Today begins the first installment of a new Sunday tradition for the blog. Instead of just recommending a book, I will pick a book series that I am familiar with to recommend to fellow bookworms and future bookworms out there.
This Sunday's Series recommendation is a young adult series, The Protector of the Small by Tamora Pierce.
The first installment of the series is simply call First Test. Now, I should preface this review with a little information about the author. She has written two previous book series set in the world of Protector of the small. Each series is about four books long and contains a strong heroine. This is only important to new readers because these heroines make appearances as supporting characters and the events of the previous novels are alluded to or have caused some of the circumstances for the main character of the series. However, Pierce realizes that there might be new readers of the books set in her fictional world of Tortall and she includes enough information about these characters and events that you don't necessarily have to go back and read them. Although I highly suggest these.
The heroine of these novels is a young woman named Keladry or Kel to her family in friends. Like her own heroine, Alanna (Pierce's first series heroine), Kel dreams of Knighthood. Because of Alanna's deeds the King proclaimed that young women were also elligible to train for Knighthood. In all the time since Alanna no girl has taken advantage of that decree. Kel is the first. She is thrust into a world that does not believe that she has what it takes to keep up with the boys. In particular her training master is against girls becoming knights. He puts her on probation. A obstacle that no first year knight trainee, known as a page, has ever had to endure. At the end of her first year he will decide whether she will get to continue her training or if she will just be sent packing.
Kel rises the challenge. She works just as hard as the boys, she doesn't back down from their challenges, and with the help of the friends that she makes at the school as well as a mysterious benefactor Kel works her way through her first page year and proves that she isn't here to mess around.
In a world of young adult books I believe that Pierce's heroines continue to hold up against their male counterparts. They never try to be anything that they are not. They use their own strengths and develop new ones when the occasion calls for it. Kel is my favorite. She isn't aided by magic like the previous heroines, who are wonderful in their own ways, and proves that you can do anything you put your mind to as long as you work hard and have courage.
This book series might be a little young for most of my blog readers but I hope that you'll consider giving these books to the young readers in your life. Girls in particular.