Long before Robert's rebellion. Before the untimely deaths of four of the last five Hands of the king. Before dwarves drank and knew things. Before a noble girl became no one. And before an exiled princess became the mother of dragons. There was a young bald squire named Egg and his very big, very inexperienced but well intentioned knight Ser Duncan the Tall.
The adventures of Dunk and Egg are the main focus of George RR Martin's A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. These stories are rumored to be the basis of the yet to be announced but eagerly anticipated Game of Thrones spin off series on HBO.
Unlike the Ice and Fire main novels, this collection of short stories are quick, fast paced and a little bit short on killing characters you have grown to love and care for. Honestly, despite being published after the novels it acts as a real nice intro into the world of Westeros, during a time where the only important family name was Targaryan. All the other known great houses of the TV show and books were just in their places below them. The horrors that lurk beyond The Wall were just tales that were told to little lordlings to scare them to sleep.
I had started this book in the summer, right before our annual trip to the renaissance faire. Let me tell you the joust is way more entertaining when you have been reading about hedge knights, their squires and the inner workings of an afternoon of sport to entertain the highborn. There is very little mention of turkey legs and funnel cake. But it really got me in the mood to watch the joust.
It is a really fun book. It moves and doesn't get so bogged down with endless exposition in the way that the main books do sometimes. If I had the time set aside to read I could have blown right through this book. I guess I am back to the main novels, only 4000 more pages to go before Winds of Winter the long anticipated sixth novel is released at some point this summer.