I’m not fond of novellas or short stories. I always end up hating them because of the length. It’s like someone telling you a summarized version of a detailed story. This one on the other hand is one of the exceptions to the hatred. It’s not a shock though that Martin can make me enjoy something that I typically hate.
This book contains 3 novellas about the adventures of Dunk and Egg. A hedge knight and his squire seeking higher status. Martin is known for his tendency to add in a bunch of plot twists, and the 3 novellas proved no different. The ending was great, because it left me wanting for more and wanting to know who did what. I liked how the unexpected turn of events didn’t seem like it was written just for the sake of having a plot twist.
The characters were beyond amazing. Dunk and Egg were perfectly written, and developed quite nicely in the end. I can’t express how well Martin creates characters. It was most evident in his A Song of Ice and Fire series when I read the first 5 books, but now he proved that he can write amazing new characters. What I enjoyed most about Dunk was that he was a loser. He’s not someone who was given everything. He had to work his way to get to the top, and the hardships didn’t stop him. I don’t hate powerful characters (Like the Starks, for example), but it’s refreshing to read about someone who is not of royalty. The journey of a normal boy into a hedge knight was truly entertaining. We all know that being a hedge knight doesn’t even result to earning the respect of people. I know that Martin has a few more stories about Dunk and Egg, so hopefully in the future I’d read about Dunk being successful in his journey. Egg was also commendable, but I can’t explain how without spoiling. It’s better if you find out about the mystery of Egg on your own.
The setting is great, but that’s a giveaway already if you’ve read the ASOIAF series. Westeros is truly unforgiving to the weak. It’s great to read more about the fictional world that I’ve loved since A Game of Thrones. This is a minor detour into the main series, in which the sixth book is still unpublished.
Do I really need to talk about how great the writing is?
4.5/5 stars. If you’re unfamiliar with Martin, then you’d better read ASOIAF first. That’s just my opinion though, but it did help me enjoy these novellas more.