Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: The Protector of the Small #2, Tortall #19
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Medieval fantasy, Strong women
5th sentence, 74th page: Kel tried to smile, but something in Adie’s eyes worried her.
Even after a year, some of the pages still don’t think a girl should be training as a knight. For a time it seems they will try anything – insult, trick, brawl – to get Keladry thrown out.
But then the bullying stops and Kel hopes she can concentrate on honing her warrior-skills. Test-day will be the most important in her life. And it’s the perfect moment for those who loathe her to strike…
I remember how difficult it was to go through puberty, as would almost everyone out there who is reading this. Now, imagine what that would be like as a young girl, surrounded by a bunch of lads who want to whack you with sticks day in and day out.
Alright, that’s not just what Page was about, but it definitely took a lot of my attention. The idea of a woman in a man’s world, fighting for her own place isn’t a new story, and it will be one that never truly get old. But, what happens when you’re going through experiences that your comrades can’t ever possibly understand? How is a girl who is already having to fight for everything millimetre of respect that she gets supposed to then cope with the added complication of boobs, monthlies and all of the inconvenient emotions that come along with this? Where First Test highlighted the inequality between the treatment of men and women, Page is a great reminder of what it’s like to come of age.
I loved the easy, open pace of Page. Encompassing Kel’s final three years as a page, the time ebbs and flows as it does in real life. There are moments of high energy, passion and drama which quickly give way to times of peace and prosperity. Although overhanging all of this is Kel’s last tests as a Page, and Joren’s continuing disapproval of her station in life, the daily grind can be felt throughout this story. And it is this that makes Kel so damn relatable – not every moment is a stunning coincidence leading to a dramatic ending, there are moments of joy and frivolity throughout the story that are there purely for that – a reminder that not all in life needs to be serious.
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