Friday, June 17, 2011

"Rogue's Home" by Hilari Bell

When I finished Rogue's Home:  A Knight and Rogue Novel by Hilari Bell, I flipped over to the author's biography on the book jacket.  There, hardly believing my eyes, I read how the Knight and Rogue novels are her favorites of all she's written.

I by no means dislike the two I've read:  The Last Knight and Rogue's Home.  The two main characters' distinct personalities play well off each other, there's just enough wit to make it light-hearted without losing the good drama of a more serious piece, and I always enjoy watching a story unfold from different points of view. 

I quite like the odd friendship between Michael—a disinherited nobleman with unrealistic ideals and an often-inconvenient sense of honor—and Fisk—a street-wise and self-preserving former con man and thief. 

The banter is fun, the characters unusual, and Bell showcases the effects of prejudice without sounding preachy.

The mystery is somewhat hard to follow, due mainly to Bell's introducing too many persons of interest at one time, then not referencing them well enough when they come up later in the story.  I suspected the villain from early on, but had no idea about the motive, which turned out fairly convoluted.  I'm not the biggest fan of the fantasy/mystery genre mash, so perhaps that colored my view of the book.  I enjoyed it, but nothing more. 

So when Hilari Bell claimed the series is her favorite, it shocked me.  I've also read The Prophecy, The Goblin Wood, Fall of a Kingdom, Rise of a Hero, and Forging the Sword, all by Hilari Bell, all of which I enjoyed more than the Knight and Rogue novels.  The last three comprise the Farsala series, which is without question my favorite:  a clever, engrossing, wow-I-couldn't-write-that trilogy played out on a beautifully imagined epic stage where the cast of characters is still small enough we really get to know them.  The historical and social commentary is fascinating too.  One of my favorite sets of books ever.  Far and away superior to the Knight and Rogue novels, in my view. 

Isn't it nice the world has space for so many opinions?  

My rating:  3+

Check out her website, buy Rogue's Home or discover Fall of a Kingdom.

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