Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Player's Ruse

by Hilari Bell
New York: HarperTeen, 2010.

*If you haven't read the first two books in the Knight and Rogue series, The Last Knight and Rogue's Home, this is a **spoiler warning** for those titles*

Over a year has passed since Fisk and Michael left Fisk's family. They have made a bit of a life for themselves - Michael working as a bouncer and Fisk copying and sewing. Then Rosamund, Michael's cousin and the girl he's in love with, shows up and asks for their help in finding her love, a traveling player named Rudy. When they travel to the town in which the players are working, Michael and Fisk manage to catch the eye of the sheriff by seeing a signal fire used by wreckers. Instead of asking them to leave when he finds out Michael's status as an unredeemed man, the sheriff requests that they stay while he conducts his investigations. Of course, a knight errant and his squire can't help but get involved.

This story took a little longer than the others to get going but once it did, I loved it. Though the wreckers and the mysterious enemy of the players gives the story a hint of mystery, there is not as much adventure and some elements of the story seem a little forced in comparison to the earlier titles. Still, I enjoyed seeing Michael and Fisk's friendship and characters develop further. Their personalities really come through the narration, even given small details such as the dog that Michael calls True and Fisk calls Trouble. I didn't like it quite as well as the first two in the series, but it's a book I would definitely reread, and I felt sorry to leave this world and these characters behind.

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