This is Book One of the Protector of the Small Quartet. Although the proclamation has been made ten years ago to allow girls to pursue the training for knighthood, until now, no young lady has chosen to try. Today, however, Alanna is delighted because Keladry of Mindelan wants to be the first to try. Despite the proclamation, there are still those who do not want girls/women in the program, so the king decides to allow Kel to compete, but he agrees that Lord Wyldon will have the final say as to whether Kel can continue to the next year of training. Lord Wyldon does not like female warriors. Now Kel finds herself coming up against prejudice and has to prove to herself and others that she is strong enough to stand side-by-side with young men. This is a wonderful story of self-reliance and determination.