Filed under: book reviews, fiction | Tags: bookwyrm, dragons, fairy tales, fantasy, five hundred kingdoms, mercedes lackey, one good knight, quotes, romance, series, tradition
“…Champions were who you turned to when all was lost. Champions were the rescuers of the hopeless, the protectors of the innocent and, above all, the warriors no amount of money could buy.”
My curiosity was peeked with The Fairy Godmother and I quickly found myself scanning the library shelves to pick up the next title in Mercedes Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdoms series One Good Knight. The second title of this series takes the reader into another of the Five Hundred Kingdoms to watch how The Tradition interacts with the inhabitants.
What is an academic princess supposed to do when dragons attack? Andromeda – also known as Andie – gets to experience this question when the kingdom of Acadia is attacked by a dragon. Resulting from the questionable motives of her mother Queen Cassiopeia, Andie is offered up as dragon fodder and must rely on the help of a mysterious Champion to save her and the kingdom.
I enjoyed One Good Knight as much as I enjoyed The Fairy Godmother. It was a fun read, an enjoyable re-exploration of various fairy tales, though the introduction of it was somewhat more transparent. Lackey does explore some interesting territory though with magical gender bias, a female Champion, and a lovesick dragon. These are more then compensation to make up for the weaker beginning.
It was interesting having a hero wearing glasses (or “oculars”) and desiring to keep her nose in a book. Lackey continues with a virgin princess emphasis (the Unicorn jokes are becoming slightly stale, but still funny in the same way that I can’t help occasionally laugh at Saturday Night Live when I tune in), but Andie is significantly different from the helpless or overly prepared oft seen alternatives.
However, once again I found myself scanning the last quarter or so of the book. From the two Lackey books I have read, she seems to favor and rely very much on a plot line that depends on the rising action and as a result the climax has too much to live up to and the epilogue is very much an easy way to escape a more well-constructed resolution.  Lackey is definitely an author where the journey is the meaningful and engaging aspect of the novel rather than the conclusion.
Overall, an okay and entertaining read for a rainy day. I did find this one reminiscent of Jane Gaskell’s The Serpent.
 (1) The introduction, (2) the rising action, (3) the climax, (4) and the epilogue.
My review of The Fairy Godmother.