Page (Protector of the Small Series #2)

Page (Protector of the Small Series #2)

by Tamora Pierce


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The second book in the New York Times bestselling series from the fantasy author who is a legend herself: TAMORA PIERCE.

When they think you will fail . . . fail to listen.
As the only female page in history to pass the first year of training to become a knight, Keladry of Mindelan is a force to be reckoned with. But even with her loyal circle of friends at her side, Kel’s battle to prove herself isn’t over yet. She is still trying to master her paralyzing fear of heights and keep up with Lord Wyldon’s grueling training schedule. When a group of pages is trapped by bandits, the boys depend on Kel to lead them to safety. The kingdom’s nobles are beginning to wonder if she can succeed far beyond what they imagined. And those who hate the idea of a female knight are getting desperate—they will do anything to thwart her progress.

More timely than ever, the Protector of the Small series is Anti-Bullying 101 while also touching on issues of bravery, friendship, and dealing humanely with refugees against a backdrop of an action-packed fantasy adventure.

"Tamora Pierce's books shaped me not only as a young writer but also as a young woman. She is a pillar, an icon, and an inspiration. Cracking open one of her marvelous novels always feels like coming home."
SARAH J. MAAS, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Tamora Pierce didn't just blaze a trail. Her heroines cut a swath through the fantasy world with wit, strength, and savvy. Her stories still lead the vanguard today. Pierce is the real lioness, and we're all just running to keep pace."
LEIGH BARDUGO, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375829079
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 08/24/2004
Series: Protector of the Small Series , #2
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 116,847
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

TAMORA PIERCE is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over eighteen novels set in the fantasy realm of Tortall. She first captured the imagination of readers with her debut novel, Alanna: The First Adventure. Since then, her bestselling and award-winning titles have pushed the boundaries of fantasy and young adult novels to introduce readers to a rich world populated by strong, believable heroines. Her books have been translated into many languages, and some are available on audio from Listening Library and Full Cast Audio. In 2013, she won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her “significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.” Pierce lives in Syracuse, New York, with her husband, Tim, and their cats, birds, and occasional rescued wildlife. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter at @TamoraPierce.

Read an Excerpt


Fall that year was warm. Heat lay in a blanket over the basin of the River Olorun, where the capital of Tortall covered the banks. No breath of air stirred the pennants and flags on their poles. The river itself was a band of glass, without a breeze anywhere to ruffle its shinning surface. Traffic in the city moved as if the air were thick honey No one with sense cared to rush.

Behind the royal palace, eleven-year-old Keladry of Mindelan stared at the rising ground that led from the training yards to the pages' wing and decided that she had no sense. She felt as if she'd let people beat her with mallets all morning. Surely it was too hot for her to do as she normally did -run up that hill to reach her rooms and bathe. After all, she would be the only one to know if she walked today.

Who would think this cursed harness would make such a difference? she wondered, reaching under her canvas practice coat to finger broad leather straps. At some point during her first year as page, she had learned that second-, third-, and fourth-years wore weighted- harnesses, and that more weights were -added every four months, but she had never considered it in terms of herself Now she wished that she had donned something of the kind in the empty summer months, when she made the daily trek to the palace to keep up her training. If she had, she wouldn’t ache so much now.

She wiped her sleeve over her forehead. It's not even like you're carrying a lot - of weight, she scolded herself. Eight little disks- maybe two pounds in lead. You trained last year and all summer with lead-weighted weapons, just to build your strength. This can’t be that different!

But it was. Hand-to-hand combat, staff work, archery, and riding took extra effort with two pounds of lead hanging on her shoulders, chest, and back. I've got to run, she told herself wearily. If I don’t move soon, I'll be late to wash and late to lunch, and Lord Wy1don will give me punishment work. So heat or no, I have to go up that hill. I may as well run it.

She waited a moment more, steeling herself. She hated this run. That slowly rising ground was torture on her legs even last spring, when she'd been running it off and on for more than half a year.

No stranger, looking at her, would have thought this disheveled girl was the sort to cause a storm of argument at court. She had a dreamer's quiet hazel eyes, framed in long lashes, and plain brown hair that she wore cropped as short as a boy's. Her nose was small and delicate, her skin tan and dusted with freckles. She was big for a girl of eleven, five feet three inches tall and solidly built. Only someone who looked closely at her calm face would detect a spark in her level gaze, and determination in her mouth and chin.

At last she groaned and began to trot up the hill. Her path took her behind the mews, the kennels, and the forges. Men and women in palace livery and servants' garb waved as she ran past. A woman told some kennel workers, "Looka here- tol' ya she'd be back!"

Kel smiled through pouring sweat. No one had thought that the old-fashioned training master would allow the first-known girl page in over a century to stay after her first year. When Lord WyIdon surprised the world and allowed Kel to stay, many had assumed Kel would "come to her senses" and drop out over the summer holiday.

You’d think by now they'd know I won't quit, she thought as she toiled on up the hill.

She was lurching when she reached the kitchen gardens, her shortcut to the pages' wing. There she had to catch her breath. An upended bucket did for a seat. She inhaled the scents of marjoram, sage, and thyme, massaging her calf muscles. For the hundredth time she wished she could use the palace baths as the boys did, instead of having to go all the way to her room to wash up.

"Hi! You!" cried a male voice from the direction -of the kitchens. "Come back with those sausages!"

Kel got to her feet. A cook raced out of the kitchen, waving a meat cleaver. Empty beanpoles, stripped after the harvest, went flying as he crashed through them. Metal flashed as the cleaver chopped through the air. The man doubled back and ran on, plainly chasing something far smaller than he. Once he stumbled; once he dropped the cleaver. On he came, cursing.

The dog he pursued raced toward Kel. A string of fat sausages hung from his jaws. With a last burst of speed, the animal ducked behind Kel.

The cook charged them, cleaver raised. "I'll kill YOU this time!" he screeched, face crimson with fury.

Kel put her hands on her hips. "Me or the dog?"

"Out of the way, page!" he snarled, circling to her left. "He's stolen his last meal!"

As she turned to keep herself between the man and his prey, Kel glanced behind her. The dog huddled by her seat, gobbling his catch.

"Stop right there," Kel ordered the man.

"Move, or I'll report this to my lord Wyldon," he snapped. "I'll get that mongrel good and proper!"

Kel gathered dog and sausages up in her arms. "You1l do no such thing," she retorted. The dog, knowing what was important, continued to gorge.

"You'll hand that animal over now, my lad, if you know what's right,” the servant told her. "He's naught but a thieving stray. He's got to be stopped."

"With a meat cleaver?" demanded Kel.

"If that's what it takes.”

No," she said flatly. "No killing. I'll see to it the dog doesn't steal from you."
"Sausages is worth money! Who's to pay for them? Not me!"

Kel reached instinctively for her belt and sighed, impatient with herself She didn't wear her purse with training clothes. "Go to Salma Aynnar, In charge of the pages' wing," she said loftily. "Tell her Keladry of Mindelan requests that she pay you the cost of these sausages from my pocket money. And you'd better not overcharge her," she added.

"Kel ... Oh, Mithros's"- he looked at her and changed what he'd been about to say-"shield. You're the girl. Being softhearted will do you no good, mistress," he informed her. "Be sure I'll get my money. And if I see that animal here again” -he pointed at Kel's armful-"I'll chop him up for cat-meat, see if I won't!"

He thrust his cleaver into his belt and stomped back to the kitchens, muttering. Kel adjusted her hold on the dog and his prize and headed for the pages' wing. "We aren’t allowed pets, you know," she informed her passenger. "With my luck, all those sausages will make you sick, and I'll have to clean it up." She passed through an open door into the cool stone halls of the palace. As she trotted along, she examined her armful.

The dog's left car was only a tatter. He was gray-white for the most part; black splotches adorned the end of his nose, his only whole ear, and his rump. The rest of him was scars, healing scrapes, and staring ribs. His sausages eaten, he peered up into her face with two small, black, triangular eyes and licked her. His tail, broken in two places and healed crookedly, beat her arm.

"I am not your friend," Kel said as she reached her door.

Table of Contents

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Page 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 208 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that out of the four books of the series that this is my favorite. It shows how the girl is growing up and realizing new feelings, and getting a new outlook on life. Not to mention that I think this book is the most exciting and most progressive. I love how the main character, Kel, implies that girls are not useless and weak that they have as much of a chance becoming knights as boys.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best series i have ever read i love how she pushes herself to do what no one else thinks she can! I TOTALLY REACOMEND THIS SERIES! They are so good i read the first two in one day!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome! I don't trust Joren though. I think he either has a crush on Kel or he's plotting.
Melissa Gorton More than 1 year ago
strong woman role, duty, respect, hardwork, all in an amazing character! This is one of my favorite series.
Alaskan_Jenny More than 1 year ago
Awsome highly reccommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
book-obsessed More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! Ive read all of tamora Pierces books, but this was my first. There's just so much going on! You plunge in the first page, and go on an adventure with Kel of Mendelan. I recommend reading this book before the first one, it's better that way. Trust me. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this book was amazing like the first 1!!!I would most deffinatly would like to be like Kel.Most girls I know wouldn't do anything that Kel did.I think that she's real lukey to have friends like Neal,Cleaon,Owen,Prince Roald,and Lalasa.
dagwood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My 16-year-old daughter asked me to read this book and I'm glad I did. Tamora really knows how to capture teenage girls personal attributes and make a believable character.
Nikkles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great book in the Protector of the Small series. I would highly recommend.
Potentate on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was great for me when I was twelve. Now, at seventeen and after many, many readings, it has become boring. There isn't a lot of conflict. Much of the pleasure I derived from the story was its novelty, its uniqueness. Such pleasures have necessarily decreased with consumate rereadings. Once you know the story, it's nothing new and nothing to get excited about. 'Page' is a fine book, but nothing extraordinary.
nmhale on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had forgotten how much I enjoyed reading Tamora Pierce until I picked up the Protector of the Small series and decided to finish reading it. It's been, oh, six or seven years since I completed the Wild Magic and Circle of Magic series. I remember that I devoured those books (book candy!), but when I got to this series, I read the first title of the quartet and then put it down and haven't touched it since.What was I thinking? This series is wonderful. Perhaps what put me off was the lack of a magical main character. Kel, the heroine of these novels, is a young girl who wants to become a knight in the kingdom of Tortall. But she doesn't have any secret magical gift to aid her; her journey is accomplished through grit and determination, overcoming the huge obstacles with sheer will power and courage. I can see that at one time, when I was younger, I would have been disappointed by the magic-less story, but now I find Kel to be perhaps even more compelling than those earlier heroines. In this second book of the quartet, Kel has already survived her initial testing year, and is proceeding through the remaining three years of being a page (precursor to being a squire, which is precursor to being a knight). As long as she completes the big exams at the end of year four, all is well. Of course, there are many who still don't want her to succeed. The previous book covered one year, this one covers three, in about the same number of pages. However, Pierce does a nice job of not rushing the tempo too much. She hits the high notes, the exciting events that occur in the lives of the students, and summarizes the rest. My only issue was that we did not get to read any real details about the big exams. I understand that the climax of the story had already taken place, so it would have lacked dramatic tension, and yet ... we spent so much time building up to them, it was a shame to just have them referred to and not really written out.The world of Tortall continues to be unique and engaging, but what makes this book really shine are the characters. I admit it, I'm a sucker for girl power stories. Kel is brave, determined, and stubborn. She's as tall as the boys (taller than some), broad shouldered, and strong. Kudos to Tamora Pierce for not feeling like she had to make Kel beautiful, as well. Her looks are just average, but her personality is fantastic. She does have her feminine side, as well: she is more nurturing than her male classmates, and she starts to have a very girl-like crush on one of them. Neal, the lanky and sarcastic page that is older than all the others, is a nice counterpoint to Keladry. He was her sponsor the first year, and he is as unlikely a candidate for knighthood as Kel is a match. The addition of feisty Owen, and his adoration of Kel, brings another fun character to the mix. Lalasa, Kel's meek maid, brings us another girl who must learn to protect herself. We even get to see Joren again, the character we love to hate.Now that I've started the series, I'm eager to finish the rest of the quartet. The next book covers all her years of being a squire, and then we finally get to see Kel accomplish her hard work of becoming a knight in the final novel. I'm almost as excited as Kel is to see the realization of her dream.
wagner.sarah35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A page at last, Kel continues her journey to become a knight, despite the lingering doubts about her ability as a girl to complete the training. With the help of friends, Kel faces down her challengers and learns to test her courage on new levels. A fun read, and I look forward to continuing the series.
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It's the second in the series by Tamora Pierce. I've been reading all her series that revolve around the world of Tortall (sp?) and I just love her main female characters. In this book, Kel is finally turning into a young lady, despite all of her training. She is starting to get treated a bit differently by the other pages and I can feel some starting feelings of romance. I just love these series that Tamora Pierce writes.
FabulousandFeminist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Awesome! Probably one of the favourites of the Tamora Pierce lot.
NickF. on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this 2nd book of Protecter of the Small series, Kel is off probation. While being off probation Lord Wyldon still pushes her harder than another other boy. Her secret helper gives her a new sword, balm, dagger, and even some saddlebag and saddle. As she keeps progressing in tilting Lord Wyldon makes it harder and harder for her with new objects. Kel's small flock of sparrows double in size and intellegince. Then one day training she finds a new dog. When traveled to the south Kel and her hunting group stumbles across a bandit camp. How will she deal with it?My own opinion is that's it a great book. I like how Kel helps the younger pages with Joren and his cronies. What I don't like about this though is that Lord Wyldon still pushes Kel harder than the boys. Lord Wyldon is quite mean in my opinion still pushing Kel to make her fear of heights go completely away. I love how Pierce leaves you hanging at the end of this book. Overall I believe this book is great. If you like reading from a gierl's point of veiw read it but remember you must like medieval times. Overall I rate this a 5/5.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Page covers Kel's second, third, and forth years as a page. She passed her first year's probationary period and has gained acceptance from many people, but she still must fight prejudice from some quarters, including several teachers, a gaggle of fellow students, and conservative nobles who oppose any change in the status quo.This book has its ups and downs. The dialogue occasionally knocks me out of suspension of disbelief by being sounding too modern and there are long stretches of time that are glossed over or simply absent because the book covers three years and occasionally this is jarring. However, overall I enjoy the book.
thelorelei on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In "Page," readers follow Keladry of Mindelan in her second year of training for the knighthood. Allowed to continue after her year of probation, Keladry is by no means beyond all of her troubles. Her foes are simply becoming cleverer and more subtle in their attempts to remove her from training. In addition, her training master is actively forcing her to work on her fear of heights, and she's coming into adolescence, with all of the annoyances that entails. Kel's adventures and trials are great fun to follow, and I yet again recommend this series to young readers.
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this installment of the Protector of the Small quartet, Kel has survived her probationary year as the first female page in Tortall (other than Alanna, who was disguised as a boy). She has, in some measure, won the respect of Lord Wyldon and her fellow pages, but she still has enemies among the pages who are more conservative (and more bullying) in their outlook. Meanwhile, Kel has to deal with (horrors!) the onset of puberty and all the embarassments involved.At times this installment felt rushed, as Pierce tries to fit three years of pageship into one novel. But it's a good one nontheless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Tamora Pierce’s writing. The rich fantasy world comes to life in my imagination and draws me in.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bye Derek... ~Walks out sadly.~
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