A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

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Overview

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin, Gary Gianni

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LOS ANGELES TIMES AND BUZZFEED • 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 was 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 is hidden from all he and Dunk encounter. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two . . . as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.
 
Featuring more than 160 all-new illustrations by Gary Gianni, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn’t dead—yet.

Praise for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

“Readers who already love Martin and his ability to bring visceral human drama out of any story will be thrilled to find this trilogy brought together and injected with extra life.”Booklist

“The real reason to check out this collection is that it’s simply great storytelling. Martin crafts a living, breathing world in a way few authors can. . . . [Gianni’s illustrations] really bring the events of the novellas to life in beautiful fashion.”Tech Times

“Stirring . . . As Tolkien has his Silmarillion, so [George R. R.] Martin has this trilogy of foundational tales. They succeed on their own, but in addition, they succeed in making fans want more.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Pure fantasy adventure, with two of the most likable protagonists George R. R. Martin has ever penned.”Bustle

“A must-read for Martin’s legion of fans . . . a rousing prelude to [his] bestselling Song of Ice and Fire saga . . . rich in human drama and the colorful worldbuilding that distinguishes other books in the series.”Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345533487
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/06/2015
Series: Song of Ice and Fire Series
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 22,931
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons—as well as Tuf Voyaging, Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Dying of the Light, Windhaven (with Lisa Tuttle), and Dreamsongs Volumes I and II. He is also the creator of The Lands of Ice and Fire, a collection of maps from A Song of Ice and Fire featuring original artwork from illustrator and cartographer Jonathan Roberts, and The World of Ice & Fire (with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson). As a writer-producer, Martin has worked on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and pilots that were never made. He lives with the lovely Parris in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
 
Gary Gianni graduated from the Chicago Academy of Fine Art in 1976. He has worked on numerous magazines, children’s books, graphic novels, and paperbacks. He has illustrated a variety of subjects including Batman, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road. He also drew the Prince Valiant comic strip from 2004 to 2012. Gianni is influenced by the masters of the golden age of illustrating, such as Joseph Clement Coll and Franklin Booth.

Hometown:

Santa Fe, NM

Date of Birth:

September 20, 1948

Place of Birth:

Bayonne, NJ

Education:

B.S., Northwestern University, 1970; M.S., Northwestern University, 1971

Read an Excerpt

THE HEDGE KNIGHT
 
The story offered here takes place about a hundred years prior to the events described in A Game of Thrones.
 
The spring rains had softened the ground, so Dunk had no trouble digging the grave. He chose a spot on the western slope of a low hill, for the old man had always loved to watch the sunset. “Another day done”—he would sigh—“and who knows what the morrow will bring us, eh, Dunk?”
 
Well, one morrow had brought rains that soaked them to the bones, and the one after had brought wet, gusty winds, and the next a chill. By the fourth day the old man was too weak to ride. And now he was gone. Only a few days past, he had been singing as they rode, the old song about going to Gulltown to see a fair maid, but instead of Gulltown he’d sung of Ashford. Off to Ashford to see the fair maid, heigh-ho, heigh-ho, Dunk thought miserably as he dug.
 
When the hole was deep enough, he lifted the old man’s body in his arms and carried him there. He had been a small man, and slim; stripped of hauberk, helm, and sword belt, he seemed to weigh no more than a bag of leaves. Dunk was hugely tall for his age, a shambling, shaggy, big-boned boy of sixteen or seventeen years (no one was quite certain which) who stood closer to seven feet than to six, and had only just begun to fill out his frame. The old man had often praised his strength. He had always been generous in his praise. It was all he had to give.
 
He laid him out in the bottom of the grave and stood over him for a time. The smell of rain was in the air again, and he knew he ought to fill the hole before it broke, but it was hard to throw dirt down on that tired old face. There ought to be a septon here, to say some prayers over him, but he only has me. The old man had taught Dunk all he knew of swords and shields and lances, but had never been much good at teaching him words.
 
“I’d leave your sword, but it would rust in the ground,” he said at last, apologetic. “The gods will give you a new one, I guess. I wish you didn’t die, ser.” He paused, uncertain what else needed to be said. He didn’t know any prayers, not all the way through; the old man had never been much for praying. “You were a true knight, and you never beat me when I didn’t deserve it,” he finally managed, “except that one time in Maidenpool. It was the inn boy who ate the widow woman’s pie, not me, I told you. It don’t matter now. The gods keep you, ser.” He kicked dirt in the hole, then began to fill it methodically, never looking at the thing at the bottom. He had a long life, Dunk thought. He must have been closer to sixty than to fifty, and how many men can say that? At least he had lived to see another spring.
 
The sun was westering as he fed the horses. There were three; his swaybacked stot, the old man’s palfrey, and Thunder, his warhorse, who was ridden only in tourney and battle. The big brown stallion was not as swift or strong as he had once been, but he still had his bright eye and fierce spirit, and he was more valuable than everything else Dunk owned. If I sold Thunder and old Chestnut, and the saddles and bridles too, I’d come away with enough silver to… Dunk frowned. The only life he knew was the life of a hedge knight, riding from keep to keep, taking service with this lord and that lord, fighting in their battles and eating in their halls until the war was done, then moving on. There were tourneys from time to time as well, though less often, and he knew that some hedge knights turned robber during lean winters, though the old man never had.
 
I could find another hedge knight in need of a squire to tend his animals and clean his mail, he thought, or might be I could go to some city, to Lannisport or King’s Landing, and join the City Watch. Or else…
 
He had piled the old man’s things under an oak. The cloth purse contained three silver stags, nineteen copper pennies, and a chipped garnet; like most hedge knights, the greatest part of his worldly wealth had been tied up in his horses and weapons. Dunk now owned a chain-mail hauberk that he had scoured the rust off a thousand times. An iron halfhelm with a broad nasal and a dent on the left temple. A sword belt of cracked brown leather, and a longsword in a wood-and-leather scabbard. A dagger, a razor, a whetstone. Greaves and gorget, an eight-foot war lance of turned ash topped by a cruel iron point, and an oaken shield with a scarred metal rim, bearing the sigil of Ser Arlan of Pennytree: a winged chalice, silver on brown.
 
Dunk looked at the shield, scooped up the sword belt, and looked at the shield again. The belt was made for the old man’s skinny hips, it would never do for him, no more than the hauberk would. He tied the scabbard to a length of hempen rope, knotted it around his waist, and drew the longsword.
 
The blade was straight and heavy, good castle-forged steel, the grip soft leather wrapped over wood, the pommel a smooth, polished, black stone. Plain as it was, the sword felt good in his hand, and Dunk knew how sharp it was, having worked it with whetstone and oil-cloth many a night before they went to sleep. It fits my grip as well as it ever fit his, he thought to himself, and there is a tourney at Ashford Meadow.
 
Sweetfoot had an easier gait than old Chestnut, but Dunk was still sore and tired when he spied the inn ahead, a tall, daub-and-timber building beside a stream. The warm yellow light spilling from its windows looked so inviting that he could not pass it by. I have three silvers, he told himself, enough for a good meal and as much ale as I care to drink.
 
As he dismounted, a naked boy emerged dripping from the stream and began to dry himself on a roughspun brown cloak. “Are you the stableboy?” Dunk asked him. The lad looked to be no more than eight or nine, a pasty-faced, skinny thing, his bare feet caked in mud up to the ankle. His hair was the queerest thing about him. He had none. “I’ll want my palfrey rubbed down. And oats for all three. Can you tend to them?”
 
The boy looked at him brazenly. “I could. If I wanted.”
 
Dunk frowned. “I’ll have none of that. I am a knight, I’ll have you know.”
 
“You don’t look to be a knight.”
 
“Do all knights look the same?”
 
“No, but they don’t look like you, either. Your sword belt’s made of rope.”
 
“So long as it holds my scabbard, it serves. Now see to my horses. You’ll get a copper if you do well, and a clout in the ear if you don’t.” He did not wait to see how the stableboy took that but turned away and shouldered through the door.
 
At this hour, he would have expected the inn to be crowded, but the common room was almost empty. A young lordling in a fine damask mantle was passed out at one table, snoring softly into a pool of spilled wine. Otherwise there was no one. Dunk looked around uncertainly until a stout, short, whey-faced woman emerged from the kitchens and said, “Sit where you like. Is it ale you want, or food?”
 
“Both.” Dunk took a chair by the window, well away from the sleeping man.
 
“There’s good lamb, roasted with a crust of herbs, and some ducks my son shot down. Which will you have?”
 
“He had not eaten at an inn in half a year or more. “Both.”
 
The woman laughed. “Well, you’re big enough for it.” She drew a tankard of ale and brought it to his table. “Will you be wanting a room for the night as well?”
 
“No.” Dunk would have liked nothing better than a soft straw mattress and a roof above his head, but he needed to be careful with his coin. The ground would serve. “Some food, some ale, and it’s on to Ashford for me. How much farther is it?”
 
“A day’s ride. Bear north when the road forks at the burned mill. Is my boy seeing to your horses, or has he run off again?”
 
“No, he’s there,” said Dunk. “You seem to have no custom.”
 
“Half the town’s gone to see the tourney. My own would as well, if I allowed it. They’ll have this inn when I go, but the boy would sooner swagger about with soldiers, and the girl turns to sighs and giggles every time a knight rides by. I swear I couldn’t tell you why. Knights are built the same as other men, and I never knew a joust to change the price of eggs.” She eyed Dunk curiously; his sword and shield told her one thing, his rope belt and roughspun tunic quite another. “You’re bound for the tourney yourself?”
 
 
He took a sip of the ale before he answered. A nut-brown color it was, and thick on the tongue, the way he liked it. “Aye,” he said. “I mean to be a champion.”
 
“Do you, now?” the innkeep answered, polite enough.
 
Across the room, the lordling raised his head from the wine puddle. His face had a sallow, unhealthy cast to it beneath a rat’s nest of sandy brown hair, and blond stubble crusted his chin. He rubbed his mouth, blinked at Dunk, and said, “I dreamed of you.” His hand trembled as he pointed a finger. “You stay away from me, do you hear? You stay well away.”
 

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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, I really liked how it tied into game of thrones but at the same time it has its own story line. Even if you have never read any of the game of thrones series you can enjoy this book. The art work just enhances the story. Well worth the read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Starts slow, but picks up nicely. Worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable tales of Egg and Dunk
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It reads like an old person telling a story to a audience around a campfire. I was entertained by the journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth buying. Entertaining!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A quick read by George R.R. Martin standards, it was nice to read a story in the GoT settings that focused on one main character(and of course his squire). I'll be looking forward to Dunk and Eggs adventures in future novellas, but hope that will come after the next chapter in A Song of Ice and Fire.
PrinceVegeta More than 1 year ago
A great tale, but much different than A Song of Ice and Fire. Martin weaves a completely different story with a vastly changed tone albeit still in the world of Ice and Fire. The entire series is a throwback to old tales of chivalry and the romanticism of knighthood that often times seems dead in his other works. Dunk and Egg are more simple characters, but I found their personalities more delightful nonetheless when considering the depth that is to be expected from a novella over a novel. For those that were expecting something to scratch the itch while they're left waiting for the next installment of his main series they might be sorely disappointed as some of these thoughtless one star reviews reflect. In truth I feel as though it deserves a four out of five stars from me because it is rather good and engrossing, but not perfect yet the low scores without any elaboration or consideration of the intended nature of the books may unfairly deter many who would truly enjoy it for what it is so I've adjusted my score to off-set that. In summary if you're going in expecting the depth of the a five novel series you will undoubtedly be sorely disappointed, but if you're up for the tale of a chivalrous knight within a familiar world with a few smatterings of Martin's grotesque side then you're in for quite the piece.
SallyPinkReviews More than 1 year ago
Martin sings a fascinating song of Targaryens, dragons, and betrayals with this book. This collection includes three novellas set in Westros which take place 100 years before the events in Games of Thrones. Our heroes, Dunk, a hedge knight, and his squire, Egg, travel through the heart of the Seven Kingdoms in search of adventure. Dunk hopes to fight in the lists at Ashford Meadows, but there’s trouble when the Targaryens arrive. When Dunk is accused of dishonorable conduct, he must fight in a trial of seven. Will the Hand of the King fight with him or against him? The lingering effects of the Blackfyre Rebellion haunts the land. Will Dunk continue to honor Ser Eustace’s request to bring water to his land once he learns of Eustace’s prior allegiances? A mystery knight called “The Fiddler” arrives at a wedding ready to enter the jousts. The prize? A dragon egg. Who will prove worthy to own it? Martin’s writing style is easy to read. The adventures take the reader along for the ride. While fantasy, Martin explains most terms so the readers aren’t lost. The characters are well rounded. Dunk is noble to the core while Egg is hardworking and eager to share his opinions. “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is full of adventure, suspense and betrayal. It’s a fine edition to the tales of Westros and sheds some light on what the Targaryens were like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 2 days ago
I read this short story some time ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Nice short read.. Something to entertain yourself with while you wait forthe next book.
MichaemMac2 9 months ago
A lighter romp through Westeros than the main saga, though you do get a window into the Blackfyre rebellions and a distant look at Bloodraven, the future Three-Eyed Crow.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Good short story in GOT prehistory.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Wonderfully written, great stories !
Kitsap_Hiker More than 1 year ago
Nook formatting issues; enjoyable story and illustrations If I were basing this solely on the story and drawings I would give 5/5. Formatting Issues, I give it 2/5. Whenever I would get to a page with an illustration, the Nook would freeze up for 2 minutes, and once I was able to "turn" the page, it would skip ahead by a page. I'd have to turn the Nook sideways to switch to Landscape format, then back to Portrait format, swipe back 3 pages, then back to where it froze up, and sometimes that would work. Sometimes I'd have to close the book, reopen to the page, and then it would unfreeze.This really took me out of the story. Even with the abrupt time outs whenever I came to a drawing, I was able to finish the book, not even marathon reading, in 2 days. The length of the story vs. price value was 3/5 when compared to the time it took me to read the volumes from the Ice and Fire series. So that's 5/5, 2/5, 3/5. But I still give it a 4/5 overall because I enjoyed the story telling, and the prologue to Ice and Fire aspect of it. The formatting issues are not a reflection on the writer, writing or beautiful art. The price is another matter, but when compared to other forms of entertainment like movies or cable, books in general are still a great price.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Short book long on cost, bad ending and no follow up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read, for sure. I look forward to the continuing adventures of our Knight and his "squire".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Martin brings you in and takes you on a ride! I live reading his work!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not nearly as long as his other books but temporarily satisfied my craving for another book! Enjoyed characters as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed dunk and Egg. It was a really nice read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cannot stop reading. Leaves the reader wanting more-and more- as it begins to lay background for Game of Thrones. When is next volume out?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this story but it seems more like a children's fairy tale,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is so much fun. The writing doesnt feel quite the same as Ice and Fire but I enjoyed it all the same. I love Dunk and Egg. Their relationship is something you want to cheer on.