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A last book in a series as amazing as this must always have been a tough call, but Dunnett pulls it all together magnificently. More domestic in some ways that some of the other books, the focus narrows to the emotional. More powerful, gut-wrenching and ultimately satisfying than any of the others, this is a truly magnificent end to the most fabulous sequence of books.
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on 23 November 2007
The best book I have ever read.

This is writing of an exceptional standard, even in comparison with the other Lymond and Niccolo books. I don't know how many times I've read this book; I'm on my second copy, the first having fallen apart.
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A last book in a series as amazing as this must always have been a tough call, but Dunnett pulls it all together magnificently. More domestic in some ways that some of the other books, the focus narrows to the emotional. More powerful, gut-wrenching and ultimately satisfying than any of the others, this is a truly magnificent end to the most fabulous sequence of books.

Francis Crawford has been prevented by his friends from returning to Russia where Ivan (the Terrible) is slowly going mad and instead he is contracted to fight for Henri II of France. But the secrets of his family follow him, and his secret passion for a woman who does not know it threatens to overwhelm him.

Set against the backdrop of intricate Renaissance politics, lit with humour, farce, tragedy, desire, loss and love - in all its forms - this is an unforgettable read.
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on 5 September 2002
If you are this far into the series and have gotten to book 6 there are many things to be said and pondered. I love this series of books and they are currently my all time favorite. I will not spoil any of this adventure for you. All I will say is you will love and dread coming to the end. You will leave because it is what is required of you. Then, in awhile, you will be back to start the series all over again. Trying to answer the many questions you now know to ask.
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on 21 February 2011
...probably the best book in the history of literature.

All the previous volumes are fantastic but the culmination is so ingenious and so satisfying that I have now read it three times in a month!

The storyline is wonderful and the history impeccable as always.

You might gather I liked this volume.
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on 9 July 2004
Checkmate is far and away one of my favorite books of all time. Historically accurate, impeccably researched and detailed, but with an emphasis on character amidst the intrigue. Francis Crawford is an amazing character, and the woman Philippa Somerville has become by book 6 is every bit his match intellectually and far surpasses him in determination. The grand tapestry of the Lymond Chronicles finally comes to a most satisfying conclusion full of angst, romance, pain, and humor. Who can forget after reading this book the mental image of Lymond having to slide under the table with Piero Strozzi in order to avoid laughing out loud as the King celebrates the "Triumph of Calais" complete with a re-enactment of Jason and the Argonauts? Dunnett writes in language that stays with you long after you've read it, the words taking on almost a musical cadence.
Tant que je vivre, mon coeur ne changera....
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on 21 September 2014
Good copy, delivered quickly.
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on 25 November 2015
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