Ahhh the Less Valued Knights. I love a nice, lighthearted comedic fantasy novel. I love them even more when they’re based around Arthurian legend, so when offered this one for review, I simply couldn’t resist!
So, as is obvious, I received a review copy of this book from the author, and this review is of that review copy.
Legend tells of an impostor-sword crafted by a witch-queen, destined to destroy a king. The whole story has never been told. Until now.
Recently appointed to the Table of Less Valued Knights, Sir Thomas the Hesitant doesn’t mind that the credit always goes to celebrity-knights. He tells himself this frequently. He doesn’t truly believe it. The truth is, he thinks it’s rubbish.
When five armies attack England, everyone on the Round Table is too busy to track down the missing court wizard. Seizing the opportunity to shine a light on the Less Valued, Thomas vows to rescue Merlin and sets himself on a collision course with a talented but overconfident rookie sorceress, a lizard with delusions of grandeur, and one rather unfortunate pigeon.
Only one thing is certain – things are not as they seem. They seldom are.
The forces that hold the universe together delighted in the orderly molecular structure of the crystal at the center of the room. Merlin hit it hard with his staff. That’s a wizard’s job – perturbing the forces that hold the universe together. Merlin was good at it.
This is the continuing story of Sir Thomas the Hesitant, a knight of King Arthur, but not of the Round Table, but rather of the table of Less Valued Knights. It is up to the less valued knights to take on the jobs that the Round Table knights can’t… or won’t.
In this volume, Merlin has gone missing, but Arthur and his Round Table knights have gone north, where armies are amassing for war. This leaves the task of finding Merlin to Sir Thomas, who takes on the task with gusto. He and his friend Sir Philip the Exceptionally Disadvantaged bring Thomas’ new squire, Augustus ‘Gus’ Ditcher, and head to France, where Merlin is thought to have gone.
And shenanigans go down (as I’m sure you guessed – there are always shenanigans)! Thomas and friends run afoul of dragons, other knights, other kings, sorceresses, illusionists, and swords which may or may not be Excalibur.
As was the first volume in this series, this was an excellently written book with many chuckles to be had within its pages. I sat down to start it before bed one night and before I knew it I was nearly halfway through and it was way, way past my bedtime. But I couldn’t stop reading, because Thomas and Philip are so much fun to read about.
Sir Thomas is a character that you can’t help but root for. I wanted him to win the day, the lady, all the glory and everything else, and having characters to like is really what submerges me into a story.
There were plenty of twists and turns here, it wasn’t too short, and it wasn’t overly long. T’was exactly as long as it needed to be. There are accents that are written in a way that they just happened in my head, and this one left me with a few unanswered questions, but not in a cliffhangery or irritating way. More the way that indicates that the next volume can’t come soon enough!
All told, I loved this one maybe even a little more than I loved volume one! I have been having a really good couple of years of finding second books that I love even more than the first in a series. I can’t wait to read what else is in store for the Less Valued Knights! I had a full 5/5 stars of fun with this one!~