I read young adult books with some frequency, and I’ve discovered many of my favorite authors in that category well after I left the demographic. Tamora Pierce is one that I’ve been reading since I was, in fact, a young adult.
I think the thing I love most about her books is how well she shows young people growing up in the worlds she’s created. These are fantasy worlds, and wonderful things happen, but there’s also a lot of mundane things that go on, and hard work, and real growing up.
This is the third book in the Protector of the Small series, and Keladry is now the first girl to have openly been made a squire in Tortall in centuries. There are still plenty of people that think that’s terribly wrong, but she’s won over a number of her detractors. She’s absolutely thrilled when Lord Raoul, the commander of the King’s Own, asks to be her knight-teacher. It’s a dream assignment, which will also be plenty of hard work, and Kel is fully aware how lucky she is.
I just really enjoy reading these books – they’re such a rich picture of life, and Pierce forms up such a great community around her main characters. And I’m super happy I have Lady Knight on hand, so I can finish the series immediately.