"The Hedge Knight" by George R.R. Martin
Published on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 10:43am
After finishing A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book in the Song of Fire and Ice Series by George R.R. Martin, I reluctantly prepared myself to have to wait at least two or three years for the publication of the next fantasy novel in the series, Winds of Winter. However to my surprise, Martin wrote three novellas that are set at least 80 years prior to the events in A Game of Thrones. These short stories, also known as "The Tales of Dunk and Egg," center around a hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, otherwise known as Dunk and his squire, Egg. The first story, "The Hedge Knight," was published in Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy edited by Robert Silverberg, which also highlights selections by best-selling authors Stephen King, Orson Scott Card and Terry Goodkind to name a few.
While the Song of Fire and Ice Series places the attention on prominent lords and knights of the Seven Kingdoms and their quest to sit atop the Iron Throne, "The Hedge Knight" gives the reader a more clear understanding of what it was like to be a common person during the Targaryen Dynasty. A hedge knight was someone who traveled all throughout the kingdom at various castles serving only during times of war and conflict. The road was the only place a hedge knight truly called home, not an elaborate mansion or fortress. Class structure, family lineage and bloodlines are key elements to the roles and privileges that can be experienced by certain members in the hedge knight culture. It is under these restrictive conditions that Dunk challenged traditions and customs, in order to become a man of high esteem and worth in the Seven Kingdoms. This story encourages readers not to allow their family upbringing, traditions or lack of opportunities to thwart personal achievements.
Please visit the Anacostia Neighborhood Library to reserve a copy of the Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy, in order to read "The Hedge Knight" and other entertaining short stories by prominent fantasy authors.