Monday, 9 May 2016

Book review: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Something of a prequel to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms takes place in his fictional world of Westeros about 100 years before the events of A Game of Thrones, and collects three novellas Martin had previously published separately about Dunk and Egg. The former is a hedge knight - a wandering knight who doesn't owe allegiance to any particular house or lord - and the latter his 11-year-old squire, but secretly a prince of the ruling Targaryen family. Compared to the intrigues of the main novels these prequels are pretty straightforward - Dunk earns his spurs at a tournament, helps an elderly knight fend off his aggressive neighbour, and then gets caught up in a political plot at another tournament - and not quite as full of gratuitous sex and violence (I mean, loads of people die, several horses come to a sticky end and someone's brains fall out, but I did say this was in comparison to A Song of Ice and Fire.) It's kind of like a violent fairytale, enjoyable but Martin's claim in the epilogue that many more Dunk and Egg stories will follow might be a bit optimistic, given the speed at which he writes.

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