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The Mystery Knight

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The Mystery Knight is a novella published in 2010 as part of the Warriors anthology, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. It is the third in the series of "Dunk and Egg" stories. Previous stories are The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword.


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The Mystery Knight is a novella published in 2010 as part of the Warriors anthology, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. It is the third in the series of "Dunk and Egg" stories. Previous stories are The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword.

30 review for The Mystery Knight

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hirondelle

    The third Dunk&Egg story, and perhaps the most plot filled, and the one with a more obvious connection to the ASOIAF (Set a couple generations in the future). I think reading this helps to figure out a small mystery in the ASOIAF, particularly a ADWD revelation (view spoiler)[namely the three eyed crow. And I do believe we have cameos by Lord Frey here (hide spoiler)] . But my enjoyment of the Dunk&Egg stories is seems to be reverse chronology, I love The third Dunk&Egg story, and perhaps the most plot filled, and the one with a more obvious connection to the ASOIAF (Set a couple generations in the future). I think reading this helps to figure out a small mystery in the ASOIAF, particularly a ADWD revelation (view spoiler)[namely the three eyed crow. And I do believe we have cameos by Lord Frey here (hide spoiler)] . But my enjoyment of the Dunk&Egg stories is seems to be reverse chronology, I loved the first, liked a lot the second story, but this third story I like with reservations. The writing did not work for me the same way strangely. And while there are some subtle details (view spoiler)[like Dunk not realizing Bloodraven was under disguise as Plumm (hide spoiler)] the final scene seems a bit half-cooked (view spoiler)[ Egg being the egg that hatched into a dragon? Is what he did here as different than what he did at Ashford? Egg has been like this *all* the time. And only thing which changes is that Bloodraven has now noticed him again. Egg is still going north with Dunk. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne Mendez

    Another delightful tale about Dunk and Egg. The relationship between knight and squire has grown, with Ser Duncan the Tall trying to give guidance and discipline to his young squire and Egg obeying in a smart-ass kinda way in spite of the empty threats of a "clout in the ear." This tale gives us more of the Targaryen history, past rebellions and line of succession. Because of these tales I've been constantly looking at the Targaryen family tree, but it makes no difference, other than a few Another delightful tale about Dunk and Egg. The relationship between knight and squire has grown, with Ser Duncan the Tall trying to give guidance and discipline to his young squire and Egg obeying in a smart-ass kinda way in spite of the empty threats of a "clout in the ear." This tale gives us more of the Targaryen history, past rebellions and line of succession. Because of these tales I've been constantly looking at the Targaryen family tree, but it makes no difference, other than a few exceptions, they all look and sound the same to me. In this adventure Dunk and Egg find themselves in the middle of a rebellion plot, where the son of one of the bastards of one of the Aegon's wants to be King or was is the brother of the son of one of the bastards? Never mind, you get the point. Lords were plotting to rally behind a pretender and put him on the Iron Throne, meeting in the disguise of a wedding and a tourney. In spite of the many hardships, Dunk remains a true knight, honest, chivalrous, trusting, innocent and so dreamy! At this point he still thinks about having a wife and children, but it looks like his path is taking him to the white cloak of the King's Guard. Time and hopefully one more tale will let us know what happens to this true knight and the future King.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ahmet

    Another excellent story by GRRM! How many eyes has Bloodraven? A thousand eyes, and one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Terence

    The Mystery Knight is my favorite novella in the Dunk and Egg prequel series to date. Dunk and Egg meet up with some fellow hedge knights and after learning of a wedding feast Dunk decides to come along in hopes of winning some money in a tournament. It's always great to read about Dunk and Egg and this novella is no excexption. The Mystery Knight is a great read for fans of Dunk and Egg and A Song of Ice and Fire.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kaisersoze

    Decidedly better than the second novella in the series of Dunk and Egg, The Sworn Sword, this final outing for Martin's beloved characters from almost a hundred years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire is nevertheless marred by far too many interchangeable characters that only the most rabid of fans will be able to discern, and still takes an awfully long time to set everything up. Yet the characters of Dunk and Egg carry this book on their more than capable shoulders, so much so that the events Decidedly better than the second novella in the series of Dunk and Egg, The Sworn Sword, this final outing for Martin's beloved characters from almost a hundred years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire is nevertheless marred by far too many interchangeable characters that only the most rabid of fans will be able to discern, and still takes an awfully long time to set everything up. Yet the characters of Dunk and Egg carry this book on their more than capable shoulders, so much so that the events of The Mystery Knight largely fade into obscurity next to their entertaining interactions. And it is fantastic to see Dunk's growth as a character as compared to who he was in The Hedge Knight. All in all, this is a return to form for Martin and one that I would recommend to his fans - just be ready for long descriptions of knights and feasts and the activities that the former get up to during the latter. 3 Smashed Tourney Lances for The Mystery Knight.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    The Mystery Knight is the third Dunk and Egg story, another fun novella telling the story of Westeros well before the A Song of Ice and Fire storyline started. To completely understand The Mystery Knight, you first need to read The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword. This third story makes references to past events, carries on from events in the prior story, meaning a complete understanding will come from reading the books in order. As each story is a nice short read, adding together to The Mystery Knight is the third Dunk and Egg story, another fun novella telling the story of Westeros well before the A Song of Ice and Fire storyline started. To completely understand The Mystery Knight, you first need to read The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword. This third story makes references to past events, carries on from events in the prior story, meaning a complete understanding will come from reading the books in order. As each story is a nice short read, adding together to make a single book, I would certainly recommend working through the books in order. I really enjoyed The Hedge Knight, giving it a four-star rating. The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight, however, didn’t quite hit the same mark – hence the three-star rating of this novella. The Mystery Knight was a fun additional read, adding more to the story of Dunk and Egg, but I feel as though it didn’t quite have enough action to keep me entertained throughout. I was intrigued by what was happening, I was following the story, but I was not lost in the world. Overall, this was another fun Dunk and Egg story, but it was not my favourite.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Mystery Knight (The Tales of Dunk and Egg #3), George R.R. Martin

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dani

    The best of the prequels so far! ♥ Dunk & Egg's tales are over! :') Review to come.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I read "The Mystery Knight," the 3rd novella featuring Dunk and Egg, in the Warriors anthology. It was along the same lines as the other two Dunk and Egg stories, and I enjoyed it. In this tale, the hedge knight, Dunk, and his squire, Egg, head to a tournament (to get a free meal!) and end up accidentally getting involved in a big political maelstrom. Again, by reading these books, a fan can learn more of the backstory of Westeros and the history of Targaryen rule. Again, these stories are not e I read "The Mystery Knight," the 3rd novella featuring Dunk and Egg, in the Warriors anthology. It was along the same lines as the other two Dunk and Egg stories, and I enjoyed it. In this tale, the hedge knight, Dunk, and his squire, Egg, head to a tournament (to get a free meal!) and end up accidentally getting involved in a big political maelstrom. Again, by reading these books, a fan can learn more of the backstory of Westeros and the history of Targaryen rule. Again, these stories are not exactly light, but I'd say they're not as grim as the main Song of Ice and Fire series. This jauntier tone is partly a result of Dunk's outlook on life. Dunk is a poor but honorable hedge knight, almost seven feet tall and in his late teens. He thinks about girls and hopes to win just a little bit of gold so that he and his squire can eat--but something always happens and he ends up getting mixed up in things he doesn't entirely understand. He's not ambitious, greedy, or cruel, and his relatively innocent spirit has so far led him both into trouble and out of it. It is interesting to see what Egg learns from Dunk over the course of these stories. I think he'll turn out to be very different from most of his family as a result of squiring for Dunk. You actually get to meet Bloodraven for a minute at the end of this story, which will be interesting for anyone who has read A Dance with Dragons (look online for theories relating to this if you are curious). I am purposefully trying to avoid finding out what happens to Dunk and Egg between the time of these novellas and the time of A Game of Thrones. I'd rather just hope for the best for them in all their adventures. I'll read the next Dunk and Egg tale once it is published.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kavita

    The third in the Dunk & Egg series, this book is a true delight from start to end. The book starts off with the two journeying on their way to The Wall, when they meet some knights on the way who tell them about a tourney. Seeing the chance to earn some money, Dunk & Egg make their way there and get embroiled in all sorts of adventures. This book is my favourite of the three so far. As usual, I loved Egg's stubborn cheekiness and Dunk's straightforwardness. This story was far The third in the Dunk & Egg series, this book is a true delight from start to end. The book starts off with the two journeying on their way to The Wall, when they meet some knights on the way who tell them about a tourney. Seeing the chance to earn some money, Dunk & Egg make their way there and get embroiled in all sorts of adventures. This book is my favourite of the three so far. As usual, I loved Egg's stubborn cheekiness and Dunk's straightforwardness. This story was far more complicated than the previous two and involved a lot more intrigue. With spies, politics, intrigue, murders, weddings, jousting and feasting, this was a page turner. The twists and turns were awesome and the ending was excellent. Now to sit and wait for the fourth book!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    It was a good continuing adventure of Dunk & Egg right on par with the Hedge Knight. It takes place just a year or so after that story, not terribly long after the second, so about a century before the main series. Well worth reading.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    My least favourite of the three to be honest, but still gooood! I love westeros so damn much!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Hall

    I think this might have been my favourite Dunk & Egg novella, although this might be because I am interested by the Blackfyre rebellion. Dunk and Egg have quickly made it to my list of fave ASOIAF characters and I await the next short story almost as much as The Winds of Winter.

  14. 5 out of 5

    krishna Fūjin

    3.5* It would be much better if Goodreads adds half star as well in their rating system.

  15. 5 out of 5

    terpkristin

    This is so far the last story published in the Dunk and Egg world. As a whole, I thought the stories were pretty enjoyable. I liked seeing some of the history of Westeros through Dunk's eyes, seeing events that are referenced in the main A Song of Ice and Fire books. That said, of the three stories, this one was my least favorite (granted, 4 stars is pretty good, considering I trend low on ratings). The Hedge Knight tells the story of a diversion Dunk and Egg take while en route to Wi This is so far the last story published in the Dunk and Egg world. As a whole, I thought the stories were pretty enjoyable. I liked seeing some of the history of Westeros through Dunk's eyes, seeing events that are referenced in the main A Song of Ice and Fire books. That said, of the three stories, this one was my least favorite (granted, 4 stars is pretty good, considering I trend low on ratings). The Hedge Knight tells the story of a diversion Dunk and Egg take while en route to Winterfell and the North. Tired of sleeping on the road, and hopeful to make a little money, they attend the wedding feast for Lord Ambrose Butterwell. As a knight, Dunk takes part of the festivities including the tournament. But all is not as it appears and Egg realizes that the event is a setup to try to incite another rebellion, like the Blackfyre Rebellion. The problem I had with this story is a problem I remember having when I first started reading A Game of Thrones. There are a lot of characters, all with backstory and many with similar-sounding names. And there is so much going on, it can be hard to follow, especially in the span of such a short story. Though I read the ending of the story twice, I still can't tell you who exactly was the lead schemer in the plot, or why they thought they were entitled to the throne. It had to do with sons of Blackfyre, I believe, but exactly the tie was confusing. Also, the ending seemed a bit too convenient. When Bloodraven shows up, it's hard to say where he came from...why was he so close (geographically) to the event? And just who IS Glendon Ball? So yeah, it was not my favorite story of the three. I think my favorite was probably The Sworn Sword. That one felt the most concise, with well-defined characters and motivations for each character. It didn't feel like it relied on too much past knowledge, like this one seemed to. On a completely separate note, it's interesting to see Martin use some conventions here that have made their way into the main Westeros books. One major thing I noticed was how Dunk talks to himself. It reminds me of how Reek talks to himself in A Dance With Dragons. "His name is Reek, it rhymes with weak" compares well with "Dunk, such a lunk..." I'm looking forward to the next Dunk and Egg story. I want to see how they get back to King's Landing and hopefully see Aemon come into the story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ish Healy

    Author: George R.R. Martin Genre: Novella, Fantasy Rating: A Set in the same world as George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, “The Hedge Knight” is the first in a series of short stores (and graphic novels) about Ser Duncan the Tall, or Dunk, and his squire Egg. “The Hedge Knight,” and the other stories in the Tales of Dunk and Egg are set about a hundred years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire. As mentioned, “The Hedge Knight” is the first i Author: George R.R. Martin Genre: Novella, Fantasy Rating: A Set in the same world as George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, “The Hedge Knight” is the first in a series of short stores (and graphic novels) about Ser Duncan the Tall, or Dunk, and his squire Egg. “The Hedge Knight,” and the other stories in the Tales of Dunk and Egg are set about a hundred years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire. As mentioned, “The Hedge Knight” is the first in this series and follows Dunk as he enters the Tourney of Ashford, following the death of his old master, Ser Arlan of Pennytree. Dunk was an orphan from Flea Bottom who entered into Arlan’s service as a boy, and was knighted by Arlan shortly before his death. While on his way to Ashford Dunk encounters a boy, Egg, at a tavern, who sneaks away in order to enter into Dunk’s service and act as his squire. Not all is as seems with Egg, however, and his true identity is one that alters the course of Dunk’s life. I really liked this story. The complexity of it is nothing like that of the books from which it is conceived, and within the story Martin reveals a lot more of the world in which it’s based. It’s rather nice reading something and not finding yourself constantly questioning just what’s going on and who’s plotting what and who’s going to die next. Actually, that point alone is really nice – the mantra for A Song of Ice and Fire fans is to not get attached to any of the characters because you don’t know when they’re going to die, but with Dunk and Egg this isn’t the fact. The story just follows the point of view of Dunk and, if you’ve read Martin’s novels you already know how he dies, and it certainly isn’t at Ashford. This certainty doesn’t make “The Hedge Knight” any less exciting, it’s just more of a comfortable journey. You get to know the characters and you get to get attached to them, without that little voice inside your head screaming at you saying ‘this is going to end badly.’ Really, when it comes down to it, “The Hedge Knight” is something that I didn’t know I could expect from Martin. http://ishreviews.blogspot.ca/2012/06...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lucile

    I just LOVED that last story ! The plot is really intense between the different Targaryen heirs, and we can fully understand the tension inside this large family. A war between Dragons, who wouldn't love that ? :D I won't spoil, but the mystery is kept until the final twist and I liked it (compared to the 2 other stories). Dunk is better than ever, and I quite admired him for his loyalty, honesty and big-heart. Plus, Egg is just hilarious and is more implied in this story because of his origins, I just LOVED that last story ! The plot is really intense between the different Targaryen heirs, and we can fully understand the tension inside this large family. A war between Dragons, who wouldn't love that ? :D I won't spoil, but the mystery is kept until the final twist and I liked it (compared to the 2 other stories). Dunk is better than ever, and I quite admired him for his loyalty, honesty and big-heart. Plus, Egg is just hilarious and is more implied in this story because of his origins, and gain in confidence (besides is more direct than ever !). It's a really enjoyable reading for the ones who love Game Of Thrones. If you're interested about Targaryens, you have to read it ;)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aditya Ravindran

    This is my combined opinion about 3 books: The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight It is very soothing to read a story that is free from chaos of the present-day Westeros. The story-telling in this is as good as any book from A Song of Ice and Fire. Short and interesting, and some crumbs that you can easily connect to the present. Characters are simple and easy to relate to. Also love the point that I don't have to wait for a sequel to enjoy a real good story. George This is my combined opinion about 3 books: The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight It is very soothing to read a story that is free from chaos of the present-day Westeros. The story-telling in this is as good as any book from A Song of Ice and Fire. Short and interesting, and some crumbs that you can easily connect to the present. Characters are simple and easy to relate to. Also love the point that I don't have to wait for a sequel to enjoy a real good story. George R R Martin's trademark attention to detail is evident. Must read for every fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, a good read for those who are not.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shey

    This wraps up the Tales of Dunk and Egg novella. Probably my second fave of the trilogy (The Hedge Knight being my top favorite), but still enjoyed reading it. There were some lines that felt repetitive since The Sworn Sword, like Ser Duncan's "clout in the ear" remarks and "died in the spring" or the Great Spring Sickness mentions. I do like how the characters have developed here, especially Egg. The ending was good and it reminded me of the ending of A Storm of Swords, teehee!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    I love how George R.R. Martin mixes an element of mystery into his knight’s tale. While set in Westeros and very true to his style, the writing here is more poetic than in the previous 2 books. With all the characters that Martin invents I've noticed Lord Gorman Peake of Starpike. Is it is an homage to Mervyn Peake, who wrote the Gormenghast books, who had a main character named Steerpike?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Niksa Perovic

    I really enjoyed the book. Compared to A Song of Ice and Fire, writing is more tale-like, and your heart will not be ripped out by velociraptors whenever you get attached to a character. At least not yet-more stories about Hedge knight and his squire are to be published soon.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adi

    This is probably the best Dunk and Egg story. I liked how tense it became at one point, and I also liked the ending.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    The Mystery Knight, the third novella in the Tales of Dunk and Egg series, is probably my favorite. There’s just something so fun about seeing Westeros like this after having lived in Martins’ A Song of Ice and Fire series for so long. All of the events in this series have long slipped into history, if not into legend, by the “present day”. It’s a different Westeros, one in peace (albeit threatening to break out into war), but it’s also the exact same Westeros. Still filled with petty humans supporting The Mystery Knight, the third novella in the Tales of Dunk and Egg series, is probably my favorite. There’s just something so fun about seeing Westeros like this after having lived in Martins’ A Song of Ice and Fire series for so long. All of the events in this series have long slipped into history, if not into legend, by the “present day”. It’s a different Westeros, one in peace (albeit threatening to break out into war), but it’s also the exact same Westeros. Still filled with petty humans supporting or betraying their petty legacies, their human concerns, their selfish needs. It’s still full of complicated people who intereact in complicated ways (which is my favorite part of reading Martin). I feel sort of guilty using that word: fun, in this context. Because even though I’m having fun, for fuck sure none of the characters are, especially poor Dunk, our hero. Dunk and Egg are making their haphazard way across the seven kingdoms of Westeros, and with an idea of going north to the Wall, are waylaid at a wedding. Egg senses something amiss right away, but Dunk is mostly concerned with making a good impression on his fellow knights (including the hedge knights). He would like to be perceived as something other than Dunk the Lunk, Dunk the Absolutely Ginormous. And like the tournament at Ashford, he somehow manages to blunder into a situation that’s much more complex and dangerous than he or Egg at first realized. I don’t want to say too much because: spoilers, but I will say that the twists and turns of the plot were equally as satisfying as the dialogue, the atmosphere, and the subtle character work, as well as Martin’s constant dwelling on themes that threaten to punch you in the feels when you’re least expecting it. Can’t wait for the fourth novella to come out (when????), as it’s called The She-Wolves of Winterfell, and duh excitement because WINTERFELL. [4.5 stars]

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    i mean, its not really two stars compared to lots of other things i read, still super enjoyable but SO WEAK compared to the two other stories preceding it. the characterization done in the rest of the series was practically thrown out the window. i dont get it. maybe it is just me... (also pretty much zero female characters in this one except a frey wife with no lines. whats up with that?)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hardeep Singh

    This story actually deserves five star no matter what. The previous two were just an introduction to the relationship of Duncan and Egg with a little plot story in it though they were an interesting read while this story actually got a rich plot with some twists and a lot of introduction to other characters of the seven kingdoms that connects other books in the Song of Ice and Fire.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Imogeneblue

    Probably my favourite tale from the Dunk and Egg series. Good to finally get an inside look at the Blackfyre supporters! Really interesting story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    These short novellas of Martin are fun reads, it’s a shame there aren’t more of them. Not saying I would prioritize more of these over asoiaf, but these are worth looking into. I won’t get into the plot, because doing so would spoil a bit of A Dance with Dragons and possibly Winds of Winter. The story of Dunk and Egg do take place just a century before A Game of Thrones after all.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    The Tales of Dunk and Egg is a series of short novels by George R.R. Martin (über-short, when you consider the other stuff that he writes) set about 100 years in the past in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. Dunk is Ser Duncan the Tall, a hedge knight (which is a knight who has no lord, sort of like a Ronin in feudal Japan), and Egg is ... well, if I tell you who Egg is, then it would spoil a bit of the first story. If you just have to know, you can run a quick Google search, but I'll leave t The Tales of Dunk and Egg is a series of short novels by George R.R. Martin (über-short, when you consider the other stuff that he writes) set about 100 years in the past in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. Dunk is Ser Duncan the Tall, a hedge knight (which is a knight who has no lord, sort of like a Ronin in feudal Japan), and Egg is ... well, if I tell you who Egg is, then it would spoil a bit of the first story. If you just have to know, you can run a quick Google search, but I'll leave that up to you. The stories are good, and just as entertaining as the main series, even if they're not as robust. The characters are deftly-drawn, though not as complex, though we do get to know Dunk and Egg pretty well over the course of these three stories. In these stories, they're basically the Starks from A Game of Thrones: honorable, humble, and gracious. Egg is a little hot-headed, but is easily kept in line by Dunk. The bad guys in the stories will be somewhat familiar, too, since they throw their weight around irresponsibly, by right of privilege alone. The good news is that in these stories, Martin forewent his usual trend of killing off all the characters you like, and let Dunk and Egg and the rest of the good guys survive a little bit longer. That might be what these stories are for, to be honest; palette-cleansers to remind us that there can still be a reason to hope in Westeros. In The Hedge Knight, we're introduced to the characters, so a good chunk of the story is their background, and then the story becomes one of Dunk proving himself to be worthy of the title "Ser." In The Sworn Sword, we're introduced to Dunk swearing fealty to an older knight, and having to defend him against those who would steal his water during a drought. It has a cute and funny romantic subplot that felt so out of place in the overall series that I couldn't help but laugh and love it. The Mystery Knight is about as close as any of these stories get to being a standard Westeros story, as it involves political machinations and conspiracies, though not on the scale of what we've seen outside these stories. What I like the most about these stories is how they fit in with the entire series. Dunk is mentioned in passing as having been a member of the Kingsguard in A Storm of Swords, and it's wild to see how he started off literally at the bottom of society and moved his way up to being one of the seven highest-regarded knights in Westeros. They also touch on the Blackfyre Rebellion, going into more detail, even though we don't see the rebellion as it takes place. We also see house names pop up here and there, and even get a few cameos of older characters who appear in the series proper. I can't find anything wrong with these stories, but I didn't find a whole lot wrong with A Feast for Crows, either, despite other readers not liking it all that much. It's safe to say that I'm an A Song of Ice and Fire fanboy, as I look at the overall series when I consider how much I like one particular book. I'm even fine with having to wait for the books, since I want Martin to get them right. Even if all I can get in the meantime are these short snippets into the history of Westeros, that's fine with me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    The Mystery Knight is pretty important to Martin's worldbuilding, but it feels a bit scattered compared the other novellas. We're introduced to a number of hedge knights, proper knights, and lords right away and it becomes difficult to keep the lot of them straight. There are a few with differentiating characteristics—Ser Glendon Ball sticks out right away—but in general, I found myself struggling to recall who was who. Dunk's experience in the lists is as riveting as ever, though. These no The Mystery Knight is pretty important to Martin's worldbuilding, but it feels a bit scattered compared the other novellas. We're introduced to a number of hedge knights, proper knights, and lords right away and it becomes difficult to keep the lot of them straight. There are a few with differentiating characteristics—Ser Glendon Ball sticks out right away—but in general, I found myself struggling to recall who was who. Dunk's experience in the lists is as riveting as ever, though. These novellas include some of the best action sequences Martin has written—even including the mainline A Song of Ice and Fire series—and The Mystery Knight is another fine example of that quality. But I couldn't help feeling that, while this entry is important to Martin's worldbuilding, it doesn't work nearly as well as a novella as The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword do. It lacks the focus and the tight narrative of the prior episodes, instead choosing to depict a conspiracy that deserves far more sprawl and page count than it gets here. I chalk this up to Martin's desire to fully flesh out his world's history, and not having the format to do so prior to the conception of his world books, The World of Ice and Fire and Fire and Blood. I believe that both The Mystery Knight and A Dance With Dragons are markedly weaker entries due to the fact that they're jam-packed with worldbuilding that Martin feels is important, but does not always make the stories in those two works better themselves. The Mystery Knight is generally well-regarded by ASOIAF fans, but I found it clearly the weakest novella of the three that have been released thus far. It's still worth a read for its likeable protagonists and its viscerally affecting depiction of jousting, but both The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword are more cohesive and more consistently readable.

  30. 5 out of 5

    David

    Another tale of the same type as the first two (yawn). Same tropes and lines get repeated. Not much new here other than additional info on the Second Blackfyre Rebellion.

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