I decided to re-read a few old friends instead of playing with the new and unread books I have on my pile. I went through the Protector of the Small quartet by Tamora Pierce and have started in on the Mage Storm trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. I think I'll actually read a few other Lackey and Pierce books before I go back to the new stuff. It's been a rough few weeks and I need the visit to some of my favorite worlds.
Here's my basic review of the series, bearing in mind that this is my favorite of Tammy's series.
It has been almost two decades since Alanna, the Lioness, earned her knighthood while disguising herself as a boy. It has been over a hundred years since women made up any portion of the knighthood of Tortall. The king has decreed that girls can now openly try for their knighthoods and Keladry of Midelan is the first in a decade to try. She faces steep opposition. In the first book, First Test, she is allowed to join the pages (the first step of a knight's training) on a trial basis. If she can prove to the training master, Lord Wyldon, that she can hack it, she can stay on permanently.
In the second book, Page, obviously takes place after she has proven she can handle to duties and has promise as a knight. Kel and her friends declare war on the hazing that happens among the pages.
The third book, Squire, sees Kel becoming the squire to Lord Raoul and serving with the King's Own. She has a romance and ends up being the caretaker of a gryphon, much to her dismay.
The last book, Lady Knight, has Lord Wyldon, who had been impressed by her performance and skills taking advantage of the fact that Lord Raoul basically trained Kel for command and giving her command of a refugee camp. The country is at war with their traditional northern enemies, the Scanrans. The Scanrans have a new weapon made with necromancy by a mage called Blayce. Kel is given the task of ridding the world of the man by the Chamber of the Ordeal (it's basically a magical being that sorts out the squires who fail and those who become knights). The only problem is that she has the refugee camp to take care of and can't do both without becoming foresworn.
These are the basic plot points and I hate giving spoilers. As is usual with Tammy's books, the characters are pretty well-drawn. Animals have a prominent place in the books. They're getting pretty intelligent after the events of Daine's series. I especially liked Peachblossom, Kel's warhorse. He sounds so sweet and innocent from that name, doesn't he? Ha! Peachblossom's interactions with Kel's friend, Neal, really get me giggling.
I love this series. It is my favorite of hers. I could read it once a month and not be upset. I like the characters so much that the two Green Anoles I have are named after two of the characters, Kel and Dom.