Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce

I originally read the Protector of the Small series years ago and it wasn’t my favourite of the Tortall sub-series (it was the Immortals series at the time), but this time around I appreciated it a whole lot more. For one, Kel is an awesome character.

She isn’t special in any way — no magic, no special link with the gods — and earns everything she gets through hard work and common sense. Sure, she started learning her weapons at the ripe old age of 6, but she gets really good at them because she never gives up, even when everything hurts and she could be sleeping in. Plus, she cares. She’s compassionate without being a mother-figure (or at least that’s how I see it, despite some of the boys calling her “Mother” in jest.) She’s basically a kick-ass female character who’s three-dimensional and interesting.

The other thing I love about this series is that there isn’t a love story. Sure, Kel has her crushes and relationships, but she realizes that other things are higher on her priority list that love and/or sex and just gets on with them. How often do you see that in a teen book?

Progress on Challenges: These counted as books 7 through 10 in my 52 Books in 2014 Challenge, so I’m chugging along on that. Unfortunately, they really don’t count towards my DIversity Challenge at all.

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