Saturday, January 9, 2010


Stolid [adj] (stah lihd)
  1. Unemotional
  2. Lacking sensitivity

Keladry of Mindelan may be described as stolid, but she was never that to me.  She was calm and centered; driven and kind; wise and honorable. 

And fictional.  Definitely fictional.

You see, Keladry of Mindelan is a character in Tamora Pierces' Protector of the Small series and a much loved portion of my childhood. When the Kel series was released, I was already a rabid Pierce fan, having devoured her works in The Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, and The Circle of Magic repeatedly in my 6th grade year.   But I wasn't always the literary fan.

Before I discovered Pierce's Tortall Universe, I loathed reading.  Reading was a chore; boring and painful.  I read (and still read) at a pace that is all my own and often felt sub-par as a result.  I avoided reading aloud in class, even when I recited the passage in my head over and over and again.   I didn't want to stumble and blush and be stared at like I was incompetent.  Reading was painful; and then, one day while I was wandering in the library, I met Alanna of Trebond.  

I don't know why I decided to pick up Alanna: The First Adventure, but I do have a clear image of bending down to select that book.  The book was short - just over 200-pages - and it has a girl with a horse in medieval dress on the cover.  I loved the idea of medieval fantasy - the deep colors, the dress, the castles, and adventures - so I made the choice to ignore my bibliophobia and took the book home.  I've been a bibliophile since that day.  

Which brings me back to Kel, my favorite Tortall heroine.  You see, she's only the second girl to choose to go through the training to be a lady knight in over 600 years (Alanna, being the first).   She's brave, in a word, and I wanted to be like her.  She overcame huge odds with poise and honor - she appeared stolid to others, but that was merely in appearance.  Inside, she was passionate and roaring to act.  I liked that; as a middle schooler, I thought I could be like that.  

While I can't attest to ever reaching the level of "Kel," I can say that her series was and is one of my favorite to this day.  If I don't re-read the series at least once at year, I feel completely and irrecoverably stolid


  1. I also was a rabid Pierce fan.
    In fact, when I am feeling like I don't want to work for my literature, but want my eyes to focus on something printed, I re-read them.
    Like I may or may not be in the middle of Wolf-Speaker right now.

  2. We should have a secret handshake! I'm always so thrilled to discover other Pierce fans - I think I scared a girl in my journalism course with my enthusiasm.