Review: One Good Knight, A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms (Book 2)

By: Mercedes Lackey

Available at: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Read as part of the 2020 Golden Trio Reading Challenge, prompt Arithmancy!

Overview:

Blurb: This is the second book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series and it absolutely can stand alone as a novel, but makes more sense if you’ve read The Fairy Godmother. This book focuses on Princess Andromeda of Acadia. Unexpectedly, a dragon invades their kingdom. It is by Princess Andromeda’s own research that she uncovers what can appease the beast: virgin sacrifice. It is a terrible solution for a terrible problem. Things get even worse when Andromeda herself is chosen as one of the sacrifices. A Champion of the Tradition rescues Andromeda from Adamant, and together they pursue their magical quarry across the kingdom. Things are not as clear cut as they seem, though, and brother dragons Adamant and Periapt end up more friend than foe.

Trigger Warnings:

Ableism (sight), Bastardization of Mythology, Blood, Bullying, Child Abuse, Death, Emotional Abuse, Food, Mental Abuse, Murder, Off Screen Sex, Violence, Violent Imagery, War

Body Count: not countable, for those lost at sea and more.

Overall review:

  • Thoughts:
    • What I liked: I liked the flow of this particular story. And the humanity and believable nature of the villains. The twist of Adamant being bewitched to attack their kingdom was clever. And I quite liked the happy ending, which is what I am reading this series to enjoy.
    • What I didn’t like: I didn’t like how cruel Gina was to Andromeda through most of their interaction. Only when she proved herself useful did Gina seem to unbend enough to befriend her. I hated how the Queen was fine with letting her only daughter die for sake of money.
  • Was it engaging?
    • Yes
  • Favorite Character:
    • Periapt, the dragon
  • Least Favorite Character:
    • Honestly, I’d have to say Queen Cassiopeia for how she treated her daughter.

Rating out of five: 4.5 out of 5

To Read or Not To Read (Again):

Happily Donated for Someone Else to Read

The Technical Specs:

  • Series
    • Series Name: The Five Hundred Kingdoms
    • Book Number: 2 of 7
  • Genre
    • Technical Genre: Gothic Romances, Mythology & Folk Tales, Fairy Tale Fantasy
    • Theo Genre: Faerie Tales, High Fantasy, Romance with Plot, Faerie Tale Rewrite, Dragons & Mythical Creatures Fantasy
  • Page count: 400 pages
  • POV: limited 3rd
  • Publication information:
    • Publisher: Harlequin
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-13: 9781459296657
    • ASIN: B01BBVY188

Representation, Morality, and Sexism in Media Tests:

  • Bechdel–Wallace Test: Pass
    • Do two female characters talk about something other than a male character? Yes
  • Deggan’s Rule Test: Fail
    • Are there at least two non-white human characters in the main cast in a story not primarily focused on race? No
  • DuVernay Test: Fail
    • Are there fully actualized characters of color? No
  • Ellen Willis Test: Pass
    • Would two related characters still work to carry the story if their genders were reversed? Yes
  • Hays Code: Fail
    • Part One: outdated moral guidelines
      • Are there any outdated “moral content” rules gloriously kicked in the teeth by this story? Murder, happy queer characters, profanity, etc. No
    • Part Two: queer representation
      • Are there queer characters that get a happy ending? No
      • Do the queer characters die? No
    • Part Three: age and agency:
      • Is there an illegal or otherwise distasteful age gap between characters, queer or otherwise? Yes
  • Mako Mori Test: Pass
    • Is there a female character that gets her own arc? Yes
  • Mary Sue/Gary Stu Test: Pass
    • Is the main character completely flawless and persecuted by other characters needlessly? No
    • Take a Mary Sue test here!
  • Sexy Lamp Test: Pass
    • Would the plot fall apart if the female character was replaced by a sexy looking lamp? Yes
    • Post-It Note Caveat:
      • Would the character be able to be replaced by a Sexy Lamp with a sticky note on it for information conveyance? No
  • Tauriel Test: Pass
    • Is there at least one woman in the story who is competent in her chosen occupation and not immediately shown up by a newcomer male character? Yes
    • If she has or develops a love interest during the story, either implied or explicitly stated, does she suddenly abandon her job and/or chosen path to support or pursue said love interest? No
  • Topside Test: Fail
    • Are there two or more trans characters in the story that know each other and do they talk about anything other than medical transition procedures? No
    • I acknowledge that most common media lacks decent trans representation.
  • Vito Russo Test: Fail
    • Is there a character on the LGBTQIAP+ spectrum spectrum who is a character beyond their orientation and do they actually affect the plot and are something beyond a punchline? No
      • What does that stand for? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual/Biromantic/Bigender, Transgender, Queer/Genderqueer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender, Pansexual/Panromantic

You can read more about the various Media Tests I employ in my reviews at GeekFeminism.wikia.org or by clicking the header on the individual test. Why include all these? Because I can, because representation matters, and because I’m neurotic.

Review format updated 14 April 2020

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