Clackamas's Reviews > First Test

First Test by Tamora Pierce
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's review
Oct 12, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, fantasy, pre-teen-and-teen, 2013
Read from September 01, 2009 to October 01, 2013

Okay. This one was great because I'd already read the Alanna and Daine books. If I hadn't, it would still have been good, but just not great. This is my favorite of the Tortall sets because it pulled me right into a world that I was already familiar with, and showed that the other stories hadn't happened in a vacuum. The heroine's experience in Tortall is being affected (and made possible, really) by the events in the other books.

I like Kel best as a heroine because she is becoming a knight for the right reason, defending the defenseless, as opposed to Alanna's desire for knighthood coming primarily due to wanting to avoid becoming a lady. Also, since Kel is the first openly female to be allowed to train for knighthood, she experiences a level of hazing and sexism that Alanna never had to face. She doesn't have a trained warrior as her trusty sidekick. She doesn't have magic to fall back on or heal herself with. The gods aren't looking out for her and giving her all kinds of crazy powerful gifts. She gets good quality gifts appropriate for her level of training from an anonymous donor, but that's not the same thing as the glut of blessings that came Alanna's way. It's almost like a young girl reading this COULD BE Kel... she has no chance of becoming Alanna.


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