The Incorporated Knight
Infobox Book |
name = The Incorporated Knight
image_caption = first edition of "The Incorporated Knight"
L. Sprague de Campand Catherine Crook de Camp
cover_artist = Victoria Poyser
language = English
release_date = 1987
media_type = Print (Hardback)
pages = 191 pp
isbn = ISBN 0932096468
The Pixilated Peeress
"The Incorporated Knight" is a
fantasynovel written by L. Sprague de Campand Catherine Crook de Camp, the first book in a sequence of two. Chapters 1-5 first appeared as the short stories "Two Yards of Dragon", "The Coronet", "Spider Love" and "Eudoric's Unicorn" in " Flashing Swords!", " The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction" and "The Year's Best Fantasy Stories" in 1976-1977. The complete novel was first published in hardcover by Phantasia Pressin 1987, and in paperback by Baen Booksin 1988.
Squire Eudoric Damberson of Zurgau wishes to wed Lusina, the daughter of his former tutor, the magician Doctor Baldonius. The price is attaining the status of knight and supplying the magician with a portion of dragon hide for use in his magic. Dragons are locally scarce, so Eudoric and his trusty servant Jillo set out for Pathenia to slay one. But once the two do manage to bring one down (by accident) they face legal complications for violating the local game laws. Returning, Eudoric finds his promised bride run off and his feudal lord Baron Emmerhard disinclined to knight him for his heroic exploit; he consoles himself by pursuing a scheme to establish a stagecoach line like those in Pathenia. A subsequent rescue of Emmerhard from a magic spell finally secures him the knighthood, but he remains unlucky in love, as the baron's daughter also shuns his hand. Next he pursues the daughter of Rainmar, a local robber baron who has been raiding his coach line. Rainmar tasks him with slaying the giant spider Fraka, and once again matters go awry. While Eudoric's knightly reputation and stage line prosper, his marriage prospects remain nil. The pattern is repeated when he is commissioned to capture a unicorn for his ultimate overlord Emperor Thorar IX of the New Napolitanian Empire. But when he seeks to extend his stage line into a neighboring kingdom and is sent to rescue its princess wedded bliss finally finds him — or does it? For it seems she is a female
Bluebeard, an enchantress who regularly collects husbands and petrifies them as she tires of them...
"The Incorporated Knight" and its sequel "
The Pixilated Peeress" are both set in the medieval era of an alternate world sharing the geography of our own, but in which a "Napolitanian" (Neapolitan) empire filled the role of Rome and no universal religion like Christianity ever arose, leaving its nations split among competing pagan sects. The New Napolitanian Empire of which Eudoric is a subject roughly corresponds to our world's Holy Roman Empire, or Germany, while the lands he visits to the west are cognates of Franceand Brittany. The geography of more eastern regions is borrowed in part from the fanciful regions portrayed in "Mandeville's Travels". In keeping with the character of de Camp's fantasy world as a cognate of our own, its place names tend to echo those of the real world. For instance, the city of Letitia, which Eudoric visits, is a variation on Lutetia, the ancient name of Paris.
*cite book | last=Chalker | first=Jack L. | authorlink=Jack L. Chalker | coauthors=Mark Owings | title=The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998 | location=Westminster, MD and Baltimore | publisher=Mirage Press, Ltd.| pages=511 | date=1998
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