📚 A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin

Reviewed May 2019

Narrator: Harry Lloud
Length: 10 hours
Publisher: Random House Audio⎮2015

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Summary

Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, 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. These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness.

Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there were Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve, but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals - in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg - whose true name (hidden from all he and Dunk encounter) is Aegon Targaryen. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lie ahead for these two...as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn't dead - yet.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn't hers...

The Audiobookworm's Review

Rating: 4.25 Stars

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a single audiobook comprised of three previously individually published tales from the Dunk and Egg "spinoff series" (or whatever you want to call it). The events in these stories take place approximately 90 years before the start of the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

I read all three of the Dunk and Egg tales between 2010 and 2015, but I've never heard them on audio. As soon as I discovered Harry Lloyd was narrating, I knew I had to listen. Lloyd plays Prince Viserys Targaryen in the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones.

The three tales are as follows: The Hedge Knight (D&E #1), The Sworn Sword (D&E #2), and The Mystery Knight (D&E #3). I appreciated that A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms packaged all three of these tales in one audiobook, instead of having to purchase three different anthologies, as I did with the books.

I always knew this series would be something that I would revisit in the future. Each of the stories is around four or five hours long, so it wasn't a huge undertaking, unlike A Song of Ice and Fire. Going into this audiobook, I could still vaguely recall the plots of the first two stories. I knew the first one was about the tourney at Harrenhal and the second was about two smaller warring houses. My opinions about those two didn't really change after hearing this audiobook. I remember originally loving The Hedge Night, the first tale. Baelor Breakspear was the breakout character for me. I loved him so much that I actually named a foster dog after him back in 2010. I still really enjoyed it this time around.

I enjoyed The Sworn Sword a little more this time, maybe because I understood it slightly better, but it still my least favorite of the three. I understood it even more after hearing the tale that comes after it, though. The primary plot of The Sworn Sword isn't necessarily what should be focused on. The big takeaway for me was all the mention of the Blackfyre rebellion, treason, and so on, because that carries us into the next tale, where such themes are more prominent. If you go into The Sworn Sword knowing its tension is framed by the first Blackfyre rebellion, it really sets the scene for you and highlights your priorities as a reader/listener. I wish I had known that the first time and I even sort of wish I had heard The Sworn Sword after the third tale.

The Mystery Knight is my second favorite. It doesn't top The Hedge Knight for me (because Baelor!), but I had the best experience with it this time around. I remembered practically nothing from my initial reading for years ago and I actually kept questioning if I had read The Mystery Knight at all. After about 75%, I knew that I had. Even so, I was still swerved by the identity of The Mystery Knight. Out of all of the Dunk and Egg tales, this is probably the one that I will revisit soonest. I feel like I wasn't able to fully digest everything in it and I hope to be able to hear it as a refresher before beginning #4 (whenever that may be…).

On that note, I really loved the little author's note George left us at the end of the audiobook. He says that Dunk and Egg's adventures have only just begun and they will travel to Winterfell, Dorne, everywhere in between, and even to Essos and beyond. Talk about exciting! That's the way to hype a series. I'm so pumped for it. I can't wait to see Dunk hook up with a lass and start his line that will eventually lead to Brienne of Tarth (He's her ancestor- George confirmed). I wonder how far into their lifespans George will take us and if we will see Egg on the throne or even the tragedy at Summerhall! I have so many questions...

Narration review: I flipping love Harry Lloyd. I mean, my love for him pre-dates my listening to this audiobook, but this has only strengthened it. He is so immensely talented that it's unfair. It's actually unfair to other people. His narration of this audiobook was out of this world! They were so many characters in these stories and he gave them all distinct voices and accents, even those who didn't significantly impact the stories. Lloyd is a brilliant actor and he brings every bit of that into the recording booth for this audiobook. Do yourself a favor and listen. It's the perfect "hair of the dog" cure for the hot mess that was the HBO finale. ♣︎

Let me know what you think!

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