Monday, March 8, 2010
Review: First Test
Novel: First Test
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: YA (Fantasy)
Ten years after the proclamation that girls are eligible for a page's training at the court of King Jonathan of Tortall, 10-year-old Keladry applies and is accepted, but on probation, a condition never forced on male applicants. Resolutely accepting the challenge, the hostility of the royal training master, and harassment by fellow pages, Kel makes her way through this difficult year. Trained from early childhood by stoic Yamani warriors, she is capable of hiding her feelings, fearless in a fight, and willing to work hard to develop the necessary physical capacity. Her sympathy and support for the underdog and her sense of chivalry earn her the admiration of a group of fellow pages. She also befriends the sparrows that live outside her window and wins over a difficult horse. Kel performs well in her first real battle and is grudgingly allowed to stay for another year of training. The medieval/magical world of Tortall has been the setting for eight of the author's titles; in First Test, the first of a new series, this fantasy world is clear and well developed, allowing the book to stand on its own. Characters who may be familiar to readers of the previous titles are reintroduced successfully or remain on the sidelines. The scrappy Kel is an appealing and believable girl whose struggles to integrate a formerly all-male world are both familiar and freshly told. This is smooth storytelling and a satisfying read.
(From School Library Journal)
(I will not be posting any spoilers! Only opinion for the sake of those of us who love to have our first look at a book be untainted by foreknowledge.)
I only have one complaint about this book. I miss Daine and Alanna! Of course that goes away once you get attached to Kelandry who is one tough girl. Someone any girl can look up to when they need to learn that sometimes the best thing you can do is be strong and stick to what you believe. This is a great first novel for the third quartet placed in Tortall. It is enjoyable and a smooth read. Now that I have been spoiled by Beka Cooper I don’t feel as much of an attachment to Kelandry but as you read on to the next three books in the series you start to love her more and more. She is so strong that I always find that I look up to her. Tamora Pierce definitely knows how to write a strong female lead!
Would I suggest you read it:
Anyone looking for a strong but lovable female lead I would suggest this to. I would also suggest it to fans of medieval settings even though Tamora Pierce does take a few liberties.
Posted by Emma Michaels