The three interlocking novellas in this collection, all previously published, make for a rousing prelude to Martin's bestselling Song of Ice and Fire saga. Set 90 years before the events in A Game of Thrones, they chronicle the experiences of Ser Duncan the Tall, a humble hedge knight whose honorable comportment is often at odds with the schemes of the royals who rule the Seven Kingdoms. In "The Hedge Knight," Duncan is forced to fight a brutal trial by combat for defending a commoner against a cruel prince's son. In both "The Sworn Sword" and "The Mystery Knight," Duncan advances further toward fulfilling his destiny as a knight of the Kingsguard, foreseen in dreams throughout the stories. The stories are top-heavy with tournaments and bloody battles, but also rich in human drama and the colorful worldbuilding that distinguishes other books in the series. The appearance of youthful versions of characters who figure in the later novels makes this collection a must-read for Martin's legions of fans.
A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R.R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.
Almost a century before A Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros…
In an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and recollections of the last dragon have not yet passed from living memory, a naïve but courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, towers above his rivals – in stature if not experience.
Tagging along with him is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg, whose true identity must be kept hidden: for in reality he is Aegon Targaryen, and one day he will be king. Improbable heroes though they be, great destinies lie ahead for Dunk and Egg; as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a collection of three novellas that are set a generation or two before the events of A Song and Ice and Fire. In the third person perspective, we follow Dunk or as he tailors himself – Ser Duncan the Tall. The first narrative is named The Hedge Knight and we are presented to our protagonist as he is burying his former mentor for whom he used to squire. It’s a touching start, and an interesting introduction to Dunk. He is planning to go to a tourney in Ashford and at a crossroads inn he meets Egg, who he assumes is a stable boy. This boy decides to follow Dunk without permission, wanting to squire for him, and eventually it transpires that he is of royal blood and would eventually become Aegon V, protector of the realm, etc… He is the brother of Aemon Targaryen who becomes Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and at this time Bloodraven is the Hand of the King. This is the gentleman who becomes the three-eyed-raven.
At 17 years old, almost 7-foot-tall, strong and with weight and reach in his favour, Dunk is a formidable Hedge Knight. Essentially, he is a Knight who travels throughout the 7 Kingdoms doing jobs he deems true and honourable for coin. Dunk is as true and decent as any Knight you would have read about in A Song of Ice and Fire and there is a fan theory that Brienne is a descendant of his and I can totally believe that. We are presented the tale from his mind and he talks himself down over explaining his stupidity. I never really saw him as being dim. He can’t read, he has never kissed a girl and he doesn’t really have people skills but some of the supporting cast and villains who can and have done these come across as more vile and horrid when reflected against Dunk’s honesty, loyalty and general goodheartedness.
Egg is a pretty amazing character. Even though he has Targaryen purple eyes he shaves his head so his gold/silver hair doesn’t make it completely obvious regarding his lineage. And he has a silly straw hat! He is described as being as wise as a maester but still only 10. He knows the history of the majority of the nation’s houses and can name who someone is just by seeing the paintwork on their shields. He is also quick of tongue sometimes to his detriment, especially when these 3 novella’s often discuss the Targaryan Blackfyre rebellion and hints at seeds of which are still spread throughout the land. I read this after I read GRRM’s Fire and Blood and the knowledge I gained regarding the Targaryan’s there did enhance my experience although it isn’t truly necessary to read in that order. I think this could be thoroughly enjoyed by someone who has not yet read the main series. It’s not all pretty and it does feature numerous deaths, violence and backstabbing but from Dunk’s perspective, these stories present a lot more hope and goodness than we are accustomed to from a typical Westeros tale.