Martin, George R. R. The Hedge Knight II: Sworn Sword.

NY: Marvel, 2008.

This sequel to The Hedge Knight (2008) was also adapted by Ben Avery and drawn by Mike Miller, but I didn’t find it to be nearly as good as the first book.

It’s a year and a half after the events we witnessed there and young Dunk (who keeps trying, not very successfully, to get people to call him “Ser Duncan the Tall”), accompanied by his squire, Egg (who is a good deal more than he seems) has taken service with the elderly Ser Eustace. The old man lives in the glory days of the past and he has ongoing territorial issues with the “Red Widow” of the next fief over. There’s a drought on, and water is being stolen, and a peasant worker gets his face slashed by an arrogant and bullying knight, and now it looks like a good deal more blood is about to be shed to no good purpose. Dunk would like to try to prevent that, so off he goes — and discovers that various people have been lying to him. But he always tries hard to live up to his own vision of what a knight’s honor ought to be, and this time that’s going to put him in serious danger.

It’s not a bad story, as such, but there’s so much extraneous narration, so many dozens of offstage characters who never become more than names — even if you’ve recently read the first volume — that you’re likely to wonder if you’ve missed something. It’s almost as if this were the third volume in a series, not the second, and that the middle volume was never published — maybe never written. If you *bleep* over that half of the book, the remaining half makes a passably interesting episode, and that’s about all.

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Published in: on 27 February 2013 at 6:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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