Squire (Protector of the Small Series #3)

Squire (Protector of the Small Series #3)

by Tamora Pierce


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

The path to knighthood is full of surprises. . . .

Keladry of Mindelan dreams of becoming squire to the famous female knight Alanna the Lioness, but she worries that she will not be selected by her hero—perhaps not by any knight master. When Kel is picked instead by the legendary Lord Raoul, the unexpected honor shocks her enemies across the realm. Kel must quickly prove herself up to the task, mastering her fighting and leadership skills while discovering what it takes to be part of the royal guard. A new romance is blossoming as well, bringing with it the rush of first love and the unexpected challenges of balancing knight work and a relationship. All the while, Kel prepares for her biggest fear: the infamous “Ordeal,” the last challenge that stands between her and knighthood.

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: 9780375829062
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 08/24/2004
Series: Protector of the Small Series , #3
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 131,469
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.13(h) x 0.91(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 TamoraPierce.com and follow her on Twitter at @TamoraPierce.

Read an Excerpt

Despite the overflow of humanity present for the congress at the royal palace, the hall where Keladry of Mimdelan walked was deserted. There were no servants to be seen. No echo of the footsteps, laughter, or talk that filled the sprawling residence sounded here, only Kel's steps and the click of her dog's claws on the stone floor.

They made an interesting pair. The fourteen-year-old girl was big for her age, five feet nine inches tall, and dressed informally in breeches and shirt. Both were a dark green that emphasized the same color in her green-hazel eyes. Her dark boots were comfortable, not fashionable. On her belt hung a pouch and a black-hilted dagger in a plain black sheath. Her brown hair was cut to earlobe length. It framed a tanned face dusted with freckles across a delicate nose. Her mouth was full and decided.

The dog, known as Jump, was barrel-chested, with slightly bowed forelegs. His small, triangular eyes were set deep in a head shaped like a heavy chisel. He was mostly white, but black splotches covered the end of his nose, his lone whole ear, and his rump; his tail plainly had been broken twice. He looked like a battered foot soldier to Kel's young squire, and he had proved his combat skills often.

At the end of the hall stood a pair of wooden doors carved with a sun, the symbol of Mithros, god of law and war. They were ancient, the surfaces around the sun curved deep after centuries of polishing. Their handles were crude iron, as coarse as the fittings on a barn door.

Kel stopped. Of the pages who had just passed the great examinations to become squires, she was the only one who had not come here before. Pages never came to this hall. Legend held that pages who visited the Chapel of the Ordeal never became squires: they were disgraced or killed. But once they were squires, the temptation to see the place where they would be tested on their fitness for knighthood was irresistible.

Kel reached for the handle, and opened one door just enough to admit her and Jump. There were benches placed on either side of the room from the door to the altar. Kel slid onto one, glad to give her wobbly knees a rest. Jump sat in the aisle beside her.

After her heart calmed, Kel inspected her surroundings. This chapel, focus of so many longings, was plain. The floor was gray stone flags; the benches were polished wood without ornament. Windows set high in the walls on either side were as stark as the room itself.

Ahead was the altar. Here, at least, was decoration: gold candlesticks and an altar cloth that looked like gold chain mail. The sun disk on the wall behind it was also gold. Against the gray stone, the dark benches, and the wrought-iron cressets on the walls, the gold looked tawdry.

The iron door to the right of the sun disk drew Kel's eyes. There was the Chamber of the Ordeal. Generations of squires had entered it to experience something. None told what they saw; they were forbidden to speak of it. Whatever it was, it usually let squires return to the chapel to be knighted.

Some who entered the Chamber failed. A year-mate of Kel's brother Anders had died three weeks after his Ordeal without ever speaking. Two years after that a squire from Fief Yanholm left the Chamber, refused his shield, and fled, never to be seen again. At Midwinter in 453, months before the Immortals War broke out, a squire went mad there. Five months later he escaped his family and drowned himself

”The Chamber is like a cutter of gemstones," Anders had told Kel once. "It looks for your flaws and hammers them, till you crack open. And that's all I-or anyone will say about it."

The iron door seemed almost separate from the wall, more real than its surroundings. Kel got to her feet, hesitated, then went to it. Standing before the door, she felt a cold draft.

Kel wet suddenly dry lips with her tongue. Jump whined. "I know what I'm doing,” she told her dog without conviction, and set her palm on the door.

She sat at a desk, stacks of Parchment on either side. Her hands sharpened a goose quill with a penknife. Splotches of ink stained her fingers. Even her sleeves were spotted with "There you are, squire."

Kel looked up. Before her stood Sir Gareth the Younger, King
Jonathan's friend and adviser. Like Kel's, his hands and sleeves were ink-stained. “I need you to find these.” He passed a slate to Kel, who took it, her throat tight with misery. "Before you finish up today, please. They should be in section eighty-eight." He pointed to the far end of the room. She saw shelves, all stretching from floor to ceiling, al lstuffed with books, scrolls, and documents.

She looked at her tunic. She wore the badge Fief Naxen, Sir Gareth's home, with the white ring around it that indicated she served the heir to the fief. Her knight-master was a desk knight, not a warrior.

Work is work, she thought, trying not to cry. She still had her duty to Sir Gareth, even if it meant grubbing through papers. She thrust herself away ftom her desk-

-and tottered on the chapel's flagstones. Her hands were numb with cold, her palms bright red where they had touched the Chamber door.

Kel scowled at the iron door. "I'll do my duty," she told the thing, shivering.

Jump whined again. He peered up at her, his tail awag in consolation.

"I'm all right," Kel reassured him, but she checked her hands for inkspots. The Chamber had made her live the thing she feared most just now, when no field knight had asked for her service. What if the Chamber knew? What if she was to spend the next four years copying out dry passages from drier records? Would she quit? Would paperwork do what other pages' hostility had not-drive her back to Mindelan?

Table of Contents

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Squire (Protector of the Small Series #3) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 263 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first thing that I must tell you is that I own almost every single novel that Tamora Pierce has written--paperback and NOOK book alike--and this series is by far one of my favorites! Every series that Tamora Pierce composes offers something different, and the Protector of the Small series is blossoming with originallity. I absolutely love Kel--she rivals Alanna in many aspects. (If you haven't already, read the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce; it will make this read so much better!) Squire was by far my favorite book in this series. It has the most action and some of the funniest quotes ever! Almost every single page is either highlighted or bookmarked on my NOOK. The characters are all so witty! I'm seventeen and still find myself laughing hysterically when I re-read Pierce's works. I highly reccomend this series to anyone who treasures a good, strong female hero and a fun and entertaining story. You won't want to skip this series over--it's too good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow this is the best one yet and my fav book in the world. Kel and Cleon is not a big surprise and I am glad that Kel did not end up with Neal his is her BFF and should stay that way. Lord Roul rocks. And who knows maybe Dom will get Kel in the end he sure is a flirt. Jorin is dead so no more worries there. Burie is awsome 2. ANOTHER WINNER FROM TAMORA PEIRCE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this book has a pretty good story. But the reason that I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the romances in there. I don't know, I just didn't really like it. It's sort of like...instant.I would like to see some more progress instead of just Cleon kissing Kel, then Kel immediately likes Cleon or something like that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Defintely read 'First Test' and 'Page' before 'Squire'. Always read a series in order. If you love a daring tale, and also a good romance, you defintely need to read this.
Nikkles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great book and a great series. Really worth reading.
wagner.sarah35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun read in the Protector of the Small series. Tamora Pierce revisits several themes, especially the ability of girls to become knights in the fantasy kingdom of Tortall. Kel proves her opponents wrong, time and again, as she prepares for the ordeal which will make her a knight. A good read for fans of young adult fantasy.
nmhale on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The third installment in the Protector of the Small series, which I am greatly enjoying, more so than the Alanna series by the same author. This book is just as engrossing as its predecessors, if about one hundred pages longer. Kel has finally become a squire, to none other than the famed Sir Raoul of Goldenlake, the Giant Killer. She joins the King's Own along with him and enters the gritty work of being a knight. Of course, as the first openly female knight in a century, she faces more handicaps than her fellow males, but handles it all with her Yamani aplomb. A fun series that always keeps me wanting more; I look forward to reading the last book in the series.
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well, this book is just like the rest of Tamora Pierce's wonderful books. There's some added romance (which was nice) and I can't wait to read the last book in the quadrilogy.
thelorelei on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Keladry of Mindelan has finally become a squire, defying all those who did their best to force her out. She isn't home-free, however. She worries about who will be willing to take her on, and she still hasn't outgrown her tendency for gathering strays, but this time, with the stray in question being a baby griffin, the risks may outweigh the benefits. Squire is a wonderful continuation of Keladry's story; as she advances towards adulthood (and knighthood) it becomes obvious to everyone around her that she has the beginning spark of the ability to command. It is such a pleasure to read this story of a girl who keeps her head in the most terrifying situations and has the makings of a leader. Also, "Squire" finally gives Kel a slightly larger story arch than merely gaining her knighthood. Tortall is edging towards war with their northern neighbors, but there is something different behind their enemy this time. Something larger, and more heartless than mere material greed. This is a roundly satisfying installation in this quartet of books, and I definitely recommend it to fans of Pierce and to "girls who do things".
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After Kel passes her exams and becomes a squire, she is terrified that none of the knights will have her. Fortunately, Sir Raoul of Goldenlake, Alanna's good friend, sees Kel's talent and takes her on. What follows is an intense period of activity, as Sir Raoul is to escort the Prince of Tortall and his Yamani fiancee in a tour of the kingdom. Kel learns to hold her own in the jousting tournaments (she is frequently challenged, and must repeatedly prove her worth as a fighter), rescues an orphaned gryphon, and has her first taste of war. She also falls in -- and out -- of love for the first time, which brings me to one of the things I really love about Pierce: her female characters almost never end up with the first person kiss, or even the first person they fall in love with. It's such a refreshing change from the way romance is often portrayed in YA novels (and in novels in general). The romances are important, but they're definitely not the only thing going on.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is possibly my favorite Tamora Pierce book - Kel is my favorite, in my opinion the most realistic, the least Mary Sue, of Pierce's heroines, in part because she doesn't have any innate magical abilities and has to figure out everything without that kind of help, and Squire is my favorite of the Protecter of the Smallbooks.
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My gods this book is beautiful. Almost as beautiful as Ansel.
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This book is definitely one of my favorites. Anyone who likes reading should read the series, and the other books by Tamora Pierce. They're all excellent.
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These books are amazing. It started with one set the branced out into more and more story's that all corespond together. I lent my cousin the first set "Song of the Lioness" and she loved it so i gave her the next set when i got done with it and we just keep going till we read all ove the ones we could find.