A girl fights to modernize her medieval workplace in this energetic debut.
Seventeen-year-old Serving Wench Kit Sweetly wants to fight like her older brother, Chris, the Red Knight. After all, it’s the 21st century, and the Castle might be a medieval-themed restaurant chain, but corporate policy limits knighthood to males. History nerd Kit rejects the myths (embraced by historically uninformed white supremacists) that medieval European societies were all-white and patriarchal and soon recruits others to her cause. Secretly, she’s fighting not just for equality, but also for her future: Kit needs more money. Kit, Chris, and their mother are working poor, facing daily problems like power cuts, missed bills, mystery meals, and, now, imperiled college dreams. Pacton offers some historical tidbits but revels in pop-culture medieval fantasy references, invoking Joan of Arc alongside fictional characters from The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and even the cheese-tastic, knowingly anachronistic A Knight’s Tale. Kit is white, and her fellow workers are diverse in race, gender, and orientation—best friend Layla is black, and emphatically not-boyfriend (because they don’t want to risk ruining their friendship) Jett is half Indian/half Russian and all suave, while Kit’s recruits are Chinese American, nonbinary, and trans.
A rousing, funny, feminist workplace romp that also takes a frank look at modern poverty.(Humor. 14-18)