Once again, Pierce shows the importance of following your goals, and not giving up on dreams because someone wants you to do so. Keladry works hard to get where she wants – not because she’s a natural at things, but that she works her butt off to get there! It’s more realistic I think than the Lioness in training, but I love both series (this one is just my favourite!).
Keladry has gotten past her First Test and now is a fully fledged page. She’s not without problems though, as those people who plagued her in her first year have just become craftier. Not to mention a stray set of bandits.
I loved this novel just as much as the first, every time I read it. I only wish I could forget what happens so that each time I read it I would be surprised. That being said, I look forward to the next Pierce novel with great anticipation every time. Her last novel was a little disappointing, but still worth reading.
There are a number of minor climaxes within the novel, all of which serve to make the reader think more about Keladry and flesh her out as a good role model. The other characters, with the exception of Keladry’s maid, seem a little more one dimensional. I guess it’s because it’s focalised from Keladry’s point of view, and it’s hard to know what they are thinking.
What was not clear to me was whether her first year was as a page, or whether it was an extra year tacked on. From the sound of things though, as she needs to pass examinations with Neil and the others, it was just a different sort of first year.
There’s quite a big time jump in the novel to get the more exciting parts happening. It’s so smooth though that between one chapter and the next a year passes and you don’t feel like you’ve missed anything.
Overall, a satisfying read and reread for all young fiction fans. Recommend it to your kids, your grandkids, your neighbour’s kids – this has fabulous values to share, and encourages perseverance – what more could you want?