The Knights and the Best Quest by Kaye Umansky

(8.0/10) I liked the humour, puns and general feel of the novel

What promises to be King Arthur, laughs, dragons and adventure proves to be that in spades. The Knights of the Drop Leaf Table was last year's hilarious novel where Arthurian legend became full of laughs and hearty japes with characters like King Artie and Queen Gwinny, knights like Sir Percy, Sir Prancelot, and Sir Bone De Gannet and Sir Angela (a girl in disguise), but don't get me started on the horses, they can't be trusted, especially Gnasher and Breakwind.

The knights have decided to go on a quest to see who is the best knight and the one who gets the most points wins a prize from one of the royals - an old silver goblet handed out by Artie and Gwinny that's been in their loft for a long while. A mickey take on the old Grail legend, Kaye has these plucky knights set off on their unlucky steeds; who knows what awaits them. Their quest length is 3 days as rain is forecast on a Thursday! And before they go, they will have to work out a points system for rescuing damsels, fighting a dragon and finding swords (especially in a lake).

In The Knights and the Best Quest, Kaye gives readers a taste of how she introduces young readers to spelling by showing them through how bungling the knights are when they try to sort out their points system. A chalk and blackboard later sees the six heroes plan what daring feats they will go through and how many points they should make, and how they will get the proof they have done said feat. They also must be able to get the spelling right, and there is only Sir Percy who has a hard time, but lucky for him there is Sir Angela to help him out. Kaye points out the importance of correct spelling by showing the wrong way a word is spelled and the correct way: treser/ treasure.

Kaye's story and comedic situations based on what was thought to be based on fantastic events, including a girl character make it funnier. As far as the quest goes, not everyone is doing so well, Sir Prancelot is going for the big one, a maximum of 10 points to slay the dragon, while others go for the damsels in distress, Sir Angela needs something more interesting. Nothing is what it seems in this story, the characters are different enough to get the laughs and I liked the humour, puns and general feel of the novel, but the horses names surprised me the most. The true stars of this novel though are King Artie and Queen Gwinny, Sir Angela and the dragon.

Kaye is the author of best-selling novels Pass the Jam, Jim and Pongwiffy and Witch of a Week, all funny and very readable.

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