Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a delightful read

This review is for a book I read some time ago. It also takes place in Westeros, but it follows different characters. That story is A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
This book is actually three books merged into one. Taking place a century before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, the story follows Ser Duncan, a man who was recently knighted before his master passed away. While traveling to a tourney, he meets a bald boy named Egg who, despite Duncan's efforts to have it otherwise, becomes his squire. Duncan learns some surprising things while at the tourney, but ends up making a name for himself in front of the Targaryans, who are the family of kings and queens in Westeros. Afterwards, he and Egg have several adventures, including trying to help a disgraced lord save his lands and his smallfolk (peasants) from a drought while a rival house is taking all the resources, and participating in a tourney while looking for a performer that is hinted that Duncan might have feelings for. Underneath it all is the threat of the embers of a rebellion that had been beaten years ago, but is struggling to rise to power again. Will Duncan and Egg be able to help the Seven Kingdoms?
I was pleased to see another story that takes place in Westeros, and isn't part of the main series. It helps add to the world's history, and allows us to see characters we read about in The World of Ice and Fire to get some attention. While not as intense as the series A Song of Ice and Fire, it still has that flare of Martin's to explore real people facing real medieval problems. The illustrations done by Gary Gianni also help bring this world and time period to life. It's definitely worth reading.
Some swearing, including some uses of the F-word. Some violence and gore. Some people are seen naked in some of the illustrations (though one is the result of a dream and another is part of a marriage ceremony in Westeros).
Honor and nobility are found in the heart. You can find good people in unexpected places. The Devil will try to strike us when we are not expecting it.

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