Squire (Protector of the Small Series #3)

Squire (Protector of the Small Series #3)

4.7 256
by Tamora Pierce

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After becoming a squire to Lord Raoul, commander of the King's Own, Kel of Mindelan, must face a terrifying test in the Chamber of the Ordeal before she can be a knight.  See more details below


After becoming a squire to Lord Raoul, commander of the King's Own, Kel of Mindelan, must face a terrifying test in the Chamber of the Ordeal before she can be a knight.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Following First Test and Page, this third book in Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series does not disappoint. Squire continues Keladry of Mindelan's journey toward becoming one of the first female knights in the kingdom of Tortall. Despite proving herself during her long years as a page, there are still many who are all too eager to bring about her failure, including her old nemesis Joren of Stone Mountain.

After her initial disappointment that she is not chosen to be the squire of her hero, Lady Alanna the Lioness, Kel finds her place among an elite guard of fighters led by her master-knight, Lord Raoul. He is kind and treats her as an equal, teaching her battlefield tactics, jousting, and the skills of leadership. Kel's sparrow companions and her dog Jump are still assets in protecting her, and she is kept very busy with a new addition to her menagerie -- a very temperamental baby griffin with extremely sharp claws. These years as a squire are an introduction to many new things for the teenage Kel -- tilting tournaments, new friends, new enemies, and even love. There are going to be some very tough decisions ahead for this young lady.

Pierce's Song of the Lioness, Circle of Magic, and Immortals series will whet your appetite for more of the fascinating characters only touched on briefly in the Protector of the Small series. To learn more about the author, check out her very interesting web site at www.sff.net/people/Tamora.Pierce. (Corrina Allen)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Protector of the Small Series, #3
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.93(w) x 6.92(h) x 1.17(d)
Age Range:
12 - 16 Years

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?

From the Hardcover edition.

Copyright 2001 by Tamora Pierce

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Squire (Protector of the Small Series #3) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 256 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.
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My gods this book is beautiful. Almost as beautiful as Ansel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quite a good book. I read iit when I was nine and I still love it at 13.
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