Thursday, May 21, 2015

"The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel (The Hedge Knight Graphic Novels I)" by George R.R. Martin, Ben Avery, and Mike S. Miller

This is the first graphic novel I've actually finished reading. Something about books with pictures instead of descriptive text turns me off, but in the case of this book, I don't think I missed anything by not reading the original text only version. I had been prepared to be disappointed, as many graphic novels don't seem to hold my interest, but that was not the case with this one.

The Hedge Knight takes place a hundred years before the events of A Game of Thrones, and I have to say, it's nice to get to know the Targaryens as royals prior to their ousting. This book, for the most part, doesn't get as epic as the original series, but it does ease the deep, gaping hole in my chest that has been aching since 2011. I find it highly unusual that I remember all the house crests/colors of the houses, as well as their 'generational' traits, but I guess when you read five 700+ page books, the world sticks with you, even if you have a sieve for holding memories with holes as large as mine does.

The Plot: (As Seen on Goodreads)
'In this prequel story to George R. R. Martin's Award winning, New York Times Best Selling novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, Night falls over the life of one noble knight and brings the dawn of his squire's knighthood. Dubbing himself "Ser Duncan the Tall," the Hedge Knight sets forth to the tourney at Ashford Meadow in search of fame, glory, and the honor of upholding his oath as a knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Unfortunately for him, the world isn't ready for a knight who keeps his oaths, and his chivalrous methods could be the very cause of his demise.'

And now onto the artwork- it was well done, but a little too clean. I realize how long each little panel must take to make, but if I had a paper version of this graphic novel, I'd want to take my pencil and add in some graphite in areas to grunge it up. I really don't like images that look too perfect- although some of the characters have a scar, they all look idealized. If Tyrion were to make an appearance in this book (which he can't- he wasn't born) he'd look like a Ken doll. My complaints might be because I have the Kindle version, but I expect a little more dirt in the images.

The story itself has a few twists, which I was able to recognize due to my familiarity with the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, but one caught me a little off guard. There is really only one female character who has recurring scenes, but given 'Dunk the Lunk' is a hedge knight without a family, I doubt that many girls would be hanging off of him at this point. Still, there are plenty of characters to love... and loathe, as you would expect with a George R.R. Martin novel.

The Hedge Knight is a graphic novel I can't really compare against others, as I haven't finished any others. Still, it had me turning pages despite my preference for the plain ol' written word, and grateful that I'd shelled out the cash to add it to my Kindle library. If you love the A Song of Ice and Fire series, I do think you would enjoy another previous take on Mr. Martin's world, like the one The Hedge Knight portrays.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars for an excellent graphic novel that I didn't put down.

Content: Ages 16+ for violence and gore (and no sexual misconduct- yay!).

Page Count: 184 pages (some of mine were a preview of the second book)

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