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The Disorderly Knights: The Lymond Chronicles - Historical Fiction Paperback – 25 Mar 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (25 Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140282459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140282450
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 158,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

DOROTHY DUNNETT is the author of the Lymond Chronicles and the on-going House of Niccolo series. She was awarded the OBE for her services to literature in 1992. She was married to the late Sir Alastair Dunnett; they live in Edinburgh.

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ON the day that his grannie was killed by the English, Sir William Scott the Younger of Buccleuch was at Melrose Abbey, marrying his aunt. Read the first page
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 7 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
And this is where, to some extent, the series really starts to hang together inextricably. The first two books are important, but from now on each volume leads straight into the next, and I can only imagine the painful frustration of readers following the series when it was first published and they had to wait years for the next installment.

Opening in Scotland prior to Queen's Play, we see Lymond first in his home setting, restless and increasingly powerful, before following him to Malta where he fights for the Knights of St John against the Turks before his own personal story (carrying on from Queen's Play) takes central stage for a bit.

Back in Scotland, Lymond creates his own mercenary force (a kind of Renaissance SAS!) but finds both it and his own leadership increasingly undermined.

'Knights' contains some of the most powerful writing you will ever read, especially the last quarter. Lymond is a hero that we don't always understand, and this book shows him, ostensibly, at his worst - but there's always another story or another way of seeing things.

Dunnett never shies away from killing of main and much-loved characters but the two deaths here are some of the most heart-breaking and moving for me. And make sure you have the next volume (Pawn in Frankincense) ready because this one really ends on a cliff-hanger!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this fabulous historical novel, third in the Lymond series, Ms Dunnett's geographical range extends over parts of Scotland, Northern England, and the Mediterranean world, mainly Malta, Gozo and Tripoli. Lymond becomes involved in the intrigues surrounding a possible succession to the Knights Templars. He becomes the prey of a man with few scruples and also begins his manoeuvres to create a mercenary army which he plans to take campaigning in Europe. He is pursued by the sister of Lord Graham Reid Malett commonly known as Gabriel, a man with a dangerous charisma. The sister,Joleta, is subjected to sexual violence and a remarkable degree of prurience concerning her past adventures and, for a time, it seems as if Lymond's independent future is at twin risk from the siblings.

Lymond meets up with Oonagh O'Dwyer again. She is on the island of Gozo (very close to Malta), currently the mistress of the Governor, and becomes part of a contingent of civilians captured as slaves by the Moslem corsairs. This is a true story of the capture in July 1551 and the enslavement of about 5,000 Gozoans, virtually the island's whole population. The slaves were taken to Libya where they were sold. The entire siege of Tripoli is also described leading to severe clashes between the Ottoman Turks and the Knights Templars who were hampered by the fiscal policies of Juan De Homedes, (Grand Master of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta). It is on this adventure that Lymond begins to suspect that Gabriel is not as saintly as he seems, but it is not until there is a meeting in Edinburgh that the climax of their struggle for supremacy comes to a head.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Editor, Dorothy Dunnett Readers' Association on 28 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
Fresh from his triumph at the court of France's Henry II, Lymond has arrived in Malta, the beleaguered homeland of the Knights of St John. What has drawn him here? The Order is in disarray, the Ottoman threat from the south matched by internal factionalism and suspicion. Within the ranks of the knights, only one man, Gabriel, appears to embody the Order's vows of chastity, obedience and poverty and hold out hope for its future. In Gabriel has Lymond found his master?

This is Dorothy Dunnett's third book in the Lymond Chronicles and it opens with a reprise full of her signature excitement and humour in Francis Crawford of Lymond's Scottish homeland before transporting us to the sea-bound and sun-baked fortresses that represent Europe's last defence against the Turk. As the Knights are drawn into a desperate defence of their Mediterranean outpost, Tripoli, Mrs Dunnett explores the twin themes of honour and humility, before returning to the Scottish borders for an explosive finale.

To me, and to her world-wide and devoted following, Dorothy Dunnett is simply the finest writer of historical fiction there has ever been. The 16th-century six-book series, The Lymond Chronicles, featuring the enigmatic mercenary, poet and hero Francis Crawford of Lymond, is a wonderful, sweeping tale in the tradition of Walter Scott - high drama, convoluted plotting, a cast of hundreds (most of them real historical figures), all told with great attention to historical accuracy and a painterly eye for vivid description.

The Dorothy Dunnett Readers' Association, or DDRA is a Scottish Charity, founded by Dorothy Dunnett and staffed entirely by volunteers. We aim to promote interest in her novels and the historical times in which are set.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 April 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the third book in a series which you will either love or hate. It is also one of those multi-book series which must if at all possible be read in the right order, which is

1) The Game Of Kings: The Lymond Chronicles

2) Queens' Play

3) This book, "The Disorderly Knights"

4) Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond saga)

5) The Ringed Castle

6) Checkmate

The disorderly knights of the title are the knights of St John of Malta and the story features a fascinating re-creation of the mediteranean world of the mid sixteenth century. This book also features a battle of wits and intrigue betweem the central character of the series, Francis Crawford of Lymond, and his great enemy Gabriel.

There are two reasons why this series, and indeed the author's similar "Niccolo" series, should be read in chronological order. The first is that the plots are incredibly complicated and if you read them out of sequence you have no chance of understanding what is going on. The second is that many of the characters meet their deaths in ways which are exceptionally unpleasant both for themselves and for the characters who survive them.
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