Title: Have Sword, Will Travel
Author: Garth Nix and Sean Williams
When Odo and Eleanor go fishing for eels in the drying up Silverrun river, they never expected to find a sword. Odo accidentally woke it up, which is how they discovered Biter was not just a sword, but an enchanted sword with very firm ideas about the knight who would wield him.
This was okay. Odo is the cautious and strong side of the partnership, whereas Eleanor is the quick and clever. Odo is also the one who doesn’t care about going on an adventure, which of course means he’s the one to end up with Biter. Between Biter and Eleanor, he doesn’t have a chance to say no.
I liked the unexpected way Eleanor’s jealousy played out. Both of them are hoping Biter can be convinced to take another master eventually, but then Eleanor tries to take matters into her own hands and ends up with a possible curse to figure out. And when they meet a female knight, both of them realize it’s not going to be as easy as letting someone else go after the dragon blocking the river.
Biter has as much personality as both kids. His insistence on doing things according to knightly rules can be amusing.
I do find myself rolling my eyes at the second confrontation with the knight. The kids have had mere days of training, and that while on the road. Sure, the enchanted weapon helps, but the victory is implied to be skill-based, not random luck. Perhaps I’m spoiled by my recent reading, which featured a much more in-depth depiction of the skills required to make a knight.
Overall this isn’t bad, but it didn’t really grab me either. I rate this book Recommended.