ARC Review: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

Title: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
Author: Jamie Pacton
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 384 Pages
Published May 2020

Summary: Working as a wench ― i.e. waitress ― at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college. Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.

Author Jamie Pacton was awesome enough to send me a copy of Kit for review after I had Tweeted about being devastated about my senior year of college being cut short due to COVID-19. As an act of kindness, she offered to send me a copy, although when we had originally agreed to do a debut author interview, we weren't getting a review copy. This was send to me solely to cheer me up and to give me something great to read during a time where I was feeling nothing but sadness. And let me say, I am *so* grateful to Jamie for all of her kindness, because it's almost 11:30pm when I'm writing this review, and I just finished Kit, and I need to get all of my gushing words out now before I go to sleep because this book was just THAT good. So without further ado, let's get into my review!

As the summary explains, Kit Sweetly finds herself working at the Castle, which is basically just the story's version of a Medieval Times. She's stuck as a serving wench, when all she really wants to be is a knight like her brother, Chris. But the Castle's corporate goons won't allow it, since they say that only men can be knights. That is, until the night that Kit secretly stands in for her brother, but then reveals herself to everyone and finds herself subjected to internet fame. It's then that she has the idea to finally turn her quest to be a Girl Knight into a movement...and what happens next will shock you.

I absolutely LOVED this book. I tore through it from start to finish and could hardly put it down. It was so awesome to see Kit fighting so hard for what she believed in, and refusing to take no for an answer no matter what hurdles were put in her way. Her story really was a lesson on never giving up on your goals, no matter how many people tell you no. And it was super inspiring to see all of her friends gathering with her as part of the movement, and seeing society's reaction to it. I also learned a lot about Medieval culture that I didn't know prior to reading this book -- such as all of the amazing, badass female fighters and knights that were part of the Middle Ages. You get a good dose of history along with a great story! 

Something else that really made me smile about this book was just the whole Medieval Times aspect in and of itself. Emily and I actually went to a Medieval Times show with our families years ago when we were younger, and I remember how exciting it was as an audience member. I had no idea about the stuff that went on behind the scenes, and never put much thought into the personal lives people had outside of the show, so this book gave me a glimpse of that and it was really interesting to see! It also made me miss the show, so I think I might have to talk to Emily and Amber about a day trip once the world is safe to go out in again...

Overall, I absolutely loved The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly, and I would one hundred percent recommend this book to anyone looking for an empowering read that features a cheesy theme restaurant, lots of all-gender power, and just a hilarious and heartwarming story that will keep you invested from start to finish. I'd like to one again thank Jamie for being kind enough to send me a review copy -- and let me take a second to stress that she has NO idea about this review; I did not send it to her prior to publication or even after. So if she stumbles upon it herself, *waves* Hi Jamie! But I can confirm that all of my gushy feelings about this book are 100% genuine and that you guys need it on your TBR as soon as possible. I'm so glad to have found such a fantastic debut author, and I'll definitely be reading more of Jamie's work in the future!

Also -- if you're interested in checking out our debut interview with Jamie, you can find it here!


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