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Rogue's Home by Hilari Bell
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Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

Michael and Fisk are on the road again, after their last adventure turned out sourly. A rider catches up with them, delivering a letter from Fisk's family. He's desperately needed at home.

He returns on his own, hoping that Michael will not follow him.

Michael does follow, and his history shakes up the town. Fisk's brother-in-law has been falsely accused of blackmail. His sister wrote Fisk home, hoping that he could help (specifically with his knowledge of criminals) clear her husband's name.

Fisk and Michael start talking to the townspeople, but some don't like their questions. Someone sets fires, blaming Michael, forcing him to lay low. Can Fisk discover who framed his family before the citizens of the town kill Michael?

The sequel to THE LAST KNIGHT, ROGUE'S HOME is a medieval tale of mystery and action that will captivate readers and keep them guessing until the end of the book. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
The second book in the Knight and Rogue series starts off soon after The Last Knight leaves off. Sir Michael Sevenson, knight errant, and Fisk, his squire, are on their way back to Michael's father after capturing - and freeing - Lady Ceciel. Because Michael has failed to fulfill his obligation of returning Lady Ceciel, he knows he will be declared permanently unredeemed, and given the marks on his wrist to show to everyone that he is outside of the law. Then, Fisk unexpectedly receives a letter that throws all their plans awry.

This book is undoubtedly my favorite in the series. I enjoy Fisk and Michael and love that their narrations reveal much about each of their characters - and sometimes reading one boy describe the other reveals just as much. Plus, they're just plain funny; I especially love Fisk's sense of humor and sarcastic comments. In this story, as the title implies, we meet Fisk's family and get more of his backstory. Michael has an internal journey of his own, as his unredeemed status strips his idealism a bit. ( )
  bell7 | Jun 10, 2009 |
Although I haven't read the first book of the series, I love this book. As an avid reader of mysteries and fantasies, I was pleased to see how Hilari Bell had combined fantasy, humor, mystery, action, and adventure all into one wonderfully-crafted novel.

In this Knight and Rogue novel, Sir Michael and his squire Fisk set off for Fisk's home in order to investigate murders, fires, and blackmail that have upset Fisk's family. Complications arise as Michael is found out to be unredeemed (an unredeemed man has no legal rights and is generally looked down upon), and he is framed by the unknown arsonist. Through a series of interrogations of suspects and the families of the deceased, Michael and Fisk unknowingly move closer to solving this mystery despite their troubles with the law. But will they succeed before Fisk's family is forced to move?

Michael and Fisk prove to be worthy detectives, reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes and Watson. They create the perfect balance with their contrasting yet complementary personalities. Even more so, the novel alternates between the two, so readers get to know both of them pretty well. The alternation between perspectives also doesn't slow down the novel despite the differences between the two. Sensible, clever, and comical Fisk is the foil to the idealistic, honorable, and naïve Michael. Their witty banters (most of which were started by Fisk) create comic relief. So whether you're more like Michael or more like Fisk, they both have many likeable qualities that are relatable. What I liked was how consistent the book was that I never once mixed up the characters' viewpoints, yet I can definitely see how Michael and Fisk mature throughout the story (while still retaining their core characteristics).

The plot was cleverly-devised and original, especially since it was a detective story set in a medieval setting. Even though the plot's main focal point is on the mystery, Bell also incorporates Fisk's background with his family. Fisk does his best to solve the mystery, risking his and Michael's life in the process, due to his loyalty to his family.

Bell creates great descriptions without sounding too gaudy. The chase scenes, fires, questionings, and their limited time made the story all the more thrilling. A lot is at stake for solving the mystery would supposedly restore Fisk's family's name, bring light to the deaths of the victims, clear Michael of the suspected arson charges, and reveal the true mastermind behind all the crimes.

My only complaint is that I wish the novel had gotten more in depth with Michael's slight magical ability, though it is explained that he didn't trust it. Otherwise, it was a great novel, and I look forward to reading more of Hilari Bell's works.

Note: Also reviewed for HarperTeen. ( )
  imperfectionist | Jul 15, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060825065, Hardcover)

The Boys Are Back!

Sir Michael Sevenson and his squire, Fisk, can't seem to keep out of hot water. After five long years, Fisk has been called home to Ruesport to investigate who framed his sister Anna's husband, Max, as a blackmailer. Anna figures that Fisk, with his criminal past, is uniquely qualified to find out who set Max up. Of course Michael feels he has to come along to help his friend; but now he wears the tattoos of the unredeemed and fears he might be more hindrance than help.

As in The Last Knight, Hilari Bell's first Knight and Rogue novel, Rogue's Home combines the banter of a buddy story with elements of classic fantasy, medieval derring-do, and mystery. Michael and Fisk are likable guys who just seem to he magnets for trouble. You never know what is going to happen to these would-be heroes next.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:29 -0400)

In alternate chapters, eighteen-year-old Sir Michael Sevenson, an anachronistic knight errant, and seventeen-year-old Fisk, his street-wise squire, tell of their journey to Ruesport, Fisk's home town, to investigate blackmail and a series of suspicious fires.… (more)

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