The Princess and the Queen is novella by George R. R. Martin that is set in Westeros about 200 years before the events in A Game of Thrones. It was published in the Dangerous Women anthology.
Back when there were still dragons in Westeros and Targaryens sat on the Iron Throne, there was a civil war between two Targaryens over who should rule. King Viserys I Targaryen had declared his eldest child, Princess Rhaenyra, as his heir, but Queen Alicent (Rhaenyra’s stepmother) wanted to see her own children on the throne when the king died.
The war, known as the Dance of Dragons, completely devastated both sides of the Targaryen family and their dragons.
It has been months since I read The Princess and the Queen, but I forgot to review it (whoops!). I’m a HUGE fan of A Song of Ice and Fire and the Dunk and Egg novellas, but I didn’t really enjoy The Princess and the Queen. :/
The idea of a Targaryen civil war fought with dragons was extremely enticing. Unfortunately, it read like a historical account rather than a story. There was little character development, just a lots and lots of names and places. Meh.
I definitely wouldn’t recommend reading this if you haven’t already read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I don’t think it does well as a standalone.
You might like this book if you like…
- A Song of Ice and Fire
- The Targaryen family
- History books
Last month, I read The Tales of Dunk and Egg, an ongoing series of novellas written by George R. R. Martin that take place roughly 100 years before the events in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. There are currently 3 such novellas, with more planned for the future.
Dunk is a young hedge knight who encounters a boy named Egg (if you’ve read A Feast for Crows, you know who this is) who insists on being Dunk’s squire. The stories chronicle their adventures throughout Westeros.
- The Hedge Knight – Dunk enters a tourney at Ashford and encounters the Targaryens.
- The Sworn Sword – Dunk and Egg travel to Dorne and enter into the service of Ser Eustace Osgrey of Standfast, during a feud with Lady Webber “The Red Widow” of Coldmoat.
- The Mystery Knight – Dunk and Egg attend Lord Butterwell’s wedding and enter the tourney in hopes of winning a dragon egg.
One thing I really liked about the series is the insight you get about the Targaryens. In ASOIAF, their reign was largely defined by Mad King Aerys. In Dunk and Egg, you get to see that there is a lot more to the Targaryens than just the Mad King.
It can be a little tricky to find copies of the Dunk and Egg stories, but GRRM is planning on publishing them together with the 4th novella sometime soon.