Friday, February 19, 2016

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Book Review

 by The Wanderer

Author: George R. R. Martin
Publisher: Bantam
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (Dunk and Egg 1-3)
Pages: 368

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Bald King Arthur and His Oafish (but lovable) Knight

It's going to be hard to write this review, mainly due to the fact that I had written a nice lengthy review of the three novellas that make up Martin's A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, that was unfortunately deleted a couple months ago. 

But such is life.

We've reviewed collections of stories before and we calculate the score of those compendiums based off the average score of each writing involved. With this grouping of the Dunk and Egg stories, it will be no different. So without further ado, here is the shorter version of the original review we lost, a couple months ago and never originally got to publish.

The Hedge Knight

Plot Synopsis: A squire named Duncan, finds his master dead one morning. He inherits his meager possessions and his profession, thus becoming a knight. His first task is to prove himself worthy of the title, and he enters a tournament at Ashford while picking up a squire named Egg who turns out to be more than what he seems.

The Hedge Knight takes awhile to get going. For the first eighty pages I even forgot I was reading a George R.R. Martin story ... that was until George R.R. Martin reminded me of who he was. The last forty pages are a cluster fuck of violence, despair, and tragedy that have larger implications on his world at large, whilst still attaching me to the smaller, but no less important, characters in this time-frame.

Score: 9.0


The Sworn Sword

(contains spoilers for The Hedge Knight)

Plot Synopsis:  Dunk has officially adopted Egg has his squire, but as he's sworn to do, he keeps his identity secret. Having headed into the Reach, he enters into the service of Ser Eustace Osgrey of Steadfast.  Dunk and Egg soon find themselves in another conflict when a dam is built that stops water from flowing onto Osgrey's land.

This conflict between two minor lords may drive the story, but it's the historical details the reader learns about, and the major players in the Blackfyre Rebellion that really make it fun to read. A good deal more light is shed upon BloodRaven, and anyone who's reading A Song of Ice and Fire who wants to learn more about this character, you've come to the right spot. Osgrey's rival, Lady Rohanne, proves to be another well crafted female character by Martin and she adds moral complexity.

Score: 9.5


The Mystery Knight 

(contains spoilers for The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword)

Plot Synopsis: Dunk and Egg begin their journey to the North where they hope to take service with Beron Stark in his war against the Greyjoy's. Their journey comes to a stop when they decide to enlist in the tourney at Lord Butterwell's where the prize is a Dragon's Egg.

The Mystery Knight bares a lot of similarities to the The Hedge Knight. Mainly because both take place at a tourney, and the stakes, although not present at first, are higher than winning the tourney itself. Although there is some redundancy, this novella picks up the pace pretty quick, and then goes off on a direction of its own. Again more light is shed on BloodRaven, and a four year old Walder Frey also makes a brief appearance. There's not a lot more I can say without spoiling this plot, so I'll leave it at this.

Score: 9.2

Aggregate Score: 9.2


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