Tamora Pierce is an author famous for her young adult fantasy. Her work goes back to 1983, meaning that she was doing this stuff way before Harry Potter. She has been nominated and won awards. She is regarded as one of the folks who defined the modern fantasy heroine.
SO WHY DID I JUST FIND OUT ABOUT HER LAST WEEK?!?
Seriously. I should have been reading her stuff for decades. I could have been reading her instead of Piers Anthony!
I stumbled across her when I was trying to look up Defender of the Small by Jody Lynn Nye (which is about some cats hiring a mercenary. It’s super cute) and found Protector of the Small.
After I started the first book in that series, I then discovered that it was actually the ninth book in her Tortall books and there were two series published before the Protector of the Small. Yeah, there are some spoilers but I’ll go back and read them later.
Protector of the Small is about Kel, the first girl who _officially_ goes through the training to become a knight in Tortall. (Yeah, unofficial is another story. Literally) The plot of the first book is literally boilerplate coming of age story. There were so little surprises that that was the surprising part.
But the writing and characterization are both excellent. First Test kept me cheerfully reading away to the end.
While Kel has her quirks and flaws, she was brawny and brilliant enough that I had to ask if she was a Mary Sue. My conclusion was that she wasn’t. It would take someone actually extraordinary to break through the glass ceilings she has to go through.
I am going to finish the Protector of the Small series. Then, I’m going read more Tamora Pierce.
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