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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

good

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

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing book

First chapter least favorite chapter. Kell and friends best charters. Second chapter amazing good book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

good book

I disliked the choice for Numair's voice, otherwise great. I love the story and the narration, though I was disappointed it wasn't by full cast audio, like some of Tamora's other books are

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Lovely Next Tortall Story

If you loved Tamora Pierce's other novels set in the Tortall universe, this is a wonderful addition. Kel is truly one of those characters that have the strength and moral compass to reach her dreams, and this first part of her journey is full of fun and characters old and new. The narrator is great and has a good pace for the story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Daring Feat of Imagination and Adventure

This is the third audio book I have ever listened to in my 28 years. I have always loved Tamora Peirce and her writing and hearing come to life through my ears instead of through my eyes was a wonderful experience. The reader made the best voices and brought each characters individual personality to life. Although the reading in the begining of the book, during the first few fighting scenes was read too calmly for my taste later on the reader was more enthusiastic in their reading of those moments that gave the proper urgency for such circumstances. over all I am happy with this recording and of course the book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic Storytelling

Bernadette Dunne is an amazing story teller.
The Protector of the Small had been a favorite series of mine since I was a child and Bernadette brings it to life in the most brilliant way.
I can't imagine it could have been told more beautifully or life-like by anyone else.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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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 of 2 people found this review helpful