59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2013
This has The Mystery Knight in it. If you're looking for the Dunk and Egg stories from ASOIAF, get this, Legends II:Dragon, Sword and King and Legends: Stories by the Masters of Modern Fantasy if you want all three D&E stories.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Warriors was originally issued as a very large and expensive hardback. The contents have been broken down into two (or three?) bite size chunk paperbacks and this is the first.
George RR Martin explains in his introduction the joy of the 'spinning rack' at his corner store where genres were mixed and he discovered many great authors. This anthology is like the spinning rack, the common theme is that of a warrior of somekind, but after that premise, all bets are off..
The six stories here are by Joe Haldeman (with a SF tale from the world of Forever War), Steven Saylor (with a Roman tale set at the time of the sack of Carthage), Tad Williams (a story of an interplanetary assassin), Robert Silverberg (a fantasy story of the few remaining soldiers guarding a great barrier) and finally George RR Martin (a novella featuring Dunk and Egg from his Song of Ice and Fire series).
I enjoyed them all, the writing was superb and the stories did vary, perhaps if you don't like Sci-fi or fantasy then these may not be for you, but I enjoyed the mix and it was hard to pick a favourite, which is always a good sign. Great authors, strong writing and a fun mix of tales - what's not to like?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2013
I purchased this for 'The Mystery Knight' by George R. R. Martin as I am sure many others will. This is a remarkable conclusion to the 'Dunk and Egg' precursor to 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'
The other stories in here are good ... war stories and stories of heroism, but not fulfilling for a light-hearted fantasy reader such as myself. However, $7.19 was none to bad a deal to read the stories I was so desperately in need of. :P
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The mass market edition of Warriors has been split into at least 2 volumes for the soft cover. I believe it will be 3 volumes when all is said and done. This first volume has 6 stories, the second 7, which would still leave 7 to make up the 20 stories that comprised the hardcover edition. For the most bang for your buck, you probably can pick up the hardcover and sale for a bargain price and certainly cheaper than the $7.99 X3 you will pay for the paperbacks when they do not contain anything new from the hardcover. Many people will pick this up for the new Dunk and Egg story from Martin and luckily they put it in the first volume, so if that is all you want then this is the edition for you. Though probably the weakest of the 3 Dunk and Egg stories so far, it is nice to get anything from the Song of Fire and Ice universe from Martin. Clocking in at 150 pages, it is triple the size of any of the other stories. Other standouts in this collection are from Steven Saylor, Cecellia Holland, and Robert Silverberg. Not a big fan of science fiction, so I didn't care much for the Joe Haldeman or Tad Williams stories.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2013
Exactly what I expected when ordered. This is the third of George R.R. Martin's Dunk & Egg stories, set in the fantasy world of A Song of Ice and Fire which is the crowning jewel of the book. Can't wait for more stories. Plus, you also get an assortment of stories by different well-known writers of contemporary and modern fantasy.
This is volume 1 (of three) of a series of short stories on warriors across the ages that had been edited by Georges R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. There are six stories from Robert Silverberg, Joe Haldeman, Tad Williams, Cecilia Holland, Steven Saylor and Georges R R. Martin himself. The topics covered range across several genres: historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction in particular.
One of the stories – Defenders of the Frontiers by Robert Silverberg – seemed to be loosely inspired by Dino Buzzati’s “Tartar steppe”, with the muck depleted garrison of a frontier outpost waiting for an enemy that never comes and wondering what to do.
Georges Martin’s story (“the Mystery Knight”) takes place in Westeros and is portrayed as a “Tale of the Seven Kingdoms”. IT is however well before Games of Thrones at a time where the Targaryens are still on the throne but there are no more dragons alive, only a few eggs. Interestingly, the hero and his servant seem to be loosely modelled on Don Quichotte and Sancho Pansa.
Another tells the story of an assassin that is trained and mentally conditioned by a theocracy before being sent on what turns out to be a suicide mission to kill the leader of their enemies. Except that things turn out to be much more complicated than that… (Tad Williams);
The Eagle and the Rabbit is a rather awful story and contest of wills between a Carthaginian prisoner and slave and a very sadistic Roman. It takes place after the final destruction of Carthage
King of Norway is a Viking story with lots of “blood and thunder” and a superb battle at sea, or rather in a fjord, based on a historical one, even if the heroes are fictitious (by Cecilia Holland).
“Forever Bound” (Joe Halderman) is the story of a rather gruelling experience where the hero is mentally bound as part of a “hunter-killer” platoon with his mates, and with one of them in particular, in some sort of cyborg warfare. Loosely inspired by Vietnam, this piece of science-fiction insists on the lasting trauma brought by the experience of mental bonding.
This is a very strong collection of short stories. While readers will clearly prefer some of them to others, there are no real weak ones. All of them are rather good, even if not fantastic. Also, the format, with all stories being about fifty pages long except for the last one from Martin (over 140 pages), is rather well suited for holiday reading or reading when travelling. Five stars.
I am a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, so I bought this to be able to read the novella "The Mystery Knight" which is the third in the Dunk & Egg series (set about 50 years before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire). The book contains 6 stories, however, "The Mystery Knight" is three times longer than the other 5, so if you're only interested in this story, it is already worth buying the book, since the story is more than a quarter of the book (3/8ths to be precise).
I found the other stories to range from "okay" to "very good". Below I will record my thoughts on each of them:
Forever Bound by Joe Haldeman was pretty good. A story about a group of soldiers that have to share their inner thoughts through a machine to lead a special machine to war. A lot of the scenes were very interesting. The most interesting part of the story was the exploration of love when you share everything with another person.
The Eagle and the Rabbit by Steven Saylor was good. This story is about a group of Corinthians being enslaved by a group of Romans. The Roman leader singles out two Corinthians as the Eagle and the Rabbit. The Rabbit will be tortured more than normal and the Eagle will be treated kindly. The story has an interesting dilemma felt by the Eagle. Does he become Roman or does he continue a refugee life as a Corinthian? A very interesting dilemma.
And Ministers of Grace by Tad Williams was very good. This was my favorite story in the book. The main character is a very interesting assassin. Trained by a religious group (The Covenant) to kill the anti-religious prime minister of the Rationalist planet Archimedes. While the story might bash on religion, it is a very interesting story about brain-washing (not just by the religious leaders, but by the rationalist leaders). The setting created by the author was very interesting and makes me want to read more of this world. At the same time, the story is self-contained and well exectured.
The King of Norway by Cecelia Holland was okay. This was my least favorite story in the book. The story is about a Danish warrior who joins the vikings in a fight against the king of Norway. The story has good fighting scenes, specially between boats and the main character has his great moments, but overall, I was a bit disappointed with the story. It didn't resonate with me.
Defenders of the Frontier by Robert Silverberg was pretty good. The story deals with a group of 11 soldiers in a big fortress defending their Empire from an adversary. The war started 20 years ago with a lot more than 11 soldiers (more than ten thousand), but as time has gone by either battle or illness have brought the number down to 11. The enemy hasn't really attacked in over 6 years, but they also haven't heard back from the Empire in a long time. The question is whether to leave the post and try to go back to the Empire (which is very far and they have no maps to use) or stay there for the rest of their lives. It is an interesting question. Not a story that I will remember many years from now, but one that was worth reading.
The Mystery Knight by George R.R. Martin was very good. The reason I bought the book, didn't disappoint. It was a very strong story. The story is about a hedge knight (Duncan the Tall) who has a prince (Aegon, or Egg) as a squire. In this story they go to a tournament of jousting. The tournament is more than it seems.
My favorite part of the story was the notion of a tournament knight. Knights are very proud and almost always make their fortunes from battle, but in this book we are introduced to a smart knight who makes a fortune out of tournaments. He is a gifted jouster who uses people's perceptions against them to make a killing in the gambling circles. This notion was worth the story for me.
Overall, I am glad I purchased this book. It delivered a very good Song of Ice and Fire tale and other notable stories.
on June 13, 2011
To be fair, I don't have this book; I have the hardcover which has been split into three paperbacks. The contents of the paperbacks are not in the same order they are in the hardcover, and nor are they arranged by genre or anything else I can see.
First of all, this is not a fantasy anthology, despite GRRM being associated with it. If you want one of those, go try Swords and Dark Magic. This is multi-genre - sci-fi, fantasy, and historical fiction, with the common theme of being a "warrior" of some sort or other. This is pretty broadly defined, with everything from regular soldiers to vikings to the more exotic stuff. The setting vary as greatly, from past, present and future, here and there, and our protagonists are all sorts of people. It is "Warriors" too and not "War Stories": there is often more talking than action here.
These stories are some of the better ones I think: Silverberg has written a good tale of what happens when a war ends, Williams' story is readable and fun, if the ending is a little weak, and GRRM's Dunk and Egg novella seemed to contain a lot of little nods to the main Ice and Fire series at the expense of developing the actual story being written, which kind of staggered along for a while and then fell in a heap, with a few bright moments along the way.
Maybe that's the way with short stories, as almost all of these promise much and don't quite deliver. For these stories I'd probably give three and half stars if I could rather than three, but I can't. If you are only buying this to get the GRRM story, its probably cheaper than buying the hardback, but the GRRM story is not his best work, and that probably isn't the draw now it was back in 2010 when there was no release date for Dance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2014
Like any compilation book of short stories, you get a few stand-outs and a few snoozers. Everything Martin writes in the book is good and there were a couple of authors that he introduces us to that really impress.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2013
Got this book for the Dunk and Egg tale and was not disappointed, this book contains the 3rd Dunk and Egg tale, The Mystery Knight.
Can't wait for the next one.