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Book Review

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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (Hardback)


Author: George R.R. Martin
Publisher: Harper Voyager
RRP: £20.00
ISBN: 978 0 00750767 2
Publication Date: 06 October 2015

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (2015. 355 pages) is an unusual book by George R. R. Martin as it consists exclusively of previously published material.

Like Tolkien, Martin has spent time outside of his main series, A Song of Fire and Ice, which kicked off with A Game of Thrones (1996) to further explore elements of Westeros which do not appear in the main text.

As such he created two new characters, Dunk, previously a squire himself, and his new squire Egg. Their tales are set about ninety years in the past, when the Targaryens still ruled. I would take the ninety years with a pinch of salt as, at least, two characters who appear in the Dunk and Egg stories are still alive when Robb Stark makes his fateful journey south.

The book contains three previously published novellas, The Hedge Knight (1998), The Sworn Sword (2004) and The Mystery Knight (2010) and it may be for many fans that they missed them the first time they were published. For reader of the main series Dunk and Egg are referenced on more than one occasion, although by the culmination of his adventures Dunk would become, Ser Duncan, Commander of the Kingsguard and Egg would be revealed as King Aegon.

The first two of the tales have already been made into graphic novels, but for the book there are over one hundred and sixty illustrations by Gar Gianni, wonderfully detailed pen and ink drawings, consisting of anything from full page spreads to little character studies.

The overall tone of the stories is much lighter than A Song of Fire and Ice and Martin is not above paying homage, in a humorous manner, to his own heroes, Gorman Peake indeed! Martin still writes as well as ever and if you missed these stories in the original anthologies this is a wonderful way of catching up with them.


Charles Packer

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