About 16 months ago, I took my friend Jeff to a Terry Brooks event in Portland, OR. Jeff and I grew up reading Terry and, since Jeff hadn’t met the author yet, I thought it would be great fun to make that introduction happen. We took Jeff out to dinner, he got to ask Terry all of the questions that had been inside since we were 13 years old, and then we went to the event and Jeff saw how truly popular Terry is. Powells always has a great turn out, by the way.
While Terry signed books for his fans who came to the event, Jeff and I walked around the bookstore. He eventually asked me what other authors he should read, no small task since there are so many great novels out there these days. It just so happened that A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin was sitting right there on the shelf next to us. I picked it up, handed it to him, and said, “My work here is done.”
I did not realize at that time that Jeff would become a George addict. He read the first four novels in short order. He then forced them upon his wife, who loved them as well. Once he got the books back from her, Jeff read them again in preparation for the publication of A Dance With Dragons. The man is a reading machine, I swear.
When I asked him how he liked the Dunk & Egg stories—my personal favorites out of everything that George has written—Jeff asked, “What the hell are you talking about?”
Turns out, he hadn’t read everything that George had written in the world of A Song of Ice & Fire. He was missing these:
- The Hedge Knight (published in the anthology Legends)
- The Sworn Sword (published in the anthology Legends II)
- The Mystery Knight (published in the anthology Warriors)
What are these, you may ask?
These are novellas, long short stories that lend some back story to the overall narrative of A Song of Ice & Fire. I know many people are finishing up A Dance With Dragons, feeling as though they have nowhere to go. This is where they should go. Set almost 90 years before events in A Game of Thrones, The Hedge Knight and its sequel novellas tell the tale of the hedge knight Dunk and his trusty but peculiar squire Egg, who travel through Westeros looking for their fame and fortune. Of course, these two characters become great men and George is taking them from their humblest beginnings through to their famous endings.
The novellas themselves give a broader view of the events that lead into the Seven Kingdoms we all know and love. There are three novellas so far, with a possible nine to twelve in all when George is done. The next one, tentatively titled The She-Wolves of Winterfell, will be published later this year or in 2013 in the anthology Dangerous Women.
My question is: Have You Read George R. R. Martin’s Dunk & Egg Novellas?
And if so, what did you think of them?