The Last Knight (Knight and Rogue Series #1)

The Last Knight (Knight and Rogue Series #1)

by Hilari Bell

Hardcover(Library Binding - Library Bound Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060825041
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/28/2007
Series: Knight and Rogue Series , #1
Edition description: Library Bound Edition
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.17(d)
Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Hilari Bell used to work as a reference librarian, but she now writes science fiction and fantasy for kids and teens from her home base in Denver, Colorado.Hilari’s favorite activity is camping, when she spends all her time reading and hiking. She says, “Camping is the only time I can get in enough reading. Well, I take that back—when it comes to reading, there’s no such thing as enough.”

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The Last Knight

Chapter One

Fisk

To say it was a dark and stormy night would be a gross understatement. It was colder than a witch's kiss, wetter than a spring swamp, and blacker than a tax collector's heart. A sane man would have been curled up in front of a fire with a cup of mulled wine and a good boo—, ah, a willing wench. But not me. I was out in it. I'm squire to a hero.

At least the downpour that had drenched us all afternoon was now beginning to slacken. The Green Moon hadn't risen, but the Creature Moon was high enough to glow dimly through the churning clouds, shedding just enough light for me to watch the damsel being lowered from the tower. Not that I could see her well, with the rain splattering into my eyes whenever I looked up; she was only a dim shape of swirling skirts and hair, dangling from a knotted rope.

Sir Michael, my employer, had tied those knots to make handholds for the climb down. He was inside the tower now, slowly releasing the rope. The woman bounced when the knots slid over the windowsill, but the lady had the sense to brace her feet against the tower. She was doing all right.

But if she slipped and set up a screech, or if anything alerted the guards, who were currently dicing on the tower's ground floor, I was going to take Tipple and ride off as fast as I could. Tipple was the faster and sounder of the two horses I was "guarding," and even she wouldn't be able to move quickly in this much mud. I had seen enough of my employer, in the one week we'd known each other, to be certain he'd put up a good enough fight to delay them while I escaped.

I had suggested hiring a nice dry carriage . . . buteven if he'd agreed, Sir Michael would have expected me to drive it.

When Sir Michael first told me he'd take me as his squire (this was after he'd told me he was a knight errant, and I'd asked if his keepers knew he was out), he said that all proper knights errant had trusty squires behind them.

Shaken as I was at the time, I still had the sense to refrain from saying that "behind him" was where I intended to stay. Looking after lunatics isn't a job I fancy—but then, I didn't have much choice in the matter.

This is the modern age. Knights errant have been extinct for over two hundred years, and even when they existed, errantry wasn't what you'd call a practical profession. I'd outgrown that kind of romantic idiocy before I was ten, but looking at his calm face, I realized that Sir Michael—a full year older than my own seventeen—was perfectly serious.

He'd done a better job getting into the tower than I had expected—crazy people must have an advantage when it comes to doing crazy things. The rain-slick ruins of the keep provided a treacherous but manageable staircase that stopped just short of the third-floor window where Sir Michael had entered the tower. The only tricky part was climbing the last ten feet of sheer stone to the third floor. It took him four tries. A woman climbing down never could have done it.

The tower's upper windows were dark, which meant there were probably no guards on the upper floors. The lady's steward had warned us, several times, what would happen if the guards caught us.

But the lady was now only twenty feet from the ground and no alarm had sounded.

Who had bothered to maintain this old tower, and why? It had no use that I could see, except as a prison. Even if the noble who owned the manor at the foot of the hill was trying to wed a spectacularly Gifted young widow by force, he still wouldn't need a prison often enough to make preserving the tower worthwhile.

Gifts may pass from a woman to her children of either sex, but no man, no matter how great his own Gifts, will pass them on to his descendants. Because of this, Gifted women are sometimes forced into marriage—though these days the force usually consists of gold roundels applied to the pockets of the woman's male relations. But the ragged old man with the missing foot had sworn that he was steward to a lady who was being held prisoner in the tower, and here she was, coming down on the rope.

Sir Michael had worried that she might have been dosed with aquilas, which is frequently used to subdue abducted damsels. That could have slowed down our escape, but nothing had hindered matters so far.

She was less than ten feet from the ground now, so it was time for me to do something.

I checked Chanticleer's and Tipple's tethers—though being bright beasts they showed no sign of wanting to leave the shelter of the crumbling wall—and walked carefully through the slippery mud to the tower's base.

The lady's long, dark hair no longer swirled, but clung to her head in much the same way the bodice of her dress clung to her figure. An admirable figure, but it didn't keep me from noticing that she had pulled back one dainty foot to kick me in the face. Her expression was a mixture of fear, determination, and misery, but determination came out on top.

I stopped, well out of range, and murmured, "It's me, Fisk, his squire. So don't kick me, all right?"

"His what ?" she whispered. The rope jerked and she bounced downward. Her descent had looked smoother from a distance. Or perhaps Sir Michael was getting tired.

I stepped forward warily, and caught her in my arms as the rope slackened. "It's a long story."

Her amused, rain-wet face was attractive, if you like strong, even features better than soft prettiness. Me, I like both, but the willful glint in her eyes was enough to warn any sensible man.

The Last Knight. Copyright (c) by Hilari Bell . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Last Knight (Knight and Rogue Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Lunanshee More than 1 year ago
Although there hasn¿t been a knight errant in over two hundred years, eighteen-year-old Sir Michael is determined to revive the trade. Along with his reluctant squire Fisk, Sir Michael seeks wrongs to right and damsels to save. When sought out to rescue a lady trapped in a tower it seems that Fate is shining on Sir Michael¿s quest. Unfortunately after rescuing the damsel they discover that the lady in question is a suspected murderess and was awaiting trial. Now they must find the damsel and bring her to justice, or face permanent dishonor. Highly entertaining. Bell pens a wonderful novel full of adventures and mishaps. The reader receives the story from alternating views of Sir Michael and Fisk which provides for humorous analysis of various situations. I would definitely recommend this book for those who love a good, funny read.
sarahtanizar on LibraryThing 11 months ago
The Last Knight is not a so call awesome book that most people would want to read. If you want a read that is pretty easy then chose this.
angeltyuan on LibraryThing 11 months ago
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.
bell7 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Michael is a knight errant far after it's the fashionable thing to do (try 200 years), and Fisk is his squire. When the boys free a "damsel" from a tower, they had no idea she was being held on murder charges. This sends them on a quest for both of them to redeem themselves. This is a character-centric story told in alternate points of view between Michael and Fisk, which helps the reader get to know them each boy as he sees himself and as the other sees him.Hilari Bell is one of my favorite young adult fantasy authors, so I snatched this immediately when I saw it at the library. Its plot is meandering at times, but I didn't mind because I loved the characters so much. I was sad when the book ended.
TeenBookReviews on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Although there hasn¿t been a knight errant in over two hundred years, eighteen-year-old Sir Michael is determined to revive the trade. Along with his reluctant squire Fisk, Sir Michael seeks wrongs to right and damsels to save. When sought out to rescue a lady trapped in a tower it seems that Fate is shining on Sir Michael¿s quest. Unfortunately after rescuing the damsel they discover that the lady in question is a suspected murderess and was awaiting trial. Now they must find the damsel and bring her to justice, or face permanent dishonor. Highly entertaining. Bell pens a wonderful novel full of adventures and mishaps. The reader receives the story from alternating views of Sir Michael and Fisk which provides for humorous analysis of various situations. I would definitely recommend this book for those who love a good, funny read.
Angie_Lisle More than 1 year ago
Two character points of view between Sir Michael, a knight errant, and his squire, Fisk, who is also a con man. We get just enough of each character to know that there is more to both their stories. I had problems keeping the narrators straight and had to backtrack occasionally to check, which was frustrating but helped show how the two characters are rubbing off on each other. The world itself is doled out in tantalizing pieces - as with the characters, we get just enough to know that there's more to the story. The plot itself is simple but it made me ask 'why' a lot and I expect the following books in the series to answer those questions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fast-paced and adventurous with characters who have great growth throughout the novel. It's filled with many mishaps for Sir Michael and Fisk, but their budding friendship makes the journey fun and enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Evolutionary increases the energy. Molly begins to scream. Karolina, distracted by the scream fails to notice the table being hurled at her. She flies backwards, crashing into Victor. A blast hits Nikko, sending her flying into a wall. She flumps down, and looks at her arm, which is riddled with cuts and bruises. She looks up and sees Molly screaming. She looks back at her arm. "When blood is shed..." She incites. "No. The Staff was broken." The Main Evolutionary says, but he sounds a little scared. Nikko's blood begins to glow. The other Evolutionaries charge her. "Let the Staff of One emerge." A flash of light explodes from her, blasting away the Evolutionaries. When it clears, she is standing there, holding the Staff. She points it at Molly. "Clear Sight." Molly blinks, and sees the Evolutionary. Her eyes turn purple, and she punches him clear through his force field. "No. I will not be--" The Evolutionary starts, then sees the Runaways standing there, facing him, their various weapons pointed at him. "Very well. I shall relent. But you have not seen the last of us." The Evolutionaries disappear, and the Runaways all look at each other, exausted.
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Great book! I loved it!
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Zoe Everettt More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing. i love the plot and how the author writes in such a way.
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i liked it. it wasnt the best ever but i thought it was fun to read. it is about two unlikely guys become friends through their adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago