- Publisher: Random House USA Children's Books
- Format: Paperback | 268 pages
- Dimensions: 104mm x 173mm x 23mm | 159g
- Publication date: 22 May 2001
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0679889183
- ISBN 13: 9780679889182
- Illustrations note: map
- Sales rank: 17,983
Kel fights to maintain the rigorous regimen of a page while confronting the prejudices that come with being a female in a man's world and coping with a crush on her closest friend, Neal.
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In the sixth grade, Tamora Pierce was encouraged by her father to start writing and she immediately got hooked. Once she discovered fantasy and science fiction, she tried to write the same kind of stories she read, only with teenaged girl heroines who were usually missing from the 1960s stories. Before her junior year at the University of Pennsylvania where she studied psychology, Pierce rediscovered writing when she wrote her first original short story since tenth grade. She sold her first story a year later and then enrolled in a fiction writing course during her senior year. When her teacher suggested that she tackle a novel, her childhood ideas came back to her and she began her first sword and sorcery novel. Pierce then worked as a housemother in an Idaho group home for teenaged girls, who loved hearing Alanna's story from the in-progress quartet, Song of the Lioness. As Pierce continued to write and send out manuscripts, she moved to Manhattan to get her publishing career off the ground. Pierce still lives in Manhattan with her husband, writer/filmmaker Tim, and their three cats, two parakeets, plus a floating population of rescued wildlife. She enjoys her hectic life as a full-time writer and she hopes that her books leave her readers with the feeling that they can achieve anything if they want it badly enough. Tamora Pierce is a popular author of fantasy books for teenagers. In her latest quartet, Protector of the Small, readers follow heroine Kel as she rigorously trains for the knighthood.
Kel's hardships continue as she fights the prejudices that come with being a girl while maintaining the rigorous training of a page. Kel's skills aren't the only thing that are developing. Her feelings for her best friend Neal are also changing...in a very uncomfortable way. Luckily Kel has some new allies, including an ugly but lovable dog and an abused young woman to whom she teaches self-defense.