Literature / The Apprentice Rogue
After five years of apprenticeship, Artamos De'spada travels north on a trial mission that will bring him to the climax of his training in the king's secretive Black Knight society. Accompanying him is his mentor, Adrian Rizzo "Rizz", and fellow Black Knight, Falita Kain.Artamos's mission is simple; escort of the king's betrothed safely from the Cromanian boarder to Caltania. It's a five day travel in which Artamos is required to lead Rizz, Falita, and others. But the trip is wrought with danger, and while Artamos struggles to maintain command in the face of his youth he must work to protect the king's betrothed from bandits while facing forbidden love and betrayal.
- Anti-Hero: Falita isn't interested in 'kingdom's peace' ideas and aspires to be assigned to guard a noblelady because it would mean more creature comforts.
- The Apprentice: Artamos is a apprentice black knight. This mission is his test to become a full fledged member.
- Arranged Marriage: The premise of the plot; a princess from a neighboring kingdom has been engaged to the local king and needs an escort to the ceremony and her new home.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: To an onlooker Artamos' formal induction to the Black Knight's is a big to-do. All he himself can think about is how he has betrayed his king by having sex with his bride-to-be.
- Big Bad: Averted. There is no head villain but there is still an Evil Plan.
- Celibate Hero: One of a Black Knight's vows is celibacy.
- Character Death: Rizz is accidentally slain by Falita during her theft of Leona's necklace.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Deconstructed. This story shows what a real life princess could expect; cloistered to preserve her chasity and then married off for political alliance without her input.
- Evil Plan:
- Falita wants to steal Leona's necklace.
- Leona wants to seduce her bodyguard as an act of rebellion against her cloistered upbringing.
- Face–Heel Turn: Falita betrays the Order and her kingdom by stealing Leaoa's necklace and running away. The sequel sample confirms that she's become a criminal.
- Fatal Flaw: Falita is consumed by her greed and steals Leona's necklace, which leads to tragedy. She even takes the hemp string on the necklace, despite recognizing that it was worthless, because it was part of the necklace. The narration notes that she might have gotten away clean if she didn't take the string.
- The Good King: Artamos feels horrible about giving into his feelings for Leona because his king is such a benevolent and trusting guy.
- Greed: Falita's greed is set up in the first chapter when she plunders a corpse. As a child and even as an adult she would steal things and then forget about them; she simply wanted to take them.
- Jurisdiction Friction: This mission is Artamos' responsibility so he has to enforce his authority over the knights from both his own kingdom and his charge's kingdom; both of them think they should be in charge.
- Knife Nut: Black Knights prefer short weapons like daggers and short swords to a BFS becuase it would conflict with their fighting style.
- Love at First Sight: This is what Artamos feels when he sees Leona. She admits to the same at the end, just before they have sex.
- Mcninja:The Black Knights are stealthy, have an evasive fighting style, go on covert missions, and wear black; they're like ninjas from the British Isles.
- Rebellious Princess: Downplayed. While Leona is willing to go along with her arranged marriage she is not completely docile. She rebels by seducing her bodyguard and having sex with him on the night before her wedding to her bodyguard's boss.
- Who Watches the Watchmen?: Artamos's job is to prevent Leona from coming to harm on her way to her wedding. This includes preventing physical harm and threats to her virginity. In the classical meaning of the phrase, he is the one that has sex with her.