Review: Squire by Tamora Pierce

‘So long as there nobles and commoners, the wealthy and the poor, those with power will be heard, and those without ignored. That’s the world’

I’m not crying. You’re crying. I think this entire series is just punching me right in the feelings. I love Kel. I love Tortall. Oh I told you this was a review? Ah okay, I’d better crack on so.

Keladry of Mindelan dreams of becoming squire to the legendary female knight Alanna the Lioness, a hero straight out of story. But Kel is chosen instead by Lord Raoul, a leader of men and a strategist – an unexpected honor that shocks her enemies.

Kel must hone her skills and discover what it takes to be part of the royal guard. Part of a team.
With this change comes another: a new romance, bringing with it the rush of first love and the unexpected challenges of balancing duty and love. All the while, Kel prepares for her biggest challenge: the infamous and terrifying Ordeal – the last challenge standing between her and knighthood.

A powerful classic that is more timely than ever, the Protector of the Small series is about smashing the ceilings others place above you.

In a landmark quartet published years before it’s time, Kel must prove herself twice as good as her male peers just to be thought equal. A series that touches on questions of courage, friendship, a humane perspective – told against a backdrop of a magical, action-packed fantasy adventure

I don’t know what it is but dammit Pierce’s writing just gets better with every single book I read by her and just when I think she has done something I have never seen before I get proven totally wrong in my thoughts. I see now why I chose to review the Immortals Quartet as one work. It’s so hard to not give all these books five stars when they all are so strong together. But I have chosen to review each one so, lets go ahead and get into why you need to read this.

This is the first book in the series that begins to deal with the more political side of court life as Kel is exposed more to these things due to her duties as a Squire. She at one point attends a court trial from events in the last book. Kel at one point gains an audience with King Jonathan and challenges him on the outdated rules and laws that still exist in Tortall. I personally think that this is a welcome element to the story. Not only to show how Kel is growing up and how she is going to have to see these things all the time as a Knight but also since it does show that tortall is not run by noone and not without struggle.

Another element that really helps the world building in a very unexpected way is the discussion of sexuality and contraception. I have always wondered from my own reading and my own experiences of using different contraceptive methods over the years is why can’t you prevent pregnancy using magic? Surely someone has managed it? And they have ladies and gentlemen! Kel gets a boyfriend and her mother advises her of how as someone who has chosen a path outside of the standard being a Lady then she can kinda do what she wants but to be careful . She advises her to get a charm to prevent pregnancy until she is ready. Like, how easy is that to add into the story as a small little world building element and just use it as a means to normalise sex and sexuality? Simples.

Kel is finally seeing her hard work pay off after years of hard work, bullying and mockery. She is finally Squire to a Knight master. That Knight is not however Alanna the Lioness as she hoped. One of the best damn things in this book was Kel’s relationship with Raoul. There is a wonderful moment where Kel has to mend her sheets and while chatting to him he just starts sewing them up with her. I honestly am thrilled to just read a man that is comfortable in his masculinity and sexuality that he just gets on with things.

There are literally no complaints here from me about this book. I think this stands a chance of replacing the Immortals quartet as my favourite. There is literally a minor pacing issue with how th story ends but that is really me nitpicking and looking for things that might be worth giving out about.

I should read Lady Knight which is book four soon. I’m honestly thinking of doing an overall series discussion anyway so I can go into spoilers and gush a little bit more. Do let me know if you have read this and if you love Jump the little doggo as much as me. Thanks for checking in and happy reading!

★★★★★/5