Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Mystery Knight

The third novella in George R.R. Martin's series The Tales of Dunk and Egg is called The Mystery Knight. This story takes place shortly after the tale in The Sworn Sword. Here we find the knight Ser Duncan the Tall (lowborn Dunk of Fleabottom) and his young squire Egg (the boy prince Aegon Targaryen) traveling their way northward looking to take up service at Winterfell castle. Moving from the service of one regional lord to another is the life of a hedge knight such as Dunk. Along the road they encounter a band of minor lords and knights on their way to the wedding of Lord Butterwell. Some are attending to honor the bride or groom, others to make an appearance as is expected for their liege lord, and some to take part in the knight's tournament that will take place as part of the festivities. As Dunk is hungry and low on coin, he takes up the invitation to attend.

At the wedding, Dunk prepares to enter the lists and goes about getting to know who his competition might be along with their strengths and weaknesses. Egg, a student of the different lords in the kingdom, begins to become suspicious when he notes that the majority of the banners and sigils raised belong to men who fought against the royal family in the so-called Blackfrye rebellion. This rebellion was put down by the king, but at great loss of life and great divide across the kingdom. Egg tells Dunk that this is a tourney of traitors.

It seems that many of the traitors against the crown had become bolder as time passed after the period of the rebellion. Once again they were gathering to raise their armies and to plot their next move. However, Dunk finds himself in the middle of the fray. Yet his honor will not allow him to look the other way and he once again proves why he is a true knight. Along with a few allies that he meets along the way, he makes the decisive moves to tear the new rebellion asunder. A fun tale that fits well in Martin's world of A Song of Ice and Fire. I look forward to further novellas in this prequel series. Although there are only three at present, Martin has indicated in interviews that he has plans for further adventures for Dunk and Egg.