Book Review: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin(2015)

This novel consists of three novellas written between 1998 and 2010.  They focus on Dunk(Sir Duncan the Tall) and Egg(Aegon Targaryen the future King).  There is a lot less gratuitous sex and violence in these stories, as they focus more on the relationship between knight and squire.

A KnightThe first novella, The Hedge Knight, introduces us to our protagonists.  Dunk is introduced burying his old master, and soon encounters an insolent youth at an inn who soon tags along and essentially assumes the position of squire.  This of course is Egg, travelling in disguise.  The story begins to lay down the dynamic between the two, as well as the complications that arise when Egg’s identity is revealed.

The second novella, The Sworn Sword, shows us Dunk and Egg on a job, working for a small lord who rules over a run-down keep.  Dunk is forced to resolve a dispute between Ser Osgrey and Lady Webber before it ends up in bloodshed.  It shows that he is very much a man of honour, and values all life.  He truly tries to live up to the title of Knight in all things.

The third novella, The Mystery Knight, picks up with Dunk and Egg travelling to a nearby wedding.  They go seeking both food and fortune in the tournament celebrating Lord Butterwell of Whitewalls marriage to one of the Freys.  In the process they accidentally uncover the start of another Blackfyre Rebellion and have to work to save both themselves and the kingdom.

I really enjoyed these three stories, and found both Duncan and Egg to be likeable characters.  Dunk, even though he is aware of his squire’s standing, still treats him as such, wanting him to know the kingdom and it’s people.  The shorter length of the tales ensures that they are well paced and have strong resolutions.  There’s no unnecessary subplots here.  Honestly, if someone wanted to get into Game of Thrones but couldn’t get into the main series, I’d completely recommend this.  It is written in a slightly different style(in part due to everything being from Duncan’s point of view), and are simpler stories overall.  I recommend it!

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