The last knight by Hilari Bell
9780060825058. A knight and rogue novel.
(Age: 12+) Chosen as one of ALA's 2009 Best Books for Young Adults, The last knight is a hilarious story about Sir Michael, bent on doing chivalrous deeds, even though the idea of the knight errant is years out of date. He has acquired for his squire the criminal Fisk, saving him from the hangman's rope. On their quest to rescue damsels in distress, they release the Lady Ceciel who has been imprisoned in a tower. However, in their impetuous rush to do daring deeds, they don't investigate just why she is imprisoned and find to their horror that she has been charged with poisoning her husband.
Told in the voices of both Sir Michael and Fisk, the reader sees the story unfolding from different points of view: Sir Michael is an idealistic optimist while Fisk has a cynical viewpoint of life in his role as 'squire to a hero'. The contrast between Michael who never lies and Fisk who is a conman, leads to many laughs. The humour is laugh out loud delightful as the pair blunder from one disaster to another, trying to work out the mystery of Lady Ceciel and the intricate workings of Magica, the magic of sensing things.
Both Michael and Fisk are likeable characters, and Lady Ceciel is a most satisfying villain. Even the horse, Tipple, who likes to have a drink or two, provides amusement.
In amongst the chaos of their adventures, the pair begin to trust each other and learn a great deal about friendship, loyalty and honour. This is the first book in the series and I look forward to following the adventures of the knight and the rogue.