Book Review: Tamora Pierce’s Lady Knight

Posted May 22, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Middle-Grade readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Tamora Pierce’s Lady Knight

Lady Knight


Tamora Pierce

It is part of the , series and is a fantasy that was published by Random House for Young Readers on August 26, 2003 and has 431 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant, Wild Magic, Trickster's Choice, Trickster's Queen, Wolf-Speaker, Emperor Mage, Realms of the Gods, First Test, Page, Squire, Terrier, Bloodhound, Mastiff, Daja's Book, Sandry's Book, Tris's Book, Briar's Book, Magic Steps, Street Magic, Cold Fire, Shatterglass, The Will of the Empress, Melting Stones, Battle Magic

Fourth (and last) in the Protector of the Small fantasy series for children and fifteenth in the overall Tortall series. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Tortall books on my website.

My Take

Well I’m sad that this series has come to an end. And I’ve already read the Daughter of the Lioness series…since I didn’t know that it came after the Protector of the Small series! (Daughter, by the way, is more oriented to a young adult audience with the much more elevated writing Pierce incorporates. An excellent series as are all of Pierce’s (that I’ve read, so far *grin*)).

I love it! When ol’ Valestone attempts to browbeat Kel into giving him more than he deserves and begins to insult her simply because she is a woman, Kel has a great response…one that is too true!

‘Mistresses, have you ever noticed that when we disagree with a male…or find outselves in a position over males, the first comment they make is always about our reputations or our monthlies?’

Kel then goes on with ‘If I disagree with you, should I place blame on the misworkings of your manhood? Or do I refrain from so serious an insult far more serious, of course, than your hint that I am a whore.’

Oh, you will be so impressed with Kel’s people. They keep their heads and create trouble to slow their captors down and Little Meech leaves signs along the trail.

The Story

The Chamber is pushing Kel through dreams to ride out on a quest, but it’s war between Scanra and Tortall and Kel is ordered out to the northern boundaries with a very unpalatable task. At least she has Peachblossom, Hoshi, Jump, and the sparrows!

It’s on their trip to the front that Kel rescues Tobe, a young apprentice who is much abused. Nor will that innkeeper escape punishment when Neal lays one on him. It’s a few days later that Kel encounters Cleon and…it’s just not the same for Kel anymore.

And a mighty poor posting she considers it. A hard posting with too much paperwork and strife. Kel would do anything to get out, but when raiders attack and carry away most of the camp, Kel discovers the truth about herself and is determined to rescue “her” people with the help of her “gang”.

That she’s committing treason by going against Wyldon’s orders? They’re her people!

The Characters

Kelandry of Mindelan is a knight now and must follow the king’s orders. Prince Roald, Faleron of King’s Reach, Merric of Hollyrose, Seaver of Tasride, Esmond of Nicoline, Quinden of Marti’s Hill, Sir Nealan of Queenscove (still in love with Lady Yukimi) are with her at the start. She hasn’t seen Sir Cleon of Kennan in over a year, nor have they been able to exchange letters. And now that Kel is a knight, the Lady Alanna can speak to her! Lalasa has her own dressmaking shop in town. Owen of Jesslaw is squire to Lord Wyldon.

Tobeis “Tobe” Boone is being beaten by his innkeeper master when Kel rescues him and installs him as her servant. Even better, he has horse magic. Auld Eulama was the midwife who took him in when he was left on her doorstep.

Sir Raoul of Goldenlake and Malorie’s Peak is still her CO. General Vanget haMinch is the supreme commander of Tortall’s northern defenses. Lord Wyldon of Cavall, the former training master, commands at Fort Giantkiller. Duke Baird is the royal healer…and Neal’s father. Daine the Wildmage is a real asset with her animal spies, even the camp animals want to help. Prince Roald was supposed to have married Princess Shinkokami, but the war has postponed their wedding. Numair Salmalín arrives at Camp Haven escorting refugees and stays for a bit to add his weight in magic.

Mistress Fanche Weir led her entire village to safety. Now, she’s not too impressed with our Kel. Saefas Plowman is a trapper. Gilab Lofts is one of the convicts Kel had captured back in Page. Einur is the cook. The Tirrsmont refugees include a real pain — Master Idrius Valestone who believes he deserves more than he is receiving. HIs wife Olka is much more conciliating. Peliwin Archer is a troublemaker whom Kel soon cuts down to size. Adner is a plowman and grabs Kel for plow duty. A number of the children want to learn to fight: Loesia, Meech will look on, Gydo Elder, Tobe, and Keon.

Domitan of Masbolle is Neal’s cousin and a sergeant in the King’s Own. A friend of Kel’s from her squire days. Kel’s very grateful she’ll have his expertise as well as Corporals Wolset and Fulcher‘s for a bit. Captain Elbridge is more impressed with Kel when he learns she’s already fought one of the killing devices. Sergeants Connac, Yngvar, Hevlor, Kortus and Aufrec. Her work is cut out for her with some of her men–Sergeants Vidur and Oluf are too hard on the men and harder on the convicts. Numair brings clerks for which Kel is most grateful: Zamiel Fairview of Blue Harbor, Hildurra Ward, and Gragur Marten.

The Vassa are Scanran smugglers, but they owe the Whisper Man and they help Kel and her motley troop across the river into Scanra. Irnai is a very young seer in the village next to Blayce’s castle; she offers aid to Kel and her friends. Agrane, Blayce’s former cook, draws out the floorplan of the castle. Zerhalm and Morun the picklock provide their aid.

Maggur Rathhausak is a Scanran warlord who has united the other clans and incorporated their raiding bands into one cohesive army. And, he’s using mechanical killing devices. Master Blayce Younger of Galla (Kel thinks of him as the Nothing Man) is a warlock using a very black magic to power those devices. Stenmun is the captain of Blayce’s guard.

The Cover and Title

The cover is lilacs and a very feminine Kel from her chin to her upper chest lightly swathed in tulle. I’m guessing they’re playing up the Lady in the title.

For Kel is now a Lady Knight in the Kingdom of Tortall.