirter. Get a life. Your just jealous.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story is about a young, ten-year-old girl, named Keladry of Mindelan. She wants to become a knight, just like the King's Champion, Alanna. After having read her letter saying that she would want to train at his school, Lord Wyldon tells Kel that she will have to be on probation during the first year in order to see if she can keep with the other boys'.
As unfair as it is though, Kel is determined to prove to everyone, especially Lord Wyldon, that she could be as good, if not better, than some of the boys'. However, she must surpass many obstacles in order to prove this. Not only does Lord Wyldon not approve of her wanting to become a knight, but Joren, an older boy, seems to do everything that is in his power in order to poison Kel's life and discourage her from becoming a knight.
Kel also starts receiving gifts from a secret benefactor. I think that the person giving Kel those gifts is Alanna, the Lioness, because even though Lord Wyldon said that Alanna was not allowed to ahve any contact with Kel, I have learned that Alanna always gets her way when she wants something bad enough. Sending gifts that will help Kel improve her training is a way for Alanna to tell Kel that she believes that Kel can become a knight.
In this brand new series, many beloved characters return. Among them are Daine, Numair, Alanna and Tkaa, the basilisk. This seems to be a very promising series and fans of Alanna or Daine will not be deceived.
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