We first met Sir Michael and his unwilling squire, Fisk, in the initial book of this series, The Last Knight. That first book was more in the vein of a fantasy adventure novel; this one is a compelling mystery/fantasy hybrid.
In opening of this second installment, which (like the first) is told from the alternating viewpoints of Michael and Fisk, Michael suffers the consequences of the decision he made at the end of the first book, which puts him in a difficult position when he realizes that Fisk's family is in trouble. Michael has always been a romantic (hence his notion of being a knight errant instead of staying home to be the boring old steward of his father's estate), and he has a good heart, but he is fast becoming disillusioned with many of his former ideas.
Fisk heads home to his family, whom we get to meet for the first time, followed by Michael, who hopes he can help. Fisk's parents have passed away, and it seems his brother-in-law, with whom he has an understandably strained relationship, has been framed for a crime he did not commit. He has lost his respected position in town, and must borrow money from the few friends he still has in order to keep a roof over his and Fisk's three sisters' heads. Michael and Fisk set out to investigate the crime, but it appears someone is always a step ahead of them. With mysterious fires breaking out across the city from the time the two arrive, the townsfolk become increasingly suspicious and hostile toward them. Michael and Fisk have learned a lot about each other, and now they must combine their strengths and skills in order to catch the culprit before the entire town goes up in flames.
There is a cast of interesting and unusual characters, from the tough old woman who left her disreputable town life behind in order to live in the secluded marshes outside the town, to the the cantankerous cook who works for Fisk's family, to the wily sheriff who always seems to be everywhere Michael and Fisk don't want him. Michael and Fisk are a wonderful combination, as Fisk's common sense and cynical nature are a perfect complement to Michael's romanticism and inclination to think the best of everyone until proven otherwise. And can it be that they have each learned a little something from the other? One thing they've discovered is that relationships are complex, and that appearances can be deceiving. I'm certainly looking forward to accompanying them on their next adventure, wherever it may lead them.
Books in the Knight and Rogue series:
1. The Last Knight
2. Rogue's Home
Rogue's Home (#2 in the Knight and Rogue series) by Hilari Bell (Eos, 2008)
Have you reviewed this book? Please let me know, with a link in the comments, and I'll add it to this review. I couldn't find any blog reviews out there!