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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

A Song of Ice and Fire
Written by: George R. R. Martin
Narrated by: Harry Lloyd
Length: 10 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (340 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin's ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness.

Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there were Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve, but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals - in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg - whose true name (hidden from all he and Dunk encounter) is Aegon Targaryen. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lie ahead for these two...as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn't dead - yet.

©2015 George R. R. Martin (P)2015 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story

narrator was very engaging. i struggled with the volume being too quiet on the whispers and too loud on the shouts, but it wasn't a dealbreaker. i liked that it was more fairy-tale like and less dry than Martin's others'.

3 people found this helpful

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Harry Lloyd made this production

A lovely story to illustrate how ones birth does not limit what is true of chivalry. Harry Lloyd’s narration of this book was amazing. He captures the heart and soul of Sir Duncan the Tall

1 person found this helpful

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Great book when ASOIAF just isn't enough.

Really interesting book. Good to listen to if your waiting for WOW. Story lines are good. Can't wait for the next chapter.

1 person found this helpful

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Nice treat

Entertaining and a nice way to get between books. Love the characters, I enjoyed riding with them and reading their tale.

1 person found this helpful

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Lacking performance supported by Martin's captivat

If you enjoy paying full price for half of an audiobook this is the title for you. The orator's delivery is torn between ear piercing pre-pubescent screeching and soft unintelligible mumbling. Often choosing to follow each tone with its polar opposite. This delivery requires the listener to constantly adjust the volume or risk missing out on half of the dialog. Unless you are listening amid pin drop silence you will be wholly unimpressed by the delivery of this title.

3 people found this helpful

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I loved it every step of the way!

From start to finish, this book was incredibly engaging. I highly recommend it to any GOT fans.

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Great Story

Some volume issues, varying from too quiet then too loud, but everything else was excellent. Wish there was more to follow.

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Worth listening to again, and again.

The stories in Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, while intensely focused and character-driven, shine against the backdrop of Martin’s grandiose world-building. I savoured every moment of the early adventures of Dunk and Egg. On finishing, I was ready to listen again, just in case I missed something, since there are many small but crucial details in Martin’s writing.

I was happy with the performance. While understated, Lloyd’s reading captures voices (and particular accents) beautifully. He has a way of handling Dunk’s many inner monologues that reminded me of a Shakespearean aside, and made for an enjoyable listen.

I am a fan of Martin’s other books, which can sometimes overwhelm the reader in sheer depth and breadth of their imagined world. On the other, I really appreciated the single POV and focused narrative of Knight if the Seven Kingdoms, and the almost tender treatment of Dunk and Egg’s partnership.

I’m already hungering for a follow up, though I do hope he completes a certain other major project first. (*Cough*Winds of Winter*cough*)

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Bad Narrator, Good Story

The Narrator sounds bored while reading this. There are points where it sounds like he catches himself falling asleep and suddenly wakes up with a shout, then starts dozing off and whispering again.

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Oak and Iron guard me well or else I'm dead

I absolutely love that they got Harry Lloyd to narrative the story. All 3 novellas are out standing, this is probably my favorite ASOIAF story. Dunk the Lunk thick as a castle wall

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  • Celeste Albers
  • 2016-04-26

Martin is a genius

I usually avoid prequels as they are usually an attempt to further capitalize on a popular series and not that good. Not so here.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a stand alone, beautifully realized tale of bravery, honor, friendship and betrayal. Some of the best action scenes I have read/heard can be found here along with a bit of intrigue.
The narration was very well done.
I will listen to this title again and look forward to the continuation of this prequel almost as much as I yearn for The Winds of Winter!

84 people found this helpful

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  • Pusang Tulog
  • 2015-10-14

What separates Lloyd from Dotrice

There is no argument that Martin's writing style is excellent for listening and not all fictional works are. Some are awkward when read aloud. However, it does make a difference who reads it. Maybe it's the breathing, the phrasing or whatever--but listening to Dotrice feels like you're sitting at your grandfather's feet while he tells you a story. Maybe some people prefer that. But others like me, not so much. It just gets in the way when you are listening to the reader rather than the story.

Lloyd literally disappears in the narrative and you forget you are being read to. The immersion is that good.

246 people found this helpful

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  • Momster Cupcakes
  • 2015-10-12

I was worried about the reader...

because it wasn't Roy Dotrice. But I shouldn't have been. Excellent narration and an excellent story. This is a great addition to The Song of Ice and Fire stories while we wait FOREVER for the next book!

112 people found this helpful

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  • Shaobee
  • 2019-04-30

Not the best for car – listening

This is a great story. The narrator is good, but unfortunately he drops his voice so low so frequently that you just have to get used to this really really loud voice so that you can kind of mostly hear him when he frequently drops his tone and volume

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jacobus
  • 2015-10-15

A Don Quixote of sorts in the Seven Kingdoms

Meet the Don Quixote of Westeros, Ser Duncan the Tall! A man that believe in Valour! Honour! Courtesy! and Chivalry! In three excellent novellas George R.R. Martin introduces readers to a very different Westeros through the eyes of this recently made hedge knight, who seems not to be able to break from his upbringing in Flee Bottom, King's Landing. Ironically he has a bald 10 year old boy as a squire, that is in some ways a real Sancho Pancha. Egg, as he is called affectionately by his family, also comes from King's Landing, but not from Flee Bottom. Thus we as listeners are introduced to a very odd pair. A big oaf and a little clever guy, almost like Asterix and Obelix, but with the difference that "Obelix" is in charge and "Asterix" has to dutifully obey. No wonder the refrain "Dunk the lunk thick as a castle wall" echoes every now and again in the novellas!

Martin turns the expectations that you might have of a knight on its head, making these stories very likeable. Yet, I have one qualm with the book, it ends with a promise, by George R.R. Martin... that more might be coming. That is the problem with these stories, they are like an introduction to an adventure that is not yet completed. When will Dunk and Egg get to the Wall for instance?

In every sense, this book is a typical George R.R. Martin book. It contains three excellent stories, but you can help feeling that it is currently still unfinished. There might be more coming and you the listener has to.... wait!

Harry Lloyd narrated the three novellas very well. I am not so used to his accent and voice, but after the first novella it became easier to listen to him. By not using Roy Dotrice, it helps to get a different view on the seven kingdoms.

For Song of Ice and Fire fans, this is a definite must listen. It is definitely not a waste of a credit. If you don't want to start reading or listening through the whole Song of Ice and Fire series, maybe this is a good place to start. This book comes highly recommended for its entertainment value and for answering some of the "historical" questions of a Song of Ice and Fire.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2015-10-08

WELL MEET

I'M GOING TO CLOUT YOU IN THE EAR.
This is three novellas of which THE HEDGE KNIGHT is the first and best. This is one of my favorite stories of all time. I first read it in my beautiful First Edition of Legends by Robert Silverberg (1998). If you can find a copy, get it, it is beautiful. I also believe audible has it in several volumes. It is a great story of chivalry and life in Westros from the perspective of someone who does not have loyal blood. Dunk is one inch shy of being seven feet tall. He is not extremely bright, but he is one lovable character. This being written by GRRM, who kills off main characters without blinking, helps build the suspense. This story alone makes the purchase worth it. I also love the language.

HARD THINGS GROW HARDER IF YOU PUT THEM OFF.
The next two novellas are THE SWORN SWORD and THE MYSTERY KNIGHT. Though they are not as good as the first story, which would be hard to beat anyway, they are worth listening to. The main characters Dunk and Egg are characters you love and respect. Unlike most of GRRM's characters they have stayed good and not disappointed,by going to the dark side. No, grey areas, they are always true. These two stories by themselves I would give each four stars. The MYSTERY KNIGHT, did get a little muddied with all the house names and royalty names and I did get a little lost a times. Still good though.

ARE YOU BLIND OR ONLY STUPID?
At the end we get a promise from GRRM, that these stories are going to continue. Even though each story can be read on it's own, you get more out of them if you have read all of them and in order. So, to stay up with future stories, you will want to get these.

WORDS ARE WIND
I thought the narrator was excellent, he did excellent voices. At times he did do some whispering, in which he really whispered. There were some sentences that I missed. I don't know if that was his mistake or the producers. I was listening over my big rig's radio. Might be different at home or in your car.

BY CHANCE WE'LL MEET AGAIN SOMEDAY

129 people found this helpful

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  • Becky
  • 2016-03-20

good book overall

The story is interesting, but sometimes Harry Lloyd speaks VERY softly when saying what Dunk is thinking, which means I miss a lot. I either keep the volume all the way up, and get my ears blown out when he uses a high squeeky voice, or I miss a lot of internal dialogue.

42 people found this helpful

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  • Kirby
  • 2015-10-12

Good, Not Great

The story gives some history of Westeros but doesn't offer anything of necessity. I only recommend if you need a GoT fix until book 6 is released.

The performance is really good however, Harry Lloyd would read a bit too quiet at times for a line or two. It made it rather difficult to hear while driving but he didn't do it long enough to make any real negative impact. Lloyd's narration and acting is up there with the best I've heard from audiobooks.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Jefferson
  • 2019-10-19

“Do you want a clout on the ear?”

George R. R. Martin’s A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (2015) collects three entertaining novellas about the odd knight and squire couple Dunk and Egg. The stories take place about 100 years prior to the events of The Game of Thrones and add texture and pleasure to the rich, long history of Martin’s famous secondary world.

In the start of “The Hedge Knight” (1998) teenage Dunk, already closer to seven feet tall than to six, buries Ser Arlan of Pennytree, the man who rescued him from life as a street urchin in Flea Bottom and made him his squire, teaching him how to ride and fight and be an honorable hedge knight, loyally serving whatever lord he chooses to work for, protecting the weak, and keeping himself clean (which means bathing once per month). Before dying, Ser Arlan knighted Dunk. The new knight goes to participate in a tourney at Ashford Mead, where he gets a new suit of armor, a new name (Ser Duncan the Tall), a new sigil (shooting star over an elm tree), a new unattainable love interest (the Dornish puppetress Tanzel Too Tall), and best of all a new squire, a bald boy with violet eyes and the odd name Egg. “Dunk the lunk, thick as a castle wall” finally learns that his new squire is more than he seems. Egg is a superb companion: intelligent, knowledgeable about heraldry and history, loyal, and mouthy. Dunk is always warning him, “Do you want a clout on the ear,” a comical refrain because he (almost) never hits the boy.

“The Sworn Sword” (2003) finds Dunk and Egg during a drought in the service of Ser Eustace Osgrey, a sad, lonely, aging, almost senile landed knight who, due to his having fought on the losing side in a Targaryen civil war between half-brothers (one legitimate, one bastard) about fifteen years earlier, has been reduced to living in a broken down tower fort while his neighbor, Lady Rohanne Webber, nicknamed the Red Widow because all four of her husbands have died, thrives in a castle with dozens of men-at-arms and knights and crossbowmen and a maester clever at building dams. Ser Eustace has only one other knight in his service besides Dunk, the sour-leaf chewing, insult spewing, bad-cheese smelling, peasant bullying Ser Bennis of the Brown Shield. The role Dunk and Egg play in the feud between Ser Eustace and Lady Rohanne is comical, cool, and moving.

In “The Mystery Knight” (2010) Dunk ignores Egg’s advice to not participate in a wedding tourney at White Walls castle, an event attended by a handful of colorful hedge knights and lord knights, many of the latter veterans of the now sixteen-years-old failed rebellion. Just who is that Ser John the Fiddler, a handsome young hedge knight who seems too wealthy and cocky to belong to Dunk’s calling? The story shows Dunk learning lessons in drinking, jousting, betting, scheming, and wedding as well as Dunk and Egg’s relationship being suspensefully threatened and movingly affirmed.

No one does the pageantry, paraphernalia, and violence of knights--costumes, sigils, armor, weapons, rituals, betrayals, triumphs, tournaments, melees, etc.--better than Martin. Each story features violent action, humorous conversation, and sensual pleasure (bath, feast, wine, etc.). Each story features vivid descriptions, of things like a warhorse charging (“Spatters of mud spraying back”), a burnt woods (“fiery islands in a sea of ashes”), a fight to the death in a river (“The fish flashed past his face”), and a giant wedding pie (“brown and crusty and immense and there were noises coming from inside it”). Each story has a turning point that hinges on honor, a temptation for Dunk to take an easy way (say, to become a lord’s knight in a castle instead of a hedge knight on the road) that he with varying degrees of regret and pride refuses. Each also features unsentimental life wisdom, like “Gods have a taste for cruel japes,” “They all look the same after a few days on a spike,” and “Some old dead king gave his sword to one son instead of the other, and that was the start of it. And now I’m standing here.”

The audiobook reader Harry Lloyd has perfect pacing and an appealing manner, but whenever he reads Dunk’s internal thoughts, he makes his voice too low and soft, so if you don’t turn up the volume you might miss some cool self-deprecatory musings.

The three novellas are unpredictable, suspenseful, funny, and neat. They are The Game of Thrones with a protagonist who has no interest in the game of thrones and prefers to wander about Westeros with his squire, trying to become a good knight. They are The Game of Thrones without supernatural elements (no white walkers, revenants, red priestesses, and dragons--apart from their eggs). Readers who like realistic medieval stories of knightly adventures from a modern perspective should like this collection. It ends with Martin saying that the adventures of Dunk and Egg continue in as yet unrecorded tales, and I am looking forward to going out on the road with them again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • William Robere
  • 2019-05-07

bad performance

whenever the main character was talking to himself, it got super quiet where I couldn't hear what was going on.

2 people found this helpful