About the Book
Title: The Fool’s Apprentice
Author: Kelly Hess
Genre: YA Fantasy
In the kingdom of Dragon's Launch, young Denrikk's aspirations of becoming a knight are dashed when he is instead apprenticed to the king's fool. Embarrassed and devastated that his new position will ruin all hopes of winning the hand of the girl he loves--the princess Alendria-- Denrikk reluctantly begins training under his new master, Fumbles, the king's aging fool. He quickly learns, however, that being a fool in Dragon's Launch is much more than juggling and laughing like a hyena.
But when a shocking murder within the castle walls shakes the palace, all evidence points toward Denrikk. Now, with his new skills, a bit of luck, and the help of some unlikely friends, the fool's apprentice must race to prove his innocence, all while evading capture.
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Denrikk sighed. “Please, call me Denrikk. It’s my true name.”
“It will be my honor, friend Denrikk,” the prince proclaimed.
Denrikk rolled his eyes. Did royalty always speak
And the prince didn’t stop there. Kaleb spewed forth a
constant and continuous stream of commentary and questions
for the next several hours.
By the time the sun was high in the sky and they had stopped
to water their horses, Kaleb had told Denrikk all there was to
know about Falcon’s Ridge and the steadily growing rebellion
there. Kaleb was of the obvious opinion that the people rising
against the kingdom were ungrateful peasants who couldn’t
understand the intricacies of running a kingdom.
Falcon’s Ridge had, in recent years, ended a long-going and
costly war with Lion’s Hollow and in order to rebuild and
maintain the kingdom, King Weston had sharply raised taxes
on his people. With no foreseeable relief in sight, some in the
kingdom had begun to openly rebel against the royalty.
“They simply will not concede that in difficult times, sacrifices
must be made,” Kaleb complained to Denrikk as they
stretched their legs during the short respite from travel.
“What exactly have you sacrificed?” Denrikk asked the
“Pardon me?” Kaleb appeared stunned by the bold question.
“You said that sacrifices must be made,” Denrikk reminded
him. “What sacrifices have you made?”
“Denrikk, we are of noble birth. We are not serfs,” Kaleb
scoffed. “It has forever been the burden of the common man to
provide for the kingdom that protects his family and his land.
But if you must know, several of our estates in the eastern hills
have fallen into disrepair. And we have had to cancel two, no
three, state dinners with foreign ambassadors so as to avoid
the appearance of squandering.”
“To avoid the appearance of squandering,” Denrikk
repeated Kaleb’s words back to him. “How many actual meals
have your people had to skip because they cannot afford to
put food on their tables?”
Kaleb raised his chin. “Of course we sacrifice in different
ways, but we all endure our hardships.”
Denrikk shook his head. “Somehow, I think a man who
hasn’t eaten in days wouldn’t consider your eastern estates
falling into disrepair as much of a hardship.”
Kelly Hess is the author of the BlackMyst Trilogy. Kelly grew up with a love of reading science fiction and fantasy which inspired him to write his own books for young readers. He lives in Vacaville, California with his wife and son where he is currently working on his next adventure.