Feb. 21st, 2010

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Knight and Rogue #1:
The Last Knight
by Hilari Bell

Need a Hero? You've got one in Sir Michael Sevenson.
Although there hasn't been a knight errant in over two hundred years, this young noble has decided to revive the trade. He's found himself a reluctant partner in Fisk, a clever rogue who has been given the choice of serving as Michael's squire or going to jail for a very long time. Now Michael and Fisk are on a quest to right wrongs, protect the innocent, and make the world a happier place.
It's not going to be easy. On their first attempt at rescuing a damsel in distress, they break a lady out of a tower, only to discover she was there for good reason: awaiting trial for poisoning her husband. Now the would-be heroes must find Lady Ceciel and return her to justice or be condemned themselves.

Overall Rating 4.5/5
I was in quite a rush to finish this book because I had bought it with the intent of gifting it to my friend the next day but instead, I became quite captivated by it myself. The mythology and world building is imaginative and original, combining a medieval setting with a unique blend of magic and quite "modern" characters who believe valiant knighthood is outdated. The character voices are distinct and sympathetic, alternating every chapter between the cynical but good-hearted "rogue" Fisk and the stupidly honest but well-meaning "knight" Sir Michael. However, they are not at all stagnant in their traits: Fisk learns to trust and sacrifice, while Michael learns to lie and manipulate. Side characters are also given depth and acknowledged as independent beings with their own character traits and personalities. The story itself was full of both plot and character twists, and it keeps you guessing as to who the real villains are and who is in league with who until the very end. This is one of those books where I would go and buy my own copy later because I enjoyed it that much.

( read the full review )
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Demons Trilogy #1:
The Demon's Lexicon
by Sarah Rees Brennan

Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole -- a charm that keeps her alive -- and they want it badly enough to kill again.
Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is des-perate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.
Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians' Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.
This is the Demon's Lexicon. Turn the page.

Overall Rating 3.5/5
Though I found some of the characters compelling and original, the author's world-building and writing was strained and felt incomplete. The characters were constantly in danger of losing consistency, and some of the twists and turns thus were mildly confusing. However, it was a fun read, with plenty of hilariously snappy dialogue.

( read the full review )

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