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REVIEW: One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey

Dear Ms Lackey,

One Good Knight: A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms (Book 2)The Fairy Godmother was the first book of yours that I tried and I loved the spin on the traditional fairy tales. One Good Knight is good but not quite as good as that one.

When a dragon storms the castle, what should a (virgin) princess do?

Why, turn to her studies, of course! But nothing practical-minded Princess Andromeda of Acadia finds gives a definitive solution. The only Traditional answer, though, is soothing the marauding dragon by a virgin sacrifice. Things are going fairly smoothly with the lottery–except for the women chosen, of course–until Princess Andromeda herself is picked!

But facing down the dragon doesn’t go quite as planned, and now, with the help of her Champion, Sir George, Andromeda searches for the dragon’s lair. But even–especially–in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, bucking Tradition isn’t easy. It takes the strongest of wills, knowledge, quick wits and a refusal to give up, no matter what happens along the way– .

First off let me say I loved Andie. Give me a practical, intelligent heroine any day and Andie certainly is one. Plus she loves to read and she’s not the stereotypical “beautiful” princess. She seems like a realistic portrayal of a strong woman emerging from being sheltered and ignored as a child. I liked how she used her strengths and intelligence to survive “sacrifice” and get started on the road but was willing to admit that she couldn’t have survived road trip on her own. I loved the twist on George, her champion, and how they worked together to thwart the “Tradition.” Her ultimate prince is a love. I’m usually not a fan of women warriors but use of Tradition explains it.

There was a little too much explaining in beginning. Too much background information which causes action to stagnate. Ditto at end (when Gina was training the other girls, when Andie was learning how to wash dishes, clean clothes, etc). We didn’t need to know all this and see it explained in such minute detail. The fox was cute but maybe he was used as deus ex machina? There was lots of info dumping from him. And shouldn’t Gina have had a different appearance after change? I mean for Adamate, it’ll be like marrying his brother.

As for Elena and Alexander – there’s enough to tell us what they’re doing and that they’re happy without overdoing their place in this story. I do wonder how Elena solved the problem of Hansel and Gretel gone bad. The dragons are great and I loved “bookwyrm” joke. But why have bit about Peri being able to “image write?” I wish that Others had played more of a role in the story.

The villains are not cartoonish and some effort was made to explain their actions, plot out their plans, which made sense (to change storms to bring more revenue to Acadia, using the dragon and sacrifices to eliminate political enemies and consolidate power, and get rid of council that had to vet Cassiopea’s laws). Both ended up as neither foaming at the mouth nor just misunderstood. But I do agree with several Amazon reviewers who said the wrap up was too fast.

Overall, One Good Knight is a nice addition to the 500 Kingdoms stories but not the equal of the first book. B-

~Jayne

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

12 Comments

  1. Michelle
    Jun 18, 2007 @ 18:24:53

    I really enjoyed this one, almost as well as the first. The third book is out-Fortune’s Fool.

    Another one of my favorites is The Wizard of London. It is part of her Elemental series but can be read as a stand alone.

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  2. Jayne
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 07:00:59

    Have you read F’sF yet? I tried one of Elemental series (can’t recall the name off hand) and thought it was okay but no great shakes.

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  3. Rosario
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 07:25:55

    I have and I thougth it was better than OGK, but not as good as TFG. Anyway, I liked OGK, but I kind of got a YA-ish vibe from it, which I didn’t get from TFG.

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  4. Jayne
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 07:34:29

    “but I kind of got a YA-ish vibe from it”

    Oooh, good way to describe it.

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  5. Sandra Schwab
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 07:36:14

    For some reason or other I can’t get into this series. But I loved, loved, LOVED Merecedes Lackey’s Valdemar series, especially The Last Herald Mage Trilogy (with a gay hero! gay hero! in fantasy!!!).

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  6. Jayne
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 07:39:17

    Sandra I’ve heard from several people that either her series work for you or they don’t.

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  7. Michelle
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 07:45:37

    I liked Fortunes Fool, it had some cute parts. But her 500 Kingdom series is kind of fluffy-not requiring deep thought. I like her Elemental series better. I really loved Wizard of London, it is one of my favorites. It is about a couple that open a school for magically gifted students. One from India has a bond with a parrot (not cheesy as it sounds it is really well done), and they rescue a orphan off the streets. A nice friendship develops between the two. Of course villainy is afoot. The characters are well drawn out.

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  8. DS
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 11:09:28

    The only Lackey books I have on my keeper shelf are her Diane Tregarde series. Children of the Night, Burning Water and Jinx High. She has stated that she will not be publishing more in this series because they did not sell as well as her other series but I can always hope fashions would change.

    My favorite is the first of the series timewise. Children of the Night is essentially a historical novel in that it is set in the 70′s. The title is also the name of a rock band who plays a large part in the story. It was definitely ahead of the dark urban fantasy popularity curve.

    I thought a lot of her urban fantasy, specifically the books she writes with others about the dark and light elf struggle has a YA feel. The ones I have read could be reduced to a number of public service announcements– stay in school, don’t take candy from strangers, report abuse, etc.

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  9. Rosario
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 18:22:00

    Sandra, I read the The Last Herald-Mage trilogy a few weeks ago and I was blown away by it. I loved everything but the last part of the last book, which just destroyed me!

    I’ve also read the Elemental Masters series, and loved most of them, especially the first, The Fire Rose. I actually thought The Wizard of London was the weakest of the series, but hey, YMMV, of course. Did you know she’s publishing another book in the series? The blurb is posted at Romantic Advances.

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  10. Sandra Schwab
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 23:50:35

    Sandra I've heard from several people that either her series work for you or they don't.

    Jayne, that’s good to hear. So it’s not just me. :)

    Sandra, I read the The Last Herald-Mage trilogy a few weeks ago and I was blown away by it. I loved everything but the last part of the last book, which just destroyed me!

    Rosario, I still cry buckets whenever I read the ending of that book. But Lackey is famous for killing off her characters. She’s even written a story about it for the DAW anniversary fantasy anthology: author wakes in the middle of the night and finds herself surrounded by her characters, who immediately start complaining about all that they’ve suffered. *g* It’s a very funny story, especially when you know said characters from Lackey’s book! *G*

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  11. Rune
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 18:42:12

    I really liked the book because I was invested in Andromeda and George as characters. The romance felt tacked on, but other than that, it was a fun read.

    Has anyone read the latest of her series,Beauty and the Werewolf?

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  12. Jayne
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 03:35:58

    @Rune: Actually I’ve got a bunch of the 500 Kingdoms books to catch up on and with the price of “Beauty and the Werewolf,” it’ll be awhile before I buy it.

    ReplyReply

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