Reviews of First Test (1999)
Review by rayinte (2003-03-17)
Okay, so Alanna managed to become a knight while in disguise. But Alanna had *magic* and the gods on her side. So even though King Jonathan decreed that girls would be able to become knights, no one has tried. Yet.
Keladry of Mindelan, called Kel, grew up listening to stories about The Lioness, and is determined to become a knight as well. As part of the family of a Tortallan ambassador, she spent part of her childhood in a far off land, where women are taught self defense and routinely become warriors.
However, when Kel is sent off to the Royal Palace to become a page... the knight in charge of the pages rebels. He refuses to train a *girl* and insists on a year-long probationary period, after which she may become a page if he approves.
Bound by all sorts of rules that do not apply to the boys, Keladry still manages to flourish in the palace; although she is quick to gain enemies due to her gender, she also manages to make friends just as easily.
This is an excellent start to an excellent series; as Pierce's only main character without magic of some sort, Kel proves that all you really need is determination and stubborness to get what you really want.