|A Novel of the Tortallan Universe|
|Protagonist||Keladry of Mindelan|
|Cover Artist||Joyce Patti|
|UK Release Date|
|Series||Protector of the Small|
|Preceded by||First Test|
Page is the second installment of Protector of the Small, a quartet set in the Tortallan Universe by Tamora Pierce. The books are about Keladry of Mindelan, a noble girl in Tortall, and her quest to become a knight. It continues after the events of First Test, the first installment of the quartet.
- "To Julia Niederhut Muche."
- —Dedication of Page
- ""Ladies have no place bearing arms..."
...so say many in the kingdom of Tortall. Of course, that hasn't stopped Keladry of Mindelan from pursuing her dream of becoming a knight.
In this second book of the Protector of the Small quartet, Kel's hardships continue as she fights the prejudices that come with being a girl while maintaining the rigorous training of a page. Kel's skills aren't the only things that are developing. Her feelings for her best friend, Neal, are also changing...in a very uncomfortable way. Luckily, Kel has some new allies, including an ugly but lovable dog and an abused young woman whom she teaches self-defense. She also discovers a new talent when a group of pages is trapped by bandits and suddenly the other pages must call on the only "lady" to lead them.'"
- —Back cover of the paperback edition of Page
The hardcover first edition of Page was first published on May 23rd, 2000 by Random House Books for Young Readers. Another hardcover edition was released May 1st, 2001, by Perfection Learning; and another on May 22nd of the same year by Turtleback Books. The large print hardcover edition was published April 1st, 2002 by Thorndike Press. The first paperback edition was published on September 15th, 2000 by Scholastic Press; and then on August 24th, 2004, by Random House Books for Young Readers. The first ebook/Kindle edition was published on August 1st, 2006 by Scholastic Australia; and then December 18th, 2007, by Random House Books for Young Readers. The audiobook was released on August 28th, 2007 by Listening Library.
Kel has been allowed to continue her training to be a knight. While she has been allowed to continue by Wyldon of Cavall, her stiff, old-fashioned training master, she's still not accepted by many of the male pages. Though she and her friends Neal, Merric, Cleon, and Owen continue to fight the hazing of the first years, the others pages appear to have lost interest. Kel wonders if she is the only one who really cares.
Meanwhile, Joren of Stone Mountain, once Kel's self-proclaimed archenemy, appears to have drastically changed. Ever since he became a squire, he has been civil, almost friendly to Kel and her friends. She does not trust this apparent change of heart at first, but as the years pass, she begins to think that she has nothing to worry about from him.
At the beginning of the book, Kel hires a maidservant. Lalasa is the niece of one of the palace servants and her uncle begs Kel to take her. He claims that Lalasa has been treated badly by some people and that she will be left alone if she has a proper mistress. With some trepidation, Kel accepts and hires Lalasa. On the very first day of training, Kel also adopts a ragtag dog who calls himself Jump. Through Daine, the Wildmage, Jump communicates that he wants to stay with Kel. Even though she does her best to leave him with Daine, he always manages to return.
After Kel has fought her way through all the training, survived all the ordeals, she is finally allowed to take the 'Big Examinations,' the test given to all fourth-year pages to allow them to train to be squires. It is then that Kel faces the greatest test of all. She must choose between her duty or her dream.
During the course of the book, Kel develops a crush on Neal, which he does not return. It also seems that Cleon has feelings for her, and shows them on one occasion.
- Keladry of Mindelan, called Kel, is the protagonist of the quartet. In the prior book, she earned her right to remain a page and to end her probationary period. In this book, the struggle continues to get skeptics to believe in her.
- Nealan of Queenscove is Kel's year-mate, sponsor, and best friend. He helps Kel and provides quite a bit of comedy relief. He was never meant to become a knight or a page; his true dream was to be at the Tortallan Royal University and study healing magic. Neal forms a crush on Uline of Hannalof, much to Kel's dismay (as she has a growing crush on him).
- Joren of Stone Mountain has become obsessed with getting rid of Kel, the only female page, using underhanded tactics to try and force her to go.
- Merric of Hollyrose is one of Kel's year-mates. He has a temper.
- Owen of Jesslaw was impressed by Kel and her fighting abilities the first time he met her. He becomes her very staunch defender, and even stands up to Wyldon of Cavall on her behalf.
- Cleon of Kennan has always been a jokester, but he seems to be harboring a little crush on one of his fellow pages. He becomes squire to Inness of Mindelan, Kel's brother.
- Vinson of Genlith, Garvey of Runnerspring, and Quinden of Marti's Hill are part of Joren's pack and are each dedicated to send Kel home.
- Prince Roald is the heir to the throne of Tortall. He's shyer than his parents and doesn't like to exercise royal privilege over others, but he's every bit as stubborn as his famous parents.
Other Residents at Palace
- King Jonathan IV is the ruler of Tortall, but Kel doesn't really like him because he was unfair to her in making her have a probationary period when no one else had to.
- Wyldon of Cavall is the pages' training master. He doesn't like Kel at first, but will she start to grow on him?
- Uline of Hannalof is a kind young noble girl who makes friends with Kel.
- Upton Oakbridge is the Master of Ceremonies and very pompous. Kel helps him teach etiquette in the Yamani Islands.
- Lalasa Isran has been the victim of several assault attempts. Kel takes her in as her maid and even goes as far as to teach her self defense.
- Gower is a gloomy manservant at the palace. He is Lalasa's uncle and asked Kel to take his niece as a maid to protect her from attacks.
- Jump is a dog that Kel rescues from a butcher after he is caught stealing meat.
- Peachblossom is Kel's surly gelding. In the previous installment, Veralidaine Sarrasri convinced him to be nice to Kel as long as she doesn't use spurs that cut that horse.