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First Test (Protector of the Small, #1)
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Buddy Read - First Test (Protector of the Small #1) STARTS 16MAY15

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Ashley Marie Starting a thread where we can discuss First Test. Buddy read begins Saturday, 16 May!


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

can't wait, this is gonna be good!! I'm already rereading all the Tortall series ahead of this to get myself refreshed (not that I really need it :p). Especially since the Protector of the Small is my favorite of her series.


Will (sightlessseer) | 3 comments That sounds great.


Jess Means (jess2means) | 28 comments just ping us to begin and I will squeeze it in :) would love the discussion part!


Kate | 2 comments Awesome!


Ashley Marie Okay so I missed our start date yesterday -- unexpected company showed up for dinner -- but I'm planning to start and get through at least a few chapters this evening.

I'm so pumped, I haven't read Kel's series in years <3


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I'm all set to go as well, Mangaged to read the last two books in Daine's series last night.

Can't wait to read this again!


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Minna (minnabird) | 9 comments Oops, need to start! Kinda forgot because my online class started and my brain focused on that instead.


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I'm halfway done, I had to stop myself from reading the whole thing in one sitting.


Ashley Marie AMY YOU'RE SO FAST.


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I couldn't help myself!!! I'll probably finish it today, IT'S JUST SO GOOD!!


Ashley Marie LOL no worries!


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Minna (minnabird) | 9 comments Lucky! I had to do reading/homework today for a class (which included periods of unintentional procrastination...) or I probably would've dove in headfirst after having it as my lunchtime reading.


Ashley Marie Threw it in my purse this morning, I'll probably sneak off to the bathroom a few times to read xD


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I finished yesterday, I'm hoping to start the second today.


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so how does everyone like this so far?


Ashley Marie I'm 40 pages in and filled with righteous anger about the probation thing. AND NEAL <3 YAY.


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I like Lord Wyldon, but yeah the Probation thing puts a bad taste in my mouth. Especially with Jonathon. Kel's right about how unfair it is, especially when he never mentions probation when the law was corrected. AND NEAL <3


message 19: by Jess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jess Means (jess2means) | 28 comments It is all a bit more real with the unfairness of it all and I think that is what I have always liked most about Kel and her story. We are also reminded that those in power - even those we may like (Jon never bothered me and I have a soft spot for Thayet) have to play political games and balance power.

the bullying too is so real and necessary!

such a great story


message 20: by Minna (last edited May 20, 2015 09:56PM) (new) - added it

Minna (minnabird) | 9 comments I love the political/balancing power thing you get to see in these books, as Jess said. Alanna and Daine were both mold-breaking legends backed by gods and powerful magic, but as Alanna points out later, Kel is blessedly real and she DOES have to worry about politics/protocol. It's kind of an interesting angle to see. :3 (Speaking of, I kind of like the infodump/in-universe analysis of past events in Myles' first class. I think when I first read this I hadn't connected it all, possibly because at the time I hadn't read Alanna's stuff in a while. Or perhaps not finished it?).

I'm on page 88. Just passed this most perfect summation of Kel and Neal's dynamic:

Neal: You aren't a bit romantic, are you?
Kel: Romance? Isn't that love-stuff?
Neal: It's more than just love. It's color and- and fire. You don't want things magnificent and filled with- with grandeur. You know, drama. Importance. Transcendent passion.
Kel: I just want to be a knight. Eat your vegetables. They're good for you.

<3


Ashley Marie Minna wrote: "I love the political/balancing power thing you get to see in these books, as Jess said. Alanna and Daine were both mold-breaking legends backed by gods and powerful magic, but as Alanna points out ..."

Neal is such a poet lol


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Minna wrote: "I love the political/balancing power thing you get to see in these books, as Jess said. Alanna and Daine were both mold-breaking legends backed by gods and powerful magic, but as Alanna points out ..."

I think that's what makes me love Kel so much, like you said Alanna and Daine have their own magic and the Gods backing them or manipulating them but Kel is just your average girl who wants to be a Knight. I also love how quiet she is, the other two were much more outspoken when they lost their tempers or if they saw something unfair, Kel simply does what she thinks is right. In this book that's fighting with Joren and his lot against bullying, just think, no one in all the years the hazing has happened every really stopped to think about what it would mean for those picked on and those doing the bullying in the future. They simply let it go as "boys being boys", so I've always admired that part about Kel. When I was bullied no one stopped to help and imagine how different school wold be if people were more like this girl and ACTED instead of leaving things as they are.

Plus Neal has t be one of my all time favorites, I read this whole book with a smile on my face, mostly because of the relationship between him Kel, not to mention the other boys like Merric.


message 23: by Will (new) - rated it 5 stars

Will (sightlessseer) | 3 comments Well you know you have no life when you finish a book in two days, despite school and all the work that's associated with it...or its just a really good book. But despite loving this book it always really bugged me that Kel is just like the model 'bully fighter'.


message 24: by Jess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jess Means (jess2means) | 28 comments Don't look at it as a bully fighter.. I think sometimes those of us who have the ability and will to act need stories like this to feel empowered to help! I read so much as a child and young adult it shaped my reality...

Remember too that one of the boys gets really angry with Kel for helping!

It has flaws.. they all do. I think Kel and her biggest flaw was the fact she simply is too pragmatic. She crushes on Dom and she loves Cleon but it never quite feels like she loses herself to her emotions. I'd love to see her show up in later books.. and see how time shapes her!


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Jess wrote: "Don't look at it as a bully fighter.. I think sometimes those of us who have the ability and will to act need stories like this to feel empowered to help! I read so much as a child and young adult ..."

Agree! Sometimes she seems too mature, but I guess that stems from her background in the Yamani Islands. Here's to hoping that in the new series that Tamora has promised us we get to see her lsoe herself a little more. Afterall there was so much riding on her behaviour and accomplishments in this series. As the first girl page who doesn't have to hide her gender she is under a ton of pressure.


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Minna (minnabird) | 9 comments I won't lie, I always enjoy Kel a little more when she's not actively crushing on someone. Most of the time I'm pretty averse to seeing her with someone permanently, too, and I've no idea why (for example, I can't really enjoy romance fanfic or fanart with her; I've tried and it's weird. Though possibly part of it is that I've mostly seen Kel/Dom and that is...a NOTP, again a mystery). But I trust Tammy, and I did enjoy her time with Cleon, so hopefully it'd be fine if she had romance with someone in the future. :)

I also really admire Kel's bully-fighting tendencies, I think partially because it's part of the bigger picture of her trying to change things for the better/"protect the small." She's able to act emotionless, but really she feels more deeply than most, compassion-wise. Compassionate heroes are my favorite and Kel's one of the best I know. <3


message 27: by Jess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jess Means (jess2means) | 28 comments I too never see her in a full-fledged romance! I would've been fine with her having none.. mostly because it felt more real to her character :)


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Personally I liked seeing her in her relationship with Cleon. I liked that she didn't end up with anyone in this series, but at the same time if there hadn't been a little bit to keep things real I probably wouldn't have liked Kel as much. Her romantic feelings made her even more real in my opinion, after all most teenagers go through at least one or two crushes, or relationships while they are that age. If she had stayed with Cleon it would have felt forced, but I love that she can love and not become dependant like so many other YA female characters. It's one of the best things about Tamora's characters, none of that insta-love, instant devotion stuff. It all feels natural.


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Personally I liked seeing her in her relationship with Cleon. I liked that she didn't end up with anyone in this series, but at the same time if there hadn't been a little bit to keep things real I probably wouldn't have liked Kel as much. Her romantic feelings made her even more real in my opinion, after all most teenagers go through at least one or two crushes, or relationships while they are that age. If she had stayed with Cleon it would have felt forced, but I love that she can love and not become dependent like so many other YA female characters. It's one of the best things about Tamora's characters, none of that insta-love, instant devotion stuff. It all feels natural.


message 30: by Ashley Marie (last edited May 23, 2015 07:19AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ashley Marie Jess wrote: "I too never see her in a full-fledged romance! I would've been fine with her having none.. mostly because it felt more real to her character :)"

I think Alanna's the one I usually tend to picture as never in a long-term relationship, because I love that she got with Jonathan, Liam, and George throughout the course of the Lioness books -- even though that contradicts the fact that she and George are married with kids, and I love them together too. *shrugs*


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True. I loved how Alanna wasn't shy about exploring her sexuality and going for the men she wanted. But also knowing when things weren't going to work out, despite how much she might want them to. But when Kel does finally fall in love it will be lasting. While I like Cleon, it was just her first introduction to romance. I've always wanted to see her and Dom get together, she needs someone who understands her as a woman/lady knight/commander. She also needs someone who will balance her out a bit, get her to talk more and ask for help.

That's one of the reasons I'm so excited to hear that Tamora is going to be writing another book about her!!!


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