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The Disorderly Knights Unknown Binding – 1966


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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 503 pages
  • Publisher: Cassell (1966)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NMXS5I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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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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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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rougedragon on 3 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
The third in the "Lymond" series, but capable of standing alone,this is a rich feast for lovers of history and adventure. Francis Crawford fresh from retrieving his reputation in Scotland (The Game of Kings)has been retained by Mary of Guise to safeguard the life of her small daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, (Queens Play) and now travels to Malta, stronghold of the Knights. He meets a smiling villain of such charm and iniquity that the reader is barely willing to concede his corruption util the very end of the book. Rich in authentic detail full of sparkling dialogue, rich humour and tantalising scholarship this will enmesh you in 16th century Europe from the opening page. The action never lags. Francis Crawford the hero and anti-hero, continues to cut a swathe maturing with humour and discipline, with ingenuity and military expertise. You will finish this longing for more. It is a magnificent springboard into the poetry, manners and political strategies of the time, and a skillful thriller whose pace never lags.
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