First Test

Book 1 of the Protector of the Small Quartet
Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
Series: Tortall, Book 13, Protector of the Small, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (1,132 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the medieval and fantastic realm of Tortall, Keladry of Mindelan (known as Kel) is the first girl to take advantage of the decree that permits females to train for knighthood. Up against the traditional hazing of pages and a grueling schedule, Kel faces only one real roadblock: Lord Wyldon, the training master of pages and squires. He is absolutely against girls becoming knights. So while he is forced to train her, Wyldon puts her on probation for one year. It is a trial period that no male page has ever had to endure and one that separates the good-natured Kel even more from her fellow trainees during the tough first year. But Kel is not a girl to underestimate, as everyone is about to find out.
©1999 Tamora Pierce (P)2007 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"A splendidly rousing feast." ( Booklist)
"This is smooth storytelling and a satisfying read." ( School Library Journal)

What listeners say about First Test

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Narration does not fit the story

If you've never read the books, the narration might not be too bad. If you have read the books, her depiction of Kel is jarring. She almost makes Kel sound whiny, which is far from how Tamora Pierce portrays the character. I love this story, hate the narration.

4 people found this helpful

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interesting story

The story itself was very well written.

but having read the book before it took me a while to get used to the narrators voice for the characters, especially Kel's.

3 people found this helpful

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good

The narrator kept changing the pronunciation of the names. By the end she got it right.

3 people found this helpful

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Bernadette

If you could sum up First Test in three words, what would they be?


Where does First Test rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This story is a wonderful contribution to the Tortall universe, and an amazing call back to my still beloved Alanna series. However I have to say Bernadette doesn't do it justice. Numair and many other "adult" characters either have a raspy voice, or a full blown "old man" croak. all the boys speak in the came voice, and Kel herself sounds exactly like one of the extra boy voices. TL;DR: Bernadette has ONE voice, and it's her own. Long live Trini Avarado.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bernadette Dunne?


Unfortunately she does this entire quartlet. so I kind of have to.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it

I loved all the charactors in the book. Found myself listening to it twice because I tend to miss areas while working. I purchased the second in the series as soon as I was done, and I'm now on the forth in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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Phenomenal

I loved every second of it. I was on a road trip and listened to it in one go.

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Great story!

Love, love, love this story. I've read it twice and listened to it twice. The narrator is great. Good for young girls who want to hero a decent female character who stands for chivalry and honor.

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Great sorry, 1 quibble about the performance

I love Tamora Pierce's books. it's soothing to losing while exercising or commuting. One quibble about the performance - what accent did Bernadette Dunne choose for Numair?!? Had she not listened to the Full Cast Audio production for Daine's books? When Numair made his little cameo in chapter nine, I choked in surprise. He sounds very different and not authoritative. It went a little too far in the "absent-mindedness stereotype."

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bad narration.

narrator was lacking finesse. I have always enjoyed the Tortall Universe and all its books by Tamora Pierce, if only they could have had a full cast like the Immortals Quartet....

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First Test

I read this book when it was first published. I have lost count of the number of times that I have either reread or listened to this series. and as a 67 year old person I still love this series. It is a story that appeals to both the young and adults. I highly recommend all of her stories.

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  • Fiona
  • 11-05-09

Great book

Tamora Pierce continues to be fantastic reading for pre-teen and teen girls everywhere. Bernadette Dunn has an American accent but is clear to listen to. Can we have more of the back catalogue of Pierce's books soon, please?

2 people found this helpful