Book Review: First Test, By Tamora Pierce

firsttest_coverGirls trying to be knights are not a new idea but, in the book, First Test, Tamora Pierce brings a whole new twist to it. The book is about the first year of Keladry of Mindelan’s page years as she works to become accepted for deciding to become the 2nd female knight in the medieval and fantastic realm,Tortall.

First Test is the first book of the Protector of the Small Quartet by Tamora Pierce. This series is only one of the many series that she has written.

The First Test is about Keladry of Mindelan, who is known as Kel, first year as a page. Kel tries to prove to pages’ training master, Lord Wyldon that she can do just as well as the other boys in training. Many people are against girls becoming knights and so she receives much pressure. On top of that she has to deal with the fact that she was raised in another part of the realm and has to adjust to the completely different Tortall culture. Her friend Nealan “Neal” of Queenscove helps her along the way.

First Test is a well written book. There is plenty of adventure and action in the story. The characters are well-developed and are believable. Kel, the main character, is not someone who seems unbelievably lucky or powerful. She in her own way does have fault and fears. This makes her connect more with the reader. This is the same with most of the characters. The author also incorporates things from other real life cultures and traditions.  Most authors who write in a medieval times setting usually take their ideas from Europe. Pierce actually incorporated some of the parts of the African culture and the Japanese culture into her story. This makes the story more interesting since there are more perspectives to see the story.

Overall this book is great for anyone who wants to have a strong girl protagonist as the main character. This has action and adventure as well. It might seem like a school story at first due to the very school like atmosphere of the page training but there is a whole lot more to it. The complete series itself, I would only recommend to older readers because it does deal with the maturing of girls, the changes they go through, and love. This is because of the growing age of the main character. This book is a good read for anyone, but there series is better for older readers. This is only my opinion. So read it for yourself and decide.

– Sarah J., 8th Grade

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