I enjoyed this novella as much as, or mayhaps* even more than, I enjoyed [b:The Hedge Knight|11970747|The Hedge Knight (Tales of Dunk and Egg, #1)|George R.R. Martin|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1310018362s/11970747.jpg|24981100]. I am strongly convinced it's because no one I cared about died.
This being medieval fantasy though, and being George RR Martin, someone had to die. *shrug* I almost said the bad guy died, but, really, there's no labeling like that in GRRM's world. Longinch might've been unlikable but I'm pretty sure some hardcore fan can make up a sob story even for him. They did it with Ramsay.
Being a sworn sword is a tricky thing. You swear your loyalty to your lord, you want to protect the people who are under that lord. What if those two principles clash? How to result in peace without having to resort to war? The Sworn Sword
tackles those dilemmas, and more. This novella also sheds even more light to the Blackfyre Rebellion, presenting quite legitimate reasons why some lords chose Daemon Blackfyre's side, and why some lords chose Daeron Targaryen's side. It's all very fascinating.
Just as with The Hedge Knight, this story was engaging from start to finish. I love how GRRM displayed the life of low lords at the time, the consequences of invasions and treason, and emphasized how it was really the poor folk who needlessly suffered in these squabbles between high lords. Once you are under some lord or knight and you are called to arms for them, what can one do? Trained or not, these common folk who are unused to wielding weapons, who make up most of a party's host, will be the unfortunate casualties of war. They won't be able to go home to kiss their wives or children, or even get married to their betrothed.
In the ways that Dunk and Egg saved the day, I have grown even fonder of them.4 stars
I liked how GRRM handled the issues at hand, his humor, and even the romance here was nicely handled. A must read for any ASOIAF fan. If there's anything The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword taught me, is that GRRM knows how to make a satisfying ending that leans towards a happy ending. So this gives me hope regarding the ASOIAF series.Oh, god, I really hope I don't eat my words.
* "Mayhaps", pffffft.