Thursday, 19 June 2014

Knightmare Life Stinks! by Peter Bently (Children's, 5 years +, 10E/10E)

April 2014, Stripes Publishing, 176 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Themes: a knight's life, duel, jousting, jester, squire, many armour pieces, trusty horse, exaggerations, fame, deception,

Content: occasional hilarious major peril, extremely funny,

Summary from Little Tiger Press
Cedric Thatchbottom can’t wait to train as a squire, serving Sir Percy the Proud – a knight famed throughout the land for his glorious deeds. But this famous knight isn’t all he appears to be, and Cedric soon finds himself being run ragged around Castle Bombast by his new master.

In the first book in the Knightmare series, Roland the Rotten has challenged Percy the Proud to a duel. But the famous knight refuses to take part because he’s lost his lucky underpants. It turns out that Percy is lying to avoid the fight. With his new master’s reputation at stake, Cedric finds himself stepping up to the challenge…

Nayuleska's thoughts
I nearly passed on reading about Cedric's life as a squire, but it looked a fun read, especially after checking out page 100 as suggested on the back cover had me giggling away. Hopefully you'll understand and not be offended when I say this has boy humour bursting from the spine. There is hardly a girl in sight - the ladies of court are pretty bleh (go Nayu for using not so eloquent adjectives...) - yet I loved every part of this - even the leeches and page 100 incident.

Cedric has his work cut out for him in tending to Sir Percy's every need, without much of a break or a reward. As Sir Percy's squire he gets caught up in Sir Percy's wrongdoings against Sir Roland, which are memorable and funny. Okay so they aren't funny at the time Cedric endures them - he didn't expect to get so up close and personal with Sir Roland or have his life flash before his eyes. But Cedric finds fun in the form of his friend, Patchcoat the jester who is a jester of many talents.

The illustrations are fairly frequent and enhance the hilarity of each scene. I giggled away at seeing the guard robe advert, and I liked the page with ads - Bonesetter Bertha's catchphrase is rather clever. This is book to laugh over again and again for both boys, who I suspect are the intended audience, and girls who have a sense of humour.

Find out more on Peter's website.

Suggested read
Another knightly quest can be found in The Dragon's Dentist  by John McLay & Martin Brown (Children's, 5 years +, 10/10E)

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