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Squire (Protector of the Small, #3)
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Squire (Protector of the Small #3)

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  36,235 Ratings  ·  500 Reviews
At the age of 14 and standing 5 foot 10, Keladry of Mindelan is a squire. A squire serves and learns from a seasoned knight for four years, then faces a final test. That final test is the Ordeal, which takes place in a magical room called the Chamber. There, a squire encounters the parts of him or herself that the Chamber deems to be the most difficult to face–be they fear ...more
Hardcover, 380 pages
Published May 22nd 2001 by Random House Children's Books (first published May 1st 2001)
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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónAtonement by Ian McEwanAmerican Gods by Neil GaimanJohn Adams by David McCulloughThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Books of 2001
85th out of 331 books — 167 voters
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann BrasharesA Matter of Profit by Hilari BellAll That Remains by Bruce BrooksShadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott CardFire Bringer by David Clement-Davies
YALSA 2002 Best Books for Young Adults
38th out of 60 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This was supposed to be the one where I let myself reminisce, and I had all sorts of ideas for things I wanted to say, but now they all sort of sound like oversharing and I don't feel like making you uncomfortable, so I'm not going to do that.


It has come to my attention that certain people don't think this is a particularly 'moral' book. Not to name any names, but there are only two one-star reviews for it so I think you'll be able to find the one I mean pretty easily. I don't believe
Rachel E. Carter
Jan 31, 2015 Rachel E. Carter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-paperback
Buddy Reread 1/29/15-1/30/15 w/Monica (the other Tamora Pierce lover who thinks Alanna is still more legendary, hmmph!)

Read this series. If you love fantasy and action and light but worthwhile romance with a strong protagonist and amazing worlds and believable characters and awesome friendships and epic pets and straight-out-of-a-movie battle sequences then read this series.


Apr 17, 2016 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Tamora Pierce book I read. I was in seventh grade, and my friend had this book with a cool-looking cover, and I'd read snatches over her shoulder, and then I went to the library and found out that Tamora Pierce had a tremendous back catalog. And that's how it all started.

I love this book. Always have. I'm about to ask a whole bunch of worldbuilding questions, but still: I love this. I love Kel - I love Raoul - I love how busy she is as a squire - I think this story is great. On
This review was from my snarky early teen years. I only kept it up to keep a trail for myself of how I've grown, figuratively and mentally.

Since people see fit to stumble on it once in a while and leave long comments telling me how wrong/ignorant/prudish I am, I'm removing it.

And I'm removing those comments as well. Because I don't have time for that.
Okay, I meant to do a review of the entire series, but Squire made my heart soar that I couldn't just step away and say: "Will review the series at the end."

Squire Keladry is a diamond. She's a girl undergoing her knighthood training some century after lady knights have grown out of fashion in Tortall. Save Alanna, of course; but to Tortallans, the Lioness is an entity in herself. So it's up to Kel to turn the conservatives' heads the other way by making her own statement: that girls can be knig
Bridget Mckinney
May 01, 2013 Bridget Mckinney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013

Squire is basically everything I could ever want in a Tamora Pierce book, and if this series ended here, I would be okay with that. Kel really is a wonderful heroine, and I loved getting to see her finally achieve her dream in this novel.

Things about Squire:
- I was very happy that the trial for Lalasa's attackers wasn't forgotten, and I really liked the way that played out.
- King Jonathan is a great character, and it's been really interesting to see how he has grown and changed over time throu

It's 2 am and I'm writing reviews.

I rarely revisit books I read in my childhood, partly because I'm deathly afraid they'll be visited by the suck fairy and partly because I rarely have time to re-read. Not so with these books. I began reading Tamora Pierce when I was eleven, and unlike so many others, I started reading her Circle of Magic books first. While I enjoyed them, I didn't understand why she inspired such fervent love in other fans--until I read her Tortall books.

And yes, I enjoyed the
Funnily enough, Squire follows our heroine, Keladry of Mindelan, through her years as a squire. I know, right? Who'd have guessed.

I'm not sure why I'm being so snarky about this, the book was lovely. At this point in the series, I'm not sure if there's any more apt of a word to describe Kel than to say she's 'steadfast.' She not only survives her (3-4?) years as a squire -- and she squires for no less of a knight than Raoul of Goldenlake, the commander of the King's Own, protectors of the realm
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at

Kelladry has passed all four years of being a page, and is now a squire. The only problem is that no knight has picked her for their squire. She is finally picked by Raoul Goldenlake, Commander of the Kings Own. As she accompanies Raoul on his adventures, she is accompanied by her old friends Jump, the dog, and Crown and her flock of sparrows. She also gains a Griffin rescued from a centaur raid.

Kelladry has matured
Apr 20, 2013 lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mine-mine-mine, 2010, 2013
04/13: it doesn't matter how often i read these books, i inevitably spend half the time clutching the book to my chest and declaring my love for all of the characters and crying about how much i love everyone.


09/10: oh my god raoul, there aren't enough heart-hands IN THE WORLD. he is so good and smart and funny and amazing! he has such faith in kel and in the system, and i mean, seriously, people with stupid amounts of honor are such a turn-on for me, and hfurevhreu RAOUL.

neal telling kel w
Kayla Edwards
Oh these books, every time I read them it's like visiting a best friend. I adore Kel today as much as I did when these books were first published; I will forever be grateful to Tamora Pierce for creating this fantastic heroine because "bless [her], [she is] real." Kel doesn't have the Gift or any wild magic to help her. She gets everything only through grimy, hard work and persistence just like the rest of us and I admire her so much for it. I reread these books ALL THE TIME because I need that. ...more
This is my favourie in the series. I love this book!! Kel is now a squire to Lord Raoul, at first she is nervous but the two soon become very close. Kel gets better and better at fighting and leading people. Kel even starts a budding romance. I love the relationship her and Raoul have, I love reading about the realationships between a young person and their mentor! Plus I just love Raoul in general , he is such an awesome character! One of my favourite Tamora Pierce books yet and a favourite in ...more
Apr 09, 2016 Andree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, 2016
This is confirming my conviction that Kel would stand up to rereading.

This is a delight. I'd somehow forgotten that Raoul is Kel's knight sponsor (RAOUL). This one is five stars because it just works. I'm not going to be able to explain it more than that. Everything about it just works.

I adore Raoul as knight master. He's the teacher Kel always needed. I love that she's to be a Commander in training. I love his relationship with Kel. Just as I love her relationship with the Yammani women, having
Hannah (fullybookedreviews)
It's feminist, it's fantasy, and its alternately funny or full of feelings. What's not to love?

I also find it a lot easier to relate to the characters when their older- while I enjoyed the first two books of Kel's series, and indeed Alanna's as well, having them grow up and encounter adult situations and choices is a lot more interesting that their exploits as a child.

Reasons why this book rocks:

1. Periods are something that almost all teenage girls have to deal with. And when you're an ass-kick
Jun 19, 2014 PB rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, great book. Love the way Kel takes agency, love that her Knight Master treats her well, love that sexist idiots get just punishments.

One thing.

Kel blames herself (and Lalasa partly) for not reporting Vinson. Kel reasons that had Vinson been reported, he would not assault and rape other girls. I think that's a really harmful portrayal of abusers, and if there are girls reading it who chose not to report their abusers, there is a chance they'd be retriggered in their self-blame spiral.

Stephanie Jobe
May 02, 2012 Stephanie Jobe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This volume always feels like the time flies by even though it is longer to account for the four years as a squire. The book opens with Kel stressing over having not been chosen as a squire, but that is quickly remedied when she is chosen by Lord Raoul and so she continues her adventures with the King’s Own. It always baffles me looking back that the griffin is only in Kel’s life for less than a book because the creature is definitely a presence. (I don’t quite consider this a spoiler as it is d ...more
Emma Michaels
Jul 19, 2010 Emma Michaels rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this novel Kel has to go through four years as a squire before she can become a knight. For those of you who have read the first two books you will understand what I mean when I say: Yes! One step closer Kel just get through this and you will be a knight!!! Not to say that the adventure ends when she becomes a knight because in Lady Knight you realize the adventure is only just beginning but that is for my next review. In Squire Tamora Pierce as always hits the ball out of the park and makes ...more
Jul 02, 2012 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Squire is my favorite book in the series. It is very much the "coming of age" book for its main protagonist, Kel. She has graduated from page training and become a squire, ready to be trained in the field by a knight...if only one would pick her. Most of her friends have been snapped up already, and most of the knights who intend to take squires for training have already made their choices. It leaves her feeling morose, believing that nobody would want "the girl" to train.

Luckily, she is proven
Jun 08, 2012 Aaron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I stopped about halfway through. What was once a charming little story about a girl who just wants to be a knight has now become a propaganda piece about how sex has no consequences and how sexual experimentation and promiscuity is to be embraced as it is the only way to be free from oppressors who would dare to suggest any virtue in chastity. Tamora, this is a children's book. The main character is only 14 (she was only 10 or 11 when the series began). It is bad enough that underaged sex is so ...more
Sean Llewellyn Williams
Delightful and full of excellent nuances, but compared to the first two books in the series this felt a little transitional, wrapping up plots from the first two books and setting us up for the big finale. Still, onward! I'll be sad when Kel's story comes to an end.
Mar 29, 2016 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is everything a YA fantasy novel should be, and Tamora Pierce is a goddess.

Tamora Pierce's Tortall books were incredibly important to my growing up years. I just finished my semi-annual reread, during which I end up spending quite a bit of time debating which book/series/heroine is the best. The answer is, it's this one. This is the best book in the best series following the best heroine in Tortall. It's more complex than earlier books, but still has a lovely sense of exuberance and n
Feb 28, 2016 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Protector of the Small series is by far my favorite series, among Pierce's works and the genre overall, and among the quartet, Squire is definitely the best.

The entire series is focused on morality, on the choices people make, and the kinds of people they become, and a lot of it comes to a head in Squire. Kel relies not on magic, destiny, and luck, like the enjoyably far-fetched Song of the Lioness and Immortals quartets, but on determination, hard work, patience, and a strong moral compass
Jan 03, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tortall-series
How do you rate a book if you were annoyed at its first half and loved the second half? In this case, I rate ‘Squire’ 4.5 stars – because the second half made up for it and because it’s definitely better than ‘First Test’ and ‘Page’.

I think one of the reasons I wasn’t invested in this book and I didn’t enjoy this series as much as, say, ‘The Immortals Quartet’, is because Kel’s personality doesn’t click with me. In this book, it becomes especially apparent since most of the characters I loved i
Aug 17, 2015 Kjirstin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The world opens up a little bit as we follow Kel into her years as a squire. She has a bit of angst at the beginning figuring out who she'll be squired to, but everything works out well for her, and over the course of the book, Kel's aptitude for fighting, making friends, and defending the downtrodden emerge more and more. Additionally, her capabilities as a trustworthy leader are showing up, even though she doesn't have some of the inborn special qualities of other heroines in this world (the m ...more
Jul 23, 2010 Tricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy Davie
Third in the Protector of the Small series within the overall Tortall series. It revolves around Keladry of Mindelan, the second girl in the kingdom who wants to become a knight.

My Take
Parents, you really do want your girls to read this whole series. It promotes equality for girls and boys and shows the pluses and minuses of one's reception when pursuing a dream. There are good and bad people in this series, just as there is in real life and Pierce provides plenty of examples of some good ways t
Rhiannon Ryder
Jul 19, 2010 Rhiannon Ryder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although completing her Big Test to become a Squire was an enormous challenge due to her enemies at court, Kel is quickly discovering that being a girl squire is making it almost as difficult to get a Knight Master to train with for the next four years. Worse still, Neal ends up with her dream canidate. But as fortune would have it, this leaves Keladry of Midelan free to become squire to one of the most influential knights of the Realm. Lord Raoul of Goldenlake, Commander of the Kings Own.

Of the
Is it sacrilegious to say I think I like these better than the Alanna books? Certainly better than the Daine books. Kel might just be my favorite Pierce heroine yet, and that is really saying something. I love these!
Feb 10, 2015 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, animals
The plot was not well defined, but it was still an enjoyable adventure as I have found all of this author's books to be. I liked this one better than the first two in this quartet.
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Hey, folks! I just discovered that apparently I have given some very popular books single-star ratings--except I haven't. How do I know I haven't? Because I haven't read those books at all. So before you go getting all hacked off at me for trashing your favorites, know that I've written GoodReads to find out what's going on.

I return to my regularly scheduled profile:
Though I would love to join gro
More about Tamora Pierce...

Other Books in the Series

Protector of the Small (4 books)
  • First Test (Protector of the Small, #1)
  • Page (Protector of the Small, #2)
  • Lady Knight (Protector of the Small, #4)

Share This Book

“When people say a knight's job is all glory, I laugh and laugh and laugh. Often I can stop laughing before they edge away and talk about soothing drinks.” 385 likes
“I'm sick of this. Call me what you like, say I'm without honor, I don't care. I'm not getting on any more horses to whack you people with a stick.” 194 likes
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