One Good Knight
|Series||Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms|
|Publisher||LUNA Books (Harlequin Enterprises)|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|LC Class||CPB Box no. 2660 vol. 7|
|Preceded by||The Fairy Godmother|
|Followed by||Fortune's Fool|
One Good Knight (2006) is the second novel in the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series by Mercedes Lackey. Characters from the first novel The Fairy Godmother are either mentioned or appear as secondary characters.
The story is set in Acadia, which is ruled by its queen, Cassiopeia and her adviser and magician, Solon. Princess Andromeda (Andie) is highly intelligent, finds life in the royal palace dull, and seeks the approval of her mother. When she comes up with the idea of writing up what she's learned from her studies into actionable reports for her mother's chief adviser, she finally gets the acceptance she so craves. Her mother and the adviser call on her assistance in identifying problems, researching difficult points of law, and even give her a new staff with instructions to make her look better.
When Andie finds reports that relate Acadia's wealth to mysterious shipwrecks, the plot becomes complicated. A dragon shows up on Acadia, even though there hasn't been one in the country's entire previous history. Traditionally, marauding dragons are soothed only by a virgin sacrifice so the frightened people of Acadia devise a lottery system to choose the victims, while they await a Champion. However something is preventing the sent-for Champions from coming to the kingdom. When Andie is chosen as sacrificial victim she plans to escape.
When Andie is tied up awaiting the dragon and busy retrieving picklocks from her hair to release herself, Sir George arrives to confront the dragon; who despite being an excellent fighter is unable to finish off the dragon. Perplexed by the events, Andie offers to help Sir George track the dragon to its lair and complete their job. When George and Andie find the dragon, they discover another problem, there are two dragons being guarded by a group of angry virgins.
The group are able to resolve any misunderstandings and get to the root of the problem. A wizard cast a spell, calling the dragons, Adamant and his brother Periapt, to Acadia. The dragons weren't too keen on this idea, and decided to try and rectify things. Sir George is able to clear things up by explaining why he was sent over. The wizard cast a barrier around the kingdom; a clause in his spell prevents any man from entering.
However, George is no man, instead George is Gina, a female Champion. Andie realizes that the wizard can only be Solon, who secretly has been manipulating Cassiopeia the whole time. The motley group decide they need to stop him. With the Tradition helping them, Gina training the girls and Andie and Periapt on tactical side, they seem unstoppable. Unfortunately Andie is reluctant to face off her mother; she is even more distressed when she realizes she has fallen in love with Periapt.
The climactic battle becomes a fight for life and things scale out of control when the Royal Palace starts burning down. Godmother Elena arrives to sort things out, when it seems that Andie can’t let go of Periapt, who declares his love for Andie, and Gina and Adamant reveal they’re in love as well. Using the Tradition, Elena is able to transform Gina into a dragon and Periapt into a man. The two couples have a double wedding, Andie and Periapt watch as the two dragons fly off for a honeymoon.
Saint George reference
Sir George/Gina as depicted in the book is clearly inspired by - and intended as antithesis to - the figure of Saint George, depicted in Christian Mythology as killing a dragon in order to save a threatened virgin.