Page  - Tamora Pierce WHYYY isn't "Squire" waiting at the library for me yet? MUST READ NOW.

I continue to love this series. This one was the Puberty Book, in which Keladry grows breasts, gets her period, and starts attracting male attention. She's kind of oblivious to it, though, which is amusing. I hope she and Neal get to make out at some point.

Anyway, Kel gets a dog and a maid on the same day. The maid is Lalasa, a timid woman who slowly learns how to defend herself thanks to Kel's persistent teachings. The feminist threads woven through these books are a constant source of delight for me. (It might be cheesy, feel-good feminism, but I don't care. I love it.) Even Lord Wyldon, Kel's sexist training master, begins to respect her after she shows him several times that she's awesome.

The dog is Jump, and Kel rescues him from certain death by the butcher's axe after he's caught stealing sausages. She tries to give him to Daine, but Jump is having none of that and keeps coming back to her. Once again, it might be cheesy, but I can't get enough of the animals in these books, either. Pierce knows how to hit all my favorite buttons.

At the end, when she has to save Lalasa and Jump from the tower instead of taking her exams, I totally expected Wyldon to be like "you already passed your exams by proving you are an awesome knight who rescues people in need!" But that would have been too easy. The entire point of the exams is for everyone to SEE that Kel is ready to become a squire. I'm glad she ends up taking them after all.

There were a lot of great humorous moments in this book. Lalasa trying to figure out a tactful way to tell Keladry that she's grown breasts was hilarious. And I loved Owen introducing Lalasa later as someone who "is good at sewing and knows a lot of ways to hurt you."

I'm still convinced that Alanna is behind the anonymous gifts Kel continues to get, and I'm having a lot of fun imagining George's network of spies reporting back to him about how Kel is doing.