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Lady Knight
Lady Knight.jpg
A Novel of the Tortall
Protagonist Keladry of Mindelan
Antagonist Blayce the Gallan
Setting Tortall: the northern border,
Author Tamora Pierce
Cover Artist Joyce Patti
Publication information
Publisher Random House
Release Date 2001
UK Release Date
Series Protector of the Small
Preceded by Squire
Followed by '

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Lady Knight is the fourth and final installment in the Protector of the Small series, revolving around Keladry of Mindelan. It covers Kel's first year as a knight, when she is assigned by Wyldon of Cavall to command a refugee camp during the Scanran War, as well as here eventual battle with, and defeat of, Blayce the Gallan, maker of the Scanran killing devices.


War with the neighboring country of Scanra is declared at last, and Kel finds herself in charge of a refugee camp. Her district commander, Lord Wyldon, has chosen not to place her in control of a border post or a portion of the army like the other knights, so she's certain that he wishes to keep her—who, as a woman, he views as inferior in combat to males—out of fighting. However, it is revealed that she was chosen for her post because she is the only knight Wyldon knows who wouldn't discriminate those not of nobility. Kel soon comes to realize that these refugees, torn from their homes, robbed of their wealth and self-respect, are her responsibility. She must feed them, house them, and keep them safe from harm, on a piece of ground that is far too close to the Scanran border. She is able to be a hero, even outside of the battlefield.

In her work she receives help in the shape of her old friends Neal and Merric, the horses Peachblossom and Hoshi, the dog Jump, and her personal sparrow flock, as well as from mixed a myriad group of others: the Wildmage Daine; Daine's lover, the great mage Numair; Neal's own father, Duke Baird of Queenscove; Kel's former knight-master Raoul of Goldenlake and Malorie's Peak; men of the King's Own (including Kel's friend and Neal's cousin Sergeant Domitan of Masbolle); convict soldiers who have been given the choice to fight in the army or to die at hard labor; several hundred disillusioned refugees who have received too many empty promises from nobles; smugglers, and a stolid, unusual boy named Tobe.

While Kel struggles with her responsibilities and the urge simply to abandon the camp and find a real fight, another obligation hangs over her. Before the war began, she was given a task by the Chamber of the Ordeal: to find and destroy the mage who is using foul magic to create the rat-like, swift-moving, deadly metallic things known to the Tortallans as "killing devices." But, tied to the camp, she cannot pursue it. However, as the summer wears on and the war intensifies, events move to put that perverted mage and his conscienceless war-leader in Kel's path, and at last her resolve is tested, and she and all of Tortall find out if she is truly worthy of her shield.


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