This four book series by my favorite childhood author takes place in the familiar realm of Tortall, a land Pierce created first in the Song of the Lioness series. The main character is Keladry of Mindelan, a ten-year-old noble girl who's greatest wish is to become a lady knight, and to follow the example of her idol, Alanna the Lioness. We follow Kel through her four years as a page, four years as a squire, and then her first year as a knight. Kel is likable, strong and intelligent, a caring young woman who refuses to stand idly by while those with power mistreat those without. As always, Pierce's writing is lucid, entertaining and fun, imbued with a solid sense of right and wrong, justice and injustice.
I actually got a chance to meet and speak with Tamora Pierce some days ago, and she did not disappoint. She was kind and intelligent, and speaking in front of a group of very excited teenaged girls, she was inspiring and free with both sarcasm and good advice. It is not every day that one gets to meet one's favorite author since the age of ten, and she most certainly lived up to my expectations. It's not surprising that her characters have such a good sense of right and wrong.