George R. R. Martin A Tale of the Seven Kingdoms Audiobook
- The Mystery Knight: A Tale of the Seven Kingdoms are 90 years before the events of the Iron Throne … Yes, with George R. R. Martin, it’s always very precise … 90 years is not a hundred! And precision, our author is not lacking. There are always so many anecdotes, names and events. The book contains three short stories: “the wandering knight”, my favorite, which is 128 pages, “the cork sword” which has 156, and “the dragon egg” which has 44.
- Fans of the Iron Throne and George R. R. Martin A Tale of the Seven Kingdoms Audiobook will be delighted to find the richness of style that we have enjoyed in the saga that made him famous. Our stray knight is called Dunk, a young and vigorous squire of 16 or 17 years old, a bit boisterous at times, often boorish, but very endearing. Squire is not a knight, you say! And you will be absolutely right. Imagine that our young friend is accompanying his master, ser Arlan de l’Arbre-Sous, to participate in the great Cendregué tournament, but the latter has the good idea of dying along the way. What would you have done in his place? Wouldn’t you have taken his master’s armor and mount like him? Wouldn’t you have tried like him to try your luck at the tournament? Not to cover himself with glory, Dunk has his feet on the ground, he knows he has no chance, he knows what he is. But if he passes a round, or even two, his fortune will be made. Neither one nor two, so here he is on his way to Cendregué where he will cross the path of a little sticky kid with a shaved head, nicknamed the Egg, who will eventually become his squire.
- Once in Cendregué, nothing goes as planned, Dunk will be refused registration for the tournament because he is not noble, but will be forced to fight anyway to save his own skin. I say no more so as not to reveal too much what makes the charm of the story. Our two heroes are really endearing, and that is the first strength of the collection. Unlike the iron throne which abounds in characters, Martin concentrates on these two, even if he can not help making them rub shoulders with dozens of other guys whose names we forgot as soon as the page turned.
- The second strong point of our author remains his ability to restore the atmosphere of his tournament. It smells like dung and hot bread in the early morning, in this huge meadow where all the participants of the tournament are gathered. But the fighters are numerous, and Martin cannot resist the pleasure of describing the details of their games to us, with this incredible ability to keep the reader in suspense. You never know which of the two protagonists will end up baffled, their eyes sunk or their heads severed. And in this big mess that constitutes the immense meadow where the battalors are installed, there are also their squires, their whores, their marshals-ferrand, and all these tents, these stalls give an impression of anthill to the reader and to our poor Dunk, a little lost. It’s rich, it’s well written, and the story goes slowly, Martin style if I dare (come on, dare), but the outcome is really very interesting, almost epic.
- This first chronicle leads Dunk and the Egg into a second adventure “the sword-lige”, which will lead our two heroes to enlist in the service of an obscure lord of the reach. They then live in a shabby castle, in a blistering heat, surrounded by a garrison made up of poor wretches, and they are drawn into a neighborhood quarrel with Lady Rohanne Tissier, known as the Red Widow, Lady of Froide-Douve . I subscribed less to the story, a little longuette in my opinion, but damn that I could suffer from the heat with our knight wandering under his armor and his coat of mail, that I could feel the dust s insinuate everywhere, that I appreciated the rare moments when he was able to cool off. Martin is second to none to describe the feelings of his characters, the atmosphere that surrounds him, his sufferings, the climate.
- The latest short story “The Egg and the Dragon” is quite complex with its long references to the past of the 7 crowns, and one can understand why Martin often alludes to it, when he discovers the outcome he has in store for us. But it taints the fluidity of the story at the same time, and that’s a shame. Nevertheless, I recommend “the chronicles of the wandering knight”, just for the first adventure which is worth its weight in gold. Throne of Iron lovers will find Martin’s ambiance and style.