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355 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 2013
“A great battle is a terrible thing," the old knight said, "but in the midst of blood and carnage, there is sometimes also beauty, beauty that could break your heart.”
"A hedge knight is the truest kind of knight, Dunk," the old man had told him, a long long time ago. "Other knights serve the lords who keep them, or from whom they hold their lands, but we serve where we will, for men whose causes we believe in. Every knight swears to protect the weak and the innocent, but we keep the vow best I think."I had actually, sort of, already read the first novella, Hedge Knight, in the form of the graphic novel. I liked the graphic novel and liked the novella even better. In fact all of the novellas stood very well on their own, not trying to do too much within their story while still doing a fantastic job of developing the relationship between Egg and Dunk. I really liked their relationship and how it grew over the course of the stories.
"Treason... is only a word. When two princes fight for a chair where only one may sit, great lords and common man alike must choose. and when the battle's done, the victors will be hailed as loyal men and true, whilst those who were defeated will be known forevermore as rebels and traitors."So as Dunk and Egg (his squire) travel about they are confronted with these consequences: lords who backed the wrong (though not in their mind) side, conspirators to return the Blackfyres, political discontent with the current regime who many believe is being controlled by a sorcerer bastard offspring of the previous king.
"Can I have a sword to run them off with?"OK, so they don't start off on the best of terms, but once they settle into the knight-squire relationship they develop respect and admiration for each other.
"No. A knife's enough. And you had best be here when I come back, do you hear me? Rob me and run off, and I'll hunt you down, I swear I will. With dogs."
"You don't have any dogs."
"I'll get some, just for you."
"Pour Ser Duncan a cup of sweet Dornish Red [Egg]. Try not to spill it on him, you've done him sufficient ill already."And while Dunk pretty consistently threatens to clout Egg, it rarely happens, it is more a playful type of threat. Dunk clearly treats Egg with all the respect due a squire without abusing his power over him. Egg is stronger in some matters and instead of resenting Egg for it, Dunk makes use of it. All in all a great relationship that I enjoyed to see blossom. Even though GRRM is way behind on Winds of Winter, I really hope we end up with more Dunk and Egg stories.
"The boy won't spill, Your Grace. He's a good boy. A good squire. And he meant no harm to me, I know."
"One need not intend harm to do it."
"Well, some knights sing gallant songs to their ladies, or play them tunes upon a lute."
"I have no lute. And that night I drank too much in the Planky Town, you told me I sang like an ox in mud in a mud wallow."
"I had forgotten, ser."
"How could you forget?"
"You told me to forget, ser. You told me I'd get a clout in the ear the next time I mentioned it."
"Ser? That fat septon said my father sulks in Summerhall."
"Words are wind."
"My father doesn't sulk."
"Well, he might. You sulk."
"I do not. Ser. Do I?"
"Some. Not too often, though. Elsewise I'd clout you in the ear more than I do."
"You clouted me in the ear at the gate."
"That was half a clout at best. If I ever give you a whole clout, you'll know."