I was excited to see this third installment of Hilari Bell's Knight and Rogue series show up at my library this summer - I always enjoy books that combine favorite genres, and this series definitely hits the spot with its enjoyable mix of fantasy, murder mystery, humor, and adventure. It is definitely worth your while to pick up the first book in this series, as events from earlier books influence events in subsequent ones.
In this installment, Michael, self-professed knight errant and his likable scoundrel pal Fisk find themselves with a group of traveling players. Michael has been in love with his distant cousin Rosamund, and when she shows up on their doorstep, having run away from home in order to avoid marrying any of the suitors her father has chosen for her, Michael gallantly promises to protect her and help her catch up with the man she adores - an actor. He hopes that once she experiences the difficult on-the-road lifestyle of the actors, she'll come to her senses and realize she really does love Michael instead.
Fisk wouldn't dream of telling Michael that he's too good for the beautiful but slightly vapid Rosamund - but he certainly thinks it. However, Michael's unrequited love becomes a secondary issue when sabotage, piracy and murder take center stage...
I continue to enjoy this series very much, and this third installment sees the Michael and Fisk growing and changing in believable and meaningful ways. They have always been such extreme opposites, and it is interesting to see them become slightly less extreme as they grow older and more experienced. The mystery is intriguing, and Michael's infatuation with Rosamund (and jealousy of her beloved) is handled with affectionate humor that had me smiling as I read. As with previous books, the narration alternates between Michael's and Fisk's points of view, and I enjoy the way in which the characters reveal certain things as they tell their side of the story - or try to hide things that often come to light when the other character takes his turn to narrate.
I look forward to reading the further adventures of these two friends, which are sure to be entertaining and full of intrigue - and the unexpected.
Books in the Knight and Rogue series:
1. The Last Knight
2. Rogue's Home
3. Player's Ruse
Player's Ruse (#3 in the Knight and Rogue series) by Hilari Bell (HarperTeen, 2010)
Source: My local public library
Also reviewed at:
Reading Carpet: "I have nothing but praise for these books and Hilari Bell. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a good clean adventure."
What's Your Thought on That: " While the banter remains witty and the plot fast-paced, the situations have more depth making this book the best of the series"