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The Second Guard

(Second Guard #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  58 reviews
In the peaceful realm of Tequende, all second-born children at the age of fifteen must journey to the Alcazar to fulfill the mandate of the Oath of Guilds. There they train to earn a place among the Queen’s guard, or work as indentured servants.

For Sun Guilder Talimendra of the Magda River Traders, joining the Second Guard will not only bring honor to her family, it will b
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
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Delana Chalmers
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  253 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
In Tequende, all second-born children join the guard when they turn fifteen. Some will end up serving out their term as servants if they aren't suited, but Talimendra has always dreamed of becoming a guard, unlike her twin sister. The training school, however, isn't quite what she expects. She especially finds herself putting her foot in it when it comes to relating to kids from the other guilds. (Tali is of the Sun Guild, the merchant guild.) She still manages to make friends with Zarif (Moon G ...more
Lorryn Woodward
Jun 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
For more than half of the book I was so bored and uninterested then the fighting happened and things picked up and then I was uninterested again. This is probably the only book I've read in a while that has 0 love interest in it. I kind of missed it. ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: keepers, netgalley
This book was absolutely fabulous!! Completely loved the world, parallel to ours, taking place in what I imagine would be an Incan/Mayan area and time. I loved the diversity. It wasn't shoved down your throat, but a natural part of the world. I also LOVED that despite the female MC having two male friends, they weren't a love triangle at all. It was true, solid friendship for all of them.

The ONLY quibble I have with this book, causing it to be four stars and not five, is it falls prey to the "H
Tiz. T.
A very interesting tale set in a peculiar World...

This is a middle-school age book, but it is not a children book only. The Worldbuilding is carefully constructed, pleasant and far more logical than 90% of fantasy or dystopia for adults or young adult in the market today, a Worldbuilding loosely based on pre-Colombian South America, which set it up a notch in my book, for I had never read a book with that premise, and it is saying something. Kudos to them.

The main characters are well portrayed a
I liked it much more than I thought I would. It was nice that there wasn't really any romance. The plot is what drove the book but I'm hoping for a relationship in the next one. ...more
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very enjoyable read, with a good plot and likable characters. I liked the idea of this peaceful queendom (which sounded to me like it could easily have been in Latin America, so YAY for diversity) where all families are required to contribute to the keeping of the peace by sending their second-born sons and daughters to train as soldiers and serve in the renowned Second Guard, or spend some years as servants should they fail their training. I found that the author did a pretty good jo ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: tween, character
At the age of fifteen all second-born children in the realm of Tequende must either become indentured servants or compete to become soldiers in the Second Guard, an army that for generations has held off neighboring warring states. Talimendra has anticipated this moment all her life, determined to pay homage to her deceased mother who also served in the Second Guard. While she does try to uncover a conspiracy among the guards, the focus of the story remains on her grueling training and on her de ...more
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade
Source: Netgalley

I love a good story about teens training to be knights, especially stories about girls training to be knights and having to overcome the obstacles presented by their small size, lack of proper preparation, or institutional sexism. Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet was among my favorite books when I was in middle school, and I hoped to relive some of the magic, in a new fantasy realm, by reading J. D. Vaughn. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by poor writing and flimsy
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I saw this book on my local library's shelf previously a few times before I finally decided to pick it up and see if it was a worthwhile read. Although this book wasn't the worst book I've ever read, I certainly regret not leaving it alone.

The Second Guard by J.D. Vaughn is set in a medieval setting in the mountainous empire of Tequende. Among Tequende's populace there are three major sects: the Earth Guilders, who praise the earth goddess Machue; the Sun Guilders, who praise the Sun god Intiq;
Online Eccentric Librarian
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it

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The Second Guard is a solidly written late middle grade alternate universe fantasy drawing upon both Spanish and pre-columbian cultures. The mixture creates a very unique and striking world into which we have politics, betrayal, and the strength of friendships. The characters are earnest and the author spent considerable effort to create a very vivid and well-drawn world (read: it's logical and coherent).

Story: In the
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This was a great read. The author has cleverly combined aspects of Spanish, South American and medieval culture into a unique and intriguing world rich with history and depth. The blend of cultures and distinctive aspects of the world had me thinking about it long after I finished the book. I particularly enjoyed the history lessons at the beginning of the chapters. This would be a fantastic read for young adults and fantasy fans.

Tali is a fantastic main character who grows a lot throughout the
Dec 15, 2014 added it
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book but by 50% it devolved into pretty typical middle grade with simplistic friendships and no longer compelling writing. Also each chapter has an excerpt from a history of the nation that is just an info dump and on my kindle was grey and nearly unreadable.... Good for younger readers but not adults who enjoy clever middle grade.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I LOVED IT!!! I had no idea when I picked this book up that it is the first in a series, I thought it was a stand-alone, and it works great by itself. I would like to read more about this world and the characters. This will definitely be one I recommend.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The story moves along at a good pace and the characters are engaging enough to be sympathetic and interesting. The world is slowly built up which both worked for and against the book as it was almost too slow, so the reader could be a bit lost at times. The idea of the world and its history is interesting and the culture becomes more fleshed out as the book continues. Some of the training bits of the book was a bit draggy but there was enough action an pinches of intrigue to pull the reader alon ...more
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a Disney Hyperion press book, and although I stand by my judgment of some other works, I will say that this one does much to redeem my perception of the brand. The Second Guard is beautifully written, well-plotted, full of three-dimensional characters, and overall quite richly imagined. And the editing? On point.
The story is an alternate history of what seems to be Mexico and/or Latin America, although here it is known as Tequende or the Nigh/Near World; this Nigh World is peaceful, ful
Camden Rudd
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Spoilers* This book was brilliant! It was a very good mix of both a fantasy world with made up kingdoms as well as real world factors of old world history like war and religion. It told the story of a girl named Talimendra "Tali" for short and how in her kingdom second born child like herself are trained from the age of 15 child from across the kingdom "Tequende" Must spend years of service as either warriors or servants from anywhere between 4-6 years before having "proved" their loyalty to Th ...more
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I don’t know how to rate this.

The idea was interesting. I felt like the raw material was good. The setting and world building were interesting. It was a nice lite read.

The writing was not awesome. It just felt flat. I know it was probably written for middle readers, but that doesn’t mean the characters can’t be well developed.


I would read the sequel. But I’m not going to go out of my way.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I met one of the authors through a graduate course for gifted education and she was kind enough to give me a copy. What an amazing read! Full of adventure with a female protagonist and a rich plot - much to enjoy throughout. I'm just glad to know that she and her writing partner have a second book published that I can't wait to read next! ...more
Chin-Ning Chong
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
twice I put it down forever, but kept at it out of curiosity. NOT enough action for me, but I did like the "realm" and plot.. The characters that showed up later were very interesting... I just wish more actually "happened" before 70 percent of the book had passed. ...more
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I think it was truly inspiring, the author makes you love a character so much, that the thought of losing them breaks your heart. This book shows true heroism and spirit that makes you want to live up to the story.
Madison Netherton
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I loved this book! I read it awhile ago, but have passed it on to many friends and students. It is the riveting tale of a girl fighting for freedom and justice without really knowing it at times. If you're a fan of fantasy and YA, this novel will be a great read. ...more
One of my favorite tropes.
Common girl becomes a warrior guard and has forbidden crush on the Senior Guard/Trainer
Oct 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Terrible. Don't read it. Ever. ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really like this book!

The plot is good, the world is unique, and the characters are three-dimensional. I'm not going to go into great detail because I'm lazy, but I think this book is great!
Delana Chalmers
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and found I couldn't put it down, even years after buying the book! ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The way the book ended, I didn't there was going to be a sequel. ...more
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In the kingdom established in the story (Tequende,) the second-born child of every family must serve in what is essentially the royal army. Tali has been vying for a spot in the guard ever since she was little, determined to protect the queen and her realm to the best of her ability. While the book was a little slow, I really enjoyed it! It’s one of those novels that you can take breaks from– more of a light read than a serious sit-down book like Code Name Verity.

Right off the bat, I have to sa
This novel takes place in a world of amazing peace and prosperity. Ruled by a series of Queens who shed their names to take numerals when they mount the throne, the world of Tequende reads like heaven on earth. Lacking gold, jewels and other precious metals, no other country sees it as being worthy of invasion. So Tequende has been left alone for centuries, growing in glory from the interchange of its many cultures.

However, such a novel would be boring and the authors credibly stir up the mix wi
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-graphic, ya, fantasy
An enjoyable, magic-less fantasy that nicely balances worldbuilding, character development, and action.

Tequende is an isolated realm in the Nigh World (something like the Americas) that escaped conquest by the hungry invaders from the Far World (something like Europe), a peaceful little neutral kingdom on a high plateau surrounded by mountains. That isolated peace is ensured by the tradition of the legendary Queen's army. All first-born children inherit their parents' livelihoods; there are thre
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By the time Julia Durango started Kindergarten she was an avid reader and has been ever since. She attended the University of Illinois where she received degrees in Latin American Studies and Political Science. In addition to writing children's books she is a school librarian and member of the Three Silly Chicks. Julia received the Golden Kite Award for SEA OF THE DEAD and currently lives in Ottaw ...more

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Second Guard (2 books)
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