The Game of Kings

The Game of Kings[Reading] ➷ The Game of Kings Author Dorothy Dunnett – Tbjewellers.co.uk Dunnett introduces her irresistible hero Francis Crawford of Lymond, a scapegrace nobleman of elastic morals and dangerous talents whose tongue is as sharp as his rapier In Lymond is returning to his Dunnett introduces her irresistible hero Francis Crawford of Lymond, a scapegrace nobleman of elastic morals and dangerous talents whose tongue is as sharp as his rapier InLymond is The Game PDF/EPUB ² returning to his native Scotland, which is threatened by an English invasion Accused of treason, Lymond leads a band of outlaws in a desperate race to redeem his reputation and save his land.

Dorothy Dunnett OBE was a Scottish historical novelist She is best known for her six part series about Francis Crawford of Lymond, The Lymond Chronicles, which she followed The Game PDF/EPUB ² with the eight part prequel The House of NiccolShe also wrote a novel about the real Macbeth called King Hereafter and a series of mystery novels centered on Johnson Johnson, a portrait painter spy Her New York times obituary is hereDorothy Dunnett Society.

The Game of Kings eBook ã The Game  PDF/EPUB ²
  • Paperback
  • 543 pages
  • The Game of Kings
  • Dorothy Dunnett
  • English
  • 16 September 2019
  • 0679777431

10 thoughts on “The Game of Kings

  1. says:

    Attention Please ignore the word romance in the goodreads description I would argue that classification.I spent years trying to get anyone I knew to read this book just so I could talk about it with someone other than myself I ve even given it as a gift half a dozen times or so Useless They all whine it s too hard to follow with the classical references, obscure poetry, and French quotes I say the story stands on its own without the reader being as well read as dear Dorothy Or you could l Attention Please ignore the word romance in the goodreads description I would argue that classification.I spent years trying to get anyone I knew to read this book just so I could talk about it with someone other than myself I ve even given it as a gift half a dozen times or so Useless They all whine it s too hard to follow with the classical references, obscure poetry, and French quotes I say the story stands on its own without the reader being as well read as dear Dorothy Or you could look it up and learn something They groan Lazy readers.So I ve either just given the least persuasive book review ever or I ve challenged you It makes no difference to me I ve stopped recommending it It s one of my very favorite books and if you never read it that s fine I ll just go in the other room and laugh to myself about Mungo s pig When you follow and ask what I m laughing about I ll say Oh nothing You wouldn t understand

  2. says:

    I despised men who accepted their fate I shaped mine twenty times and had it broken twenty times in my hands Bold words from a bold man Francis Crawford of Lymond has been accused of the most nefarious things deceit, treachery, rape, drunkenness, murder,and just so he will for sure hangtreason He has the same problem as Prince Harry of Wales does today He is the spare son, the second son The one that will have to make his own way while the grand Crawford estate goes to his older broth I despised men who accepted their fate I shaped mine twenty times and had it broken twenty times in my hands Bold words from a bold man Francis Crawford of Lymond has been accused of the most nefarious things deceit, treachery, rape, drunkenness, murder,and just so he will for sure hangtreason He has the same problem as Prince Harry of Wales does today He is the spare son, the second son The one that will have to make his own way while the grand Crawford estate goes to his older brother Richard Dumbarton Castle, ScotlandWomen are swept up under the sway of his seductive powers Men want to be him or kill him He makes it impossible for anyone to remain neutral in their regard for him His tongue is as sharp as a rapier and his reticence about not sharing plans has even his most stout allies tearing their hair out in frustration He is an accomplished polyglot and a master of disguise He is a force of nature creating havoc for the ever shifting alliances between the Scots and the English He does not join a side, does not trust any organization enough to actually call himself a member nice to know I m not the only one with this affliction In 1547 Scotland he is a Renaissance Man and that does create it s own problemsVersatility is one of the few human traits which are universally intolerable You may be good at Greek and good at painting and be popular You may be good at Greek and good at sport, and be wildly popular But try all three and you re a mountebank, Nothing arouses suspicion quicker than genuine, all round proficiency When his sister in law first meets Lymond, under rather awkward circumstances He was looting her house of silver at the time She can tell this brother has different stripes than her husband So this was Richard s brother Every line of him spoke, palimpsestwise, with two voices The clothes, black and rich, were vaguely slovenly the skin sun glazed and cracked the fine eyes slackly lidded the mouth insolent and self indulgent He returned the scrutiny without rancour What had you expected A viper, or a devil, or a ravening idiot Milo with the ox on his shoulders, Angra Mainyo prepared to do battle with Zoroaster, or the Golden Ass OR didn t you know the family colouring Richard hasn t got it Poor Richard is merely Brown and fit to break bread withMilo with his OxNow you may have noted several classical references in that bit of repartee Throughout the book Dunnett shows her range of reading and her understanding of classical literatureLook what we ve got Orpheus wriggling rump first out of Hades with his chivalry ashine like a ten thread twillIt could make a reader ME feel self conscious about my own inadequate reading resume One of my favorite characters was a blind woman named Lady Christian Stewart who despite her affliction is brave and brilliant provingthan a match for Lymond in a battle of witsTo be sure, said Christian serenely And painting with breath is my stock in trade you d forgotten that, hadn t you I m an architect in lexicography I can build you a palace of adverbs and a hermitage of personal pronouns As the plot slithers around and the mystery surrounding Lymond s innocence or guilt becomesconvoluted, key characters die at untimely moments, and shifting alliance change people s perspective of events The tension mounts as we are driven towards a final showdown between brothers, and a game of cards determines whether Lymond will swing or be welcomed back into the arms of his family The book is set against the backdrop of an English invasion of Scotland with Mary Queen of Scots a mere tot and incapable of providing commanding leadership Men like Lymond have to stand up and dothan their share to insure that there remains a kingdom to be commanded Dunnett deftly weaves fictional characters in with real life personages giving us an authentic feel for this turbulent time in Scottish History In the next book in the series Lymond follows Mary Queen of Scots to France to insure her safety I wouldn t miss it for anything.If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  3. says:

    1.99 Kindle sale, June 23, 2019 If you ever feel like you need a REALLY mentally challenging novel, I have the solution right here Game of Kings, first published in 1961, is an intricate, well plotted tale of the conflict between England and Scotland in 1547, when Mary Queen of Scots is a very young child, and the machinations of the various players in that conflict, especially Francis Crawford, called Lymond Lymond is a young man, exiled from Scotland for treason, who has now snuck back into 1.99 Kindle sale, June 23, 2019 If you ever feel like you need a REALLY mentally challenging novel, I have the solution right here Game of Kings, first published in 1961, is an intricate, well plotted tale of the conflict between England and Scotland in 1547, when Mary Queen of Scots is a very young child, and the machinations of the various players in that conflict, especially Francis Crawford, called Lymond Lymond is a young man, exiled from Scotland for treason, who has now snuck back into the country and is busy making waves and causing trouble, for reasons that gradually are revealed Dorothy Dunnett uses chess terms as chapter titles and Middle English quotes about chess at the start of most chapters, and really this book is very much like one massive chess game, played by a master player.Parts of Game of Kings were completely fascinating I always enjoy reading about a person who has their own mysterious agenda, which they follow to the end while everyone around them sees only their small piece of the puzzle This book is very well written, and a lot of the scenes really came to life for me The last couple of hundred pages kept me up until past 1 30 am reading, since I couldn t put the book down unfinished.But and this is a fairly large but any book that reminds me of reading Ulysses in college, I m going to have some issues with Lymond is a brilliant scholar as well as an athlete and musician, and excellent swordsman and archer, andwell, I m not sure there s anything he doesn t do well Except not be an asshole So aside from being a bit of a Gary Stu, which I have absolutely no issues with when the book is good enough, Lymond is given to dialogue that includes various quotes in French or Latin which Dunnett never bothers translating for you and obscure literary references that may have been familiar to well read people back in the 16th century but certainly aren t well known now I was an English major in college, and most of this stuff I did not get AT ALL Here s a sample Lymond quote and no, this is not atypical Don t you think it s time my family shared in my misfortunes, as Christians should Then, vice is so costly May dew or none, my brown and tender diamonds don t engender, they dissolve Immoderation, Mariotta, is a thief of money and intestinal joy, but who d check it Here I am, weeping soft tears of myrrh, to prove it I rest my case I also had a challenge following the political maneuvering and battles, although that may not be a problem forhistorically savvy readers.Several people told me that you just need to let the parts that you don t understand roll over you Ignore them and just go on, was their advice And yes, that worked pretty well, but still, any book written as late as 1961 that needs to and does have several guidebooks written about it to help readers get all the in jokes and obscure quotes and references, maybe has a bit too much going on for its own good.I should be fair and add that most people in the book talk like normal people Even Lymond, when he s not trying to be mysterious or evasive, can use plain speech And if you re willing to take on or overlook the difficult parts, there is so much in this book to love Lymond s adventures, as well as his problematic relationships with his brother his second in command, Will Scott a blind woman, Christian Stewart and others make for incredible, sometimes humorous and often very exciting reading So, marvelous book, but minus a star for being a little too obscure and difficult and making me all irritated and surly for the first 100 pages, until I just got over it One of these times I m going to reread it, and maybe my rating will go up then.Thanks so much to Marquise for the buddy read ETA Queens Play, the second book in this series, is much easier to read though still challenging and incredibly gripping and rewarding So if you gave up on Dunnett after Game of Kings, I encourage you to give the second one a shot

  4. says:

    In the hands of a less skilled writer, this could have been a real page turner The Game of Kings has all the ingredients to make it an irresistible read a romantic, handsome, complex hero, an exciting historical setting and era, family drama and politics, well researched details and vivid descriptions, intrigue and mystery.But like the hero, Lymond, the novel itself is in turns brilliant and frustrating Scotland, 1547 Diplomacy having failed, England has used force to bring Scotland into a In the hands of a less skilled writer, this could have been a real page turner The Game of Kings has all the ingredients to make it an irresistible read a romantic, handsome, complex hero, an exciting historical setting and era, family drama and politics, well researched details and vivid descriptions, intrigue and mystery.But like the hero, Lymond, the novel itself is in turns brilliant and frustrating Scotland, 1547 Diplomacy having failed, England has used force to bring Scotland into an alliance After five years in exile, Francis Crawford of Lymond returns to his homeland, a defiant Scotland Scotland, barren and beautifulLymond is back Lymond is in Scotland Lymond We know all about Lymond Rieving and ruttery and all manner of vice And treason Why has Lymond, an outlawed rebel returned Is he come to wreak havoc with his band of outlaws And what of the uneasy relationship with his older brother, Richard Or has he other, deeper motives for his return Edinburgh, 16th century And, long since ashore with his men and his booty, Crawford of Lymond, man of wit and crooked felicities, bred to luxury and heir to a fortune, rode off serenely to Midculter to break into his new sister in law s castle.And so begins The Game of Kings. Battle of Pinkie CleughSome years ago after I met and fell madly, deliriously and irrevocably in love with Jamie Fraser and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, it was suggested that I go on and read The Lymond Chronicles, and that I would again fall madly, deliriously and irrevocably in love with one, Francis Crawford of Lymond.Lymond is a true Renaissance man He can be anything, and do everything Musician, swordsman, master strategist, man of breeding and education, accomplished linguist, actor, lover, patriot Man of mystery, gifted with intelligence and good looks And with the most amazing head for recalling obscure text and poems in any number of languages at just the right moment.On the plus side, The Game of Kings is complex, layered and brilliantly researched However, it is so often mired in French, Latin, Spanish and archaic English poems and texts with no translations, that it becomes a chore Lymond, our hero, is the worst offenderI am a narwhal looking for my virgin I have sucked up the sea like Charybdis and failing other entertainment will spew it three times daily, for a fee Tell me again, precisely, what you have just said about Mungo Tennant Forget about Mungo, tell me precisely, what you have just said, Lymond.Though sometimes categorised as historical romance, it isn t This first book is not even romantic historical fiction The first third to half of this book is like wading through molasses in winter It does pick up after that There s a method to Lymond s madness If you can stick with it, it does finally pay off But the road to get there is often bumpy, difficult to traverse, with occasional glimmers of brilliance that help propel the reader forward Mired in minutiae, it s hard to see the big picture here.Dorothy Dunnett is a master storyteller, and an exquisite wordsmith A classical education, perhaps even a master s degree in English Literature and a facility with a number of languages notwithstanding, a reader is not going to fully understand or appreciate this Let s be honest here, you re not really going to enjoy it completely either, if you can only understand a half or two thirds of itI wish to God, said Gideon, with mild exasperation, that you d talk just once in prose like other people So say we all This is not an easy, accessible read by any means However, there are scenes and lines that are bursts of brilliance Here, Lymond is laying down the law to his band of outlaws Disobey me in action or in spirit, gentleman, and you ll stay alive much longer than you want to Absolute silence.And this, when Lymond is posing as a palm reader although the lady knows who he is Firmly, her wrist was taken, and the fingers spread out A fine, capable hand Line of life hullo You appear to have died at the age of seven The embalmers are exceedingly skilful nowadays, she said gravely.While it s safe to say Ms Dunnett was a literary genius, I also think it s safe to say that only a handful of readers might be able to fully appreciate The Game of Kings. For first time readers, here s a hint just read it avoiding the untranslated texts, gloss over the rhymes and riddles of Lymond, and you might end up enjoying it However, to fully appreciate this novel and series it needs to be studied. On a second or third read, buy the guide and companions, join discussion forums, and peel back the layers of Lymond.There is a lot to enjoy but quite frankly teasing out these pockets of bliss from amongst the other stuff is work For some readers, it s not going to be worth it All in all, The Game of Kings is a very uneven read for me When a good quarter or a third, is totally unintelligible and seems to be there purely as a gilt edged frame to highlight the author s masterpiece which it isin places , I can t give a novel 5, or even 4 stars.However, I enjoyed The Game of Kings enough to continue the seriesThanks, Searock for the buddy read and suggesting another read of this classic

  5. says:

    This book, and how I feeeeeel about this book They demand flights of eloquence and rhetorical brilliance that I just don t have right now Or probably ever, if I m honest, not for this.It s only the second time I ve read this cover to cover But pieces of this book are graven into me Particular turns of phrase from scenes I ve read over again I despised men who accepted their fate I shaped mine twenty times and had it broken twenty times in my hands Andfundamental things I remembe This book, and how I feeeeeel about this book They demand flights of eloquence and rhetorical brilliance that I just don t have right now Or probably ever, if I m honest, not for this.It s only the second time I ve read this cover to cover But pieces of this book are graven into me Particular turns of phrase from scenes I ve read over again I despised men who accepted their fate I shaped mine twenty times and had it broken twenty times in my hands Andfundamental things I remembered the fact of Lymond s speech about patriotism, but not it s chilling, blazing content Yet when I got to it again, it rang my whole brain like a bell because it turns out I did remember, I just remembered so far down it felt like it came from me.It s a book with speeches, let me just repeat that.Okay, some actual content This is Scotland, 1547, conflict sparking with England, France circling It s a story of nations, but mostly it s about the lost son coming home, about his brother s marriage bending and bending until the cracks show, it s about his extraordinary mother, and their friends, and a long, awful, painful coming in from the cold I love them all so much I am helpless about it This is a ridiculous, absurd book where the main character is incomprehensible 75% of the time if you don t have a Ph.D in sixteenth century literature, and you don t have the faintest idea what anything means for about 500 pages, and I love it as passionately and unreservedly as all its excesses demand It s about the flaw, the break, the shattering, and building strength from personal anialation And in the last, a humanitarianism so strong, it feels brutal.Nope, definitely don t have it in me

  6. says:

    In order to clarify the situation with regard to said novel, let me first rehash what the two sides of the discussion have been saying Side What the fuck is this It s obscure Every time Lymond opens his mouth, I want to smack his face and make him eat his weird ancient references Side This book is brilliant Well if you were less lazy, now That s classics for you, lads You have to work a little to discover the gem Me chokes Now let s deconstruct something together, okay No cl In order to clarify the situation with regard to said novel, let me first rehash what the two sides of the discussion have been saying Side What the fuck is this It s obscure Every time Lymond opens his mouth, I want to smack his face and make him eat his weird ancient references Side This book is brilliant Well if you were less lazy, now That s classics for you, lads You have to work a little to discover the gem Me chokes Now let s deconstruct something together, okay No classic needs to be obscure Many aren t That was fast, wasn t it What, not convinced Alright What is the similarity between say, The Red and the Black, The Three Musketeers by the way, I saw readers comparing The Game of Kings with this one and please, don t even , Anna Karenina, Stello and Les Mis rables They re classics, but they re utterly readable One does not need a textbook to understand every fucking page, and you know what It doesn t mean they re average because the masses can understand them I genuinely saw people referring to the masses in reviews today are you guys for real , no It means that their authors are master of storytelling, and do not feel the need to drown their readers in ludicrous and useless literary references to get their point across Is it possible to go beyond their first glance easiness and extract well hidden references with the help of some sharp expertise Hell yes, or my five years in Uni would have been useless, and I can t have that Yet first and foremost, they are stories, and the weight of references never becomes a burden the reader has to bear in order to unravel the layers and get to the fucking story Hence why I whole heartedly disagree with any reader who would stamp his contempt upon me and from the great height of his pretension, dismiss me the right to call myself an intelligent reader because no, I have no intention to waste my time on Google when I should be reading, thank you very much I realized I should stop trying when the French jokes made me readjust what exactly people referred as jokes Look, I am French I understand French I am not quite bad at Latin, and I can decipher Spanish sentences if they are written and aren t too many At no moment did it change a thing It s not the language I don t understand, it s the purpose I abhor I do not care about so called winks and I do not believe that needing a textbook to be understood reflects some kind of superiority The Game of Kings reeks of pretension and everything I despise in Literary circles Even if I could ignore my annoyance and follow the story which I could, it didn t bode well for my love for the main character, Lymond I am sorry Any man who declaims obscure French quotes while fighting annihilates any interest I could have felt for him.The guy s a Gary Stu of epic proportions there s literally nothing he cannot do who loves nothingthan hearing himself talk, and I m supposed to swoon Ugh, nope And given that he is the heart of the story, excuse me if I m slowly disengaging from this mess Therefore, I shall leave you all on this by all means, entertain yourselves, but do not come at me and at other readers for being too lazy and not clever enough Fuck this rhetoric, and please give this French proverb a thought Un point fait temps en pargne cent. Dorothy Dunnett, for all her outstanding education, forgot that I m sure there is a splendid story hidden somewhere in the clusterfuck that is this book however, I do not think it s worth wasting my time And for all the literary warriors out there Ab imo pectore, fuck off Forof my reviews, please visit

  7. says:

    Six stars out of five for Dorothy Dunnett She s in class of her own when it comes to historical fiction and, while I continue to enjoy the epics told by Bernard Cornwell or Patrick O Brian the ones I m currently in the middle of , I have to admit that in a celebrity deathmatch they would come second place to the Lymond Niccolo series Fans of the author tend towards unbridled enthusiasm witness the 4,42 median rating here on Goodreads the highest I ve come across so far, and the internati Six stars out of five for Dorothy Dunnett She s in class of her own when it comes to historical fiction and, while I continue to enjoy the epics told by Bernard Cornwell or Patrick O Brian the ones I m currently in the middle of , I have to admit that in a celebrity deathmatch they would come second place to the Lymond Niccolo series Fans of the author tend towards unbridled enthusiasm witness the 4,42 median rating here on Goodreads the highest I ve come across so far, and the international conventions meeting in places of import from the books So what is the secret of this amazing popularity, seeing as the number of votes is relatively low I could point out to the erudition and the word plays that rival Umberto Eco, to the wild swashbuckling adventures that surpass even Alexandre Dumas, to the intricate puzzles and whodunnit investigations that pay tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie, the grand vision, panoramic scope that challenge Gone with the Wind and War and Peace, and last but not least the wild, absurd, disruptive sense of humour that reminds me of the best of Blackadder or Monty PythonWe need to uthe thronger perthuathion The men below are obviouthly in colluthion tooLord Grey channeling Michael Palin as Pontius Pilates All these aspects are part of the attraction, but I believe above and beyond the technical skills and the richness of the setting, the books of Dorothy Dunnet are about passion for history, for the people that made history and for living life to the full Wikipedia mentions that the inception of the Lymond Chronicles came when Dunnett complained to her husband that she has run out of things to read, and he suggested she should write her own Thus we are reading the kind of tale a voracious reader wrote for her own enjoyment, and we tag along with googly eyes and mouths open in wonder As for the low number of votes the books were written five decades ago, so they lack the exposure of newcomers on the scene They are also too big for impulse buyers and too complex to be included in a school curriculum maybe at university level These factors combine to keep away the casual browser of library shelves, but attract thededicated readers of history and the ones who prefer sprawling, immersive adventures And once you pass the initial reluctance to invest time and effort in 13 books you end up under Dunnett spellI wished to explore, within several books, the nature and experiences of a classical hero a gifted leader whose star crossed career, disturbing, hilarious, dangerous, I could follow in finest detail for ten years And I wished to set him in the age of the Renaissance Enters Francis Crawford of Lymond, younger son of the Coulter family The year is 1547 and Scotland is like a lark surrounded by crocodiles After a series of disastrous military campaigns, most of the nobles are either dead, prisoners across the Border or secretly in the pay of the English who claim the hand of the six year old Queen Mary in marriage to their own infant heir to the throne At the start of the novel Francis is an outlaw, hunted across the realm for betraying his side to the English, and at the most basic level the plot can be resumed as the struggle of Francis to clear his name and discover who and how he was framed Complicating the issue is the deadly rivalry between Francis and his older brother, the heir to the Coulter castle and lands, his responsibility in the death of their beloved sister, a budding romance with a blind heiress and a disfunctional relationship with young and idealistic Will Scott, who wants to become an apprentice to the charysmatic outlaw leader The Game of Kings reflects the battle for Scottish sovereignity through the language and tactics of chess The analogy is deeply embedded at all the levels of the story from the opening moves of Lymond stealing his mother s jewels, burning the family castle and flirting with his brother s wife, to his game of cat and mouse playing both sides against each other and stealing equally from the British and from the Scots, to the relative role of each piece on the board passive kings and queens, fiery knights, besieged towers, wild horse runs or bishops betrayalsThe rybauldes, players of dyce And the messangers and corrours ought to be sette tofore the rook For hit apperteyneth to the rook to have men convenable for to renne here and there for tenquire and espie the place and cyties that myght be contrarye to the kynge Each chapter is prefaced by a reference to the game, written in old English and usually related to the current developments in the plot As a side note, don t get unnerved by the apparent obscurity of these introductions the rest of the novel is written in plain English, or what Dunnett considers plain English in the context of the Renaissance authentic Scots idiom seasoned with Latin, French, Italian, occassional German, Dutch and Spanish, verses from popular ballads and court poets, references to mythology and the equivalent of XVI century pop culture It comes as no surprise that the Lymond Nicollo Chronicles have spawned a two volume hefty companion book that references and translates and comments on all the trivia and all the research included in the original books I am lucky to be familiar with the major European languages and with several modern Scottish authors, and to have the patience and the drive to solve compose crossword puzzles, but even so I could not claim to have caught every nuance and every reference here There s just too damn many of them, every time a character opens his her mouth, especially Lymond But I had no problem following the gist of the conversations and thesubtle putdowns or barbed arrows of irony The book practically begs for a re read, both for spotting the later developments as they are first introduced Lymond is always thinking and responding to his adversaries with several moves ahead of the game, like a true chess grandmaster and for taking a breather from the frantic pacing and spend some leisure time with Wikipedia and with the adnotated reference books, savouring theobscure points of the text.Coming back to Francis Lymond, the hero of the epic, I can understand but I cannot subscribe to the theory that he is a Gary Stu, unrealistic, uberpowerful and infallible Yes, he is super smart, good looking, proficient with bow and sword, well read and a musical prodigy, but he is not supposed to be an ordinary Joe or a farmboy with a secret identity and a prophecy to fulfill, he is a Renaissance man, a natural born leader, a hero of his time period Most of his talents can be explained by the fact that he is a second son, who inherits nothing and who has the pressing incentive to make his own place in the world, and by the circumstances forced on him warrior, prisoner, galley slave, outlaw leader, spy, etc In addition to his talents, there is the way Dunnett is treating him, like a bar of iron that is heated and re heated in the fire of adversity and then moulded into shape with sledgehammers until the sword is sharp and deadlyThis peculiar mental agility of yours has been no friend to you, has it Without it, you might have survived, harmless, in a lukewarm limbo of drink and drugs and insipid womenHe is an actor who struggles to give up his mask and change the role Fate and the lords of the land have written for him, he tries to do right by his followers and by his friends, butoften than not the results are hurtful to guilty and innocents alike He makes mistakes, big ones, in keeping with his big struggles He learns painfully that a leader is responsible for the lives of the peolpe he involves in his plans and for the unforeseen consequences of his actionsAnd now where are we It s difficult, isn t it, to know whom to trust Fide et diffide, in fact and that is the moral of this little story Be mistrustful, and you will live happy and die hated and be muchuseful to me in between In a great supporting role is Will Scott, who wants to learn from Lymond how to lead, how to be free of family and patriotic bligations, how to control his own life Where Francis is practical and cynical, Will is idealistic and impulse driven He is easily manipulated because he doesn t follow through the moves of the chess game far enough into the future Next is Richard Coulter, blinded in his turn by his passions, by hatred as strong as his former love of his brother Insufficient or false knowledge drive both Will and Richard to pit themselves against Francis and his plans in a struggle that sees a new twist and reversal of fortunes every other page Apparences are misleading andthan one killer may be interested in putting Francis Lymond out of the game I could pick any of the major themes of the novelPatriotism is a fine hothouse for maggots It breeds intolerance , family relations, youth versus experience, law versus freedom for aindepth analysis, but I would like to pause for a moment on the way Dunnett treated gender roles in the novel While men have the lion s share of the action and women are generally relegated to passive roles as childbearers and household managers, the end result is refreshingly well balanced with the ladiesthan holding their own in the unravelling of the mysteries and as adept in working from the shadows as the men are at swinging their axes and swords Stately clan matron Sybilla Coulter, fiery Irish wife Mariotta Coulter, no nonsense Lady Buccleuth, romantically challenged thirteen year old heiress Agnes Herries, malefic Margaret Douglas countess of Lennox, reliable and sensible Christian Stewart they usually surpass their men in wit and fortitude I particularly like the way Dunnett moulded her militant feminism to the social strictures of the period and didn t try to endow her heroines with modern sensibilities There is friction and misunderstanding between the genders, but there are also open channels of communication and the promise of a path together, side by side into the future As George Douglas responds to Agnes Herries on the lack of romance in arranged marriagesIt s pretty well a full time job, these days, keeping a family housed and clothed and warm and protected Doesn t leave much time for poetry under the apple trees But chivalry hasn t gone don t think it You ll even find it paramount still with some people, but a trifle the worse for wear, because it s not the best protection against an aggressive and materialistic world I ve run out of bookmarks, and I still feel that I only touched on the surface of the story, that I didn t stress enough how wildly entertaining and how intellectually stimulating the journey was I ve actually put off writing the review for a couple of months, hoping for inspiration to match the enthusiasm I felt reading it, but as I m already halfway through book three of Lymond I was in danger of falling too far behind to ever reach closure Maybe I ll rewrite when I get around to reading the books again, this time back to back with the house of Niccolo, to see how they are related Until then, I ll leave you with these rambling notes

  8. says:

    Being a fan of Game of Kings of any Dunnett novel is a strange experience The fandom is passionate, but of plenty of folks, understandably, don t get what the fuss is about Dunnett makes no concessions to readers You have to think about what you are reading With Dunnett, it s important to consider the possibilities and implications of each interaction which can take you out of the story.Plus, Dunnett is given to quotations in Renaissance French, Spanish, and Latin without the benefit of tran Being a fan of Game of Kings of any Dunnett novel is a strange experience The fandom is passionate, but of plenty of folks, understandably, don t get what the fuss is about Dunnett makes no concessions to readers You have to think about what you are reading With Dunnett, it s important to consider the possibilities and implications of each interaction which can take you out of the story.Plus, Dunnett is given to quotations in Renaissance French, Spanish, and Latin without the benefit of translation which can also take you out of the flow And her hero frequently comes off as a terrible person, although he invariably has his reasons But if you are willing to do what the author demands, the thinking and the Latin Googling, and the adapting yourself to her style , what you get is a dazzling portrait of the High Renaissance, with an equally dazzling cast of characters at its heart In Game of Kings, the first book of the Lymond Chronicles, Francis Crawford of Lymond, disgraced younger son of a noble Scottish family, returns to Scotland, an outlaw, after a long absence The year is 1547, Henry VIII s young son Edward is on the throne of England, and skirmishing between England and Scotland is happening all along the borders With this background of turmoil, and at the head of a band of fellow outlaws, Francis will reunite with his estranged family, strike up a complex friendship with the heir to a great estate, and with his outlaws, interfere in the political workings of England and Scotland but is he betraying his country or saving it, trying to clear his name, or just cause trouble The thing that strikes you first is Dunnett s prose It is dense, rich, distinctive, full of allusion, implication, and subtlety Often she will imply something rather than tell the reader outright Her descriptions of clothing, food, weather, are incredibly evocative.The second thing that strikes you is her hero, Francis He starts off insufferable a prosy, high handed know it all, too clever and pretty for his own good, and in his second on page appearance he breaks into his own mother s castle, robs it, and sets it on fire It s hard to muster sympathy for him for the vast majority of the book But nothing is as it appears, and if you are willing to put up with Francis, the unfolding of his story including the purpose behind his actions will hit you like a rock to the forehead late in the game, one of those fantastic ah ha moments that every writer hopes to give their readers And fortunately Francis is surrounded by a vivid and appealing supporting cast, in which one is happy to find a lot of amazing women Francis indomitable mother, his friend the blind but dauntless Christian Stewart, the romantic Agnes Herries, and the severely practical Kate Somerville are standouts Add to that a plot that ticks along like a good stopwatch, a dry, subtle sense of humor, and just a wonderfully romantic sensibility, without stooping to clich , and you have a winning combination Not romance in the sense of love or sex, although that plays a part But romance in the sense of swordfights, last stands, desperate escapes, grand sacrifices, a larger than life hero All those things can be found in Dunnett s work, and she can and will dazzle you, like her hero, if you just give her time to do so.To conclude, I have two pieces of advice for readers just embarking on their first read of Game of Kings 1 If, after the first chapter, you find yourself asking, Buy why was the pig drunk you aren t reading closely enough 2 Before passing judgment on Francis, wait until you find out who the Spanish nobleman is

  9. says:

    A massive BR with Alex, Amanda and great people in fab group for reading Dorothy Dunnett books Sigh IDK what happened for sure The Game of Kings has all I need for the historical treat, interesting historical spices, naughty and evil main character, some action, peculiar writing Hmmas long as I read Riyria Revelations alongside it was ok, but when I ended up with Lymond and Lord Idiot Dragon Actually only, I felt that it was going to be a downfall for my reads After finishing Ri A massive BR with Alex, Amanda and great people in fab group for reading Dorothy Dunnett books Sigh IDK what happened for sure The Game of Kings has all I need for the historical treat, interesting historical spices, naughty and evil main character, some action, peculiar writing Hmmas long as I read Riyria Revelations alongside it was ok, but when I ended up with Lymond and Lord Idiot Dragon Actually only, I felt that it was going to be a downfall for my reads After finishing Rise of Empire I couldn t get properly involved into reading The Game of Kings and it s bad, cause this book is really outstanding and it should keep me hooked without any additional help from Riyria or other books So I m putting this book on hold for some time Sorry guy I promise to stalk you for yummy updates on this book

  10. says:

    Doubleday Vintage Anchor has reprinted the Lymond Chronicles series with gorgeous new covers in paperback form I loved my first adventures with Lymond Francis Crawford of Lymond stands accused of many crimes, including deceit, drunkenness, murder, and treason It s 1547 when he returns to his native Scotland, just as it is threatened by an English invasion Lymond leads a group of outlaws and dissidents to defend his land, as well as his name Lymond is the second son, and second Doubleday Vintage Anchor has reprinted the Lymond Chronicles series with gorgeous new covers in paperback form I loved my first adventures with Lymond Francis Crawford of Lymond stands accused of many crimes, including deceit, drunkenness, murder, and treason It s 1547 when he returns to his native Scotland, just as it is threatened by an English invasion Lymond leads a group of outlaws and dissidents to defend his land, as well as his name Lymond is the second son, and second in line for any inheritance Classical literature references abound, always testing me and adding fun when I actually knew one Characters also abound, and we are on pins and needles as we wait to find out if Lymond is guilty or innocent Lymond is in a fight to end all fights with his brother, and the outcome will determine if Lymond dies or is welcomed back into the fold of his family Mary Queen of Scots is here, too, but too young to truly lead, which is why Lymond and men like him have to join up and join in to make sure Scotland remains a kingdom There are true to history characters mixed in with fictional ones Lymond is a main character to champion complex, foolhardy, passionate, clever, impressive The writing is rich and intricately detailed and is rather sumptuous overall I m so grateful there is a series to continue on with because I can t wait to read Lymond s next adventure, where he escorts Mary Queen of Scots to France I m so grateful this book and series was put on my radar because I have lots of adventure ahead of me I received a complimentary copy All opinions are my own My reviews can also be found on my blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com

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