REVIEW: One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey
Dear Ms Lackey,
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-