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Gr 5-8-In this second tour through the fantasy kingdom of Tortall, Keladry begins her second year as the first "official" girl page. She has a new friend, a shy and uncertain maid who has been bullied and possibly molested, whom she helps overcome her fears by teaching her self-defense. Kel and her friends meet new challenges as they continue their training to become knights, face down a pack of raiders, and rescue one of their own from kidnappers. Appearances by familiar characters from the previous book will please fans, but new readers will have no trouble following the story. The plot is engaging and Kel's character growth continues as she deals with puberty, works to overcome her fear of heights, and gains the respect of her peers and teachers. Many books portray girls excelling in traditionally male roles through manipulation and finesse, but Pierce makes Kel sweat for her success through perseverance, hard work, and skill. Readers will appreciate this true example of grrrl power!-Heather Dieffenbach, Lexington Public Library, KY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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