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The Game of Kings Audio Cassette – Audiobook

4.8 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: DELETED TITLES; Unabridged edition
  • ISBN-10: 1841970794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841970790
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,488,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

For the first time Dunnett's "Lymond Chronicles are available in the United States in quality paperback editions.
The first book in the legendary "Lymond Chronicles, Game of Kings takes place in 1547. Scotland has been humiliated by an English invasion and is threatened by machinations elsewhere beyond its borders, but it is still free. Paradoxically, her freedom may depend on a man who stands accused of treason: Francis Crawford of Lymond. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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, and lives in Edinburgh. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the first 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
2) Queen's Play
3) The Disorderly Knights
4) Pawn in Frankincense
5) The Ringed Castle
6) Checkmate

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 particularly nasty both for themselves and for the characters who survive them. I know from experience having made the mistake of reading one of the later books first, that advance knowledge of when someone is going to die, and of the horrible shock Lymond will experience when he finds out about it, can spoil the pleasure that the reader might otherwise have had when meeting that character for the first time.

Like the books the central character, Francis Crawford of Lymond, is brilliant, violent, and extremely complicated. Unlike the books he is very flawed. Lymond is a mercenary with particular interests in Scotland and France, and gets involved in nefarious deeds all over the world as 16th century Europeans knew it. Dunnett brings the splendour, cultural ferment, and violent cruelty of the Renaissance world splendidly to life.

If you are at all squeamish, or do not like having to make your brain work overtime to follow a book, leave this series alone. This story is neither "chewing gum for the brain" nor a comfortable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Game of Kings is the first in a series of six books: Queens' Play, Disorderly Knights, Pawn in Frankincense, Ringed Castle and finally Checkmate are the other books in the series. They centre on Francis Crawford of Lymond, 16th century Scottish mercenary soldier, spy, wit, lover... think of the most dazzling hero you've ever read about and then multiply it by a few thousand. Whilst this book takes place solely in Scotland and Northern England, the other books will take you to Russia, North Africa, France, Germany, Mala and Istanbul. You'll encounter the young Mary Queen of Scots, Mary of Guise, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, Ivan the Terrible, Bloody Mary and the young Princess Elizabeth, to name but a few. Dunnett's sense of period is impeccable and with a few words she can conjure up the sixteenth century so well you feel you are there in person. Did I mention wit? There is that in plenty, any high drama is always tempered with irony or laugh out loud farce. She is simply brilliant.
Above all there is Lymond, the most tortured of all heroes. If you can get past the first couple of chapters and get used to Dorothy Dunnett's style of writing (she never insults the intelligence of her readers, quite the opposite), her books are the sort you'll read and re-read until they fall apart. This is the first in the series, so enjoy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just finished the last of the six - Checkmate. I was gripped from the first - Game of Kings. The writing is stunning, the plots complex and very exciting and the hero, Francis Crawford, is mesmerising. I highly recommend all six to anyone who is fond of historical fiction. The stories are all set in amongst genuine characters and events over a period of 10 years in the middle of the 16th C starting in Scotland with the young Mary Queen of Scots but taking in history and politics during that same period in England, Russia, Malta, Turkey and France. The personal stories of Francis, his family and friends/enemies are twisted through the whole in a wonderfully witty, moving and fascinating manner. To start with I was slightly daunted by the detail but persist - the rewards are great.
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Format: Paperback
I'd heard that the Lymond Chronicles were good. I'd heard that Dunnett's writing and world-building were dauntingly clever, and that Lymond himself was dazzling. I'd heard that I wouldn't be able to put the book down.
All of which turned out to be true, and more. From captivating opening to satisfying conclusion, _The Game of Kings_ never attempts to hide the fact that it's a novel for those who like their historical fiction authentic and serious. For all the outpourings of devotion readers have lavished over Lymond down the years, this is no romantic fluff; it's densely packed, desperately clever, and richer in tone and texture than any book has a right to be. Simultaneously - and despite the great array of characters (both historical and purely fictional), intricate political machinations, and multi-lingual literary allusions - Lymond's first outing is pacy and gripping enough to make any activity that delays reaching its end seem like a waste of valuable time.
Lymond himself, renegade and outcast Francis Crawford, is quite simply one of the finest epic heroes I've encountered in fiction: brilliant, learned, witty, accomplished - and tormented. Not that this is immediately obvious; the novel opens with Lymond as a bitter, brutal, silver-tongued bully with an outlaw band in tow, burning down his mother's home and stealing the family valuables. Dunnett keeps his complex motives shadowed, as befits a man who has learned at cost what it is to have his trust comprehensively betrayed. It is only as he becomes closer to people (Lady Christian, Will Scott, and eventually his brother) that we begin to see beneath his glittering, casually-malicious facade. As a result, the reader (this reader, at least) grows into a more gradual, but much deeper and well-rounded, understanding of the character than if he'd been superficially likeable from the start.
Accomplished and utterly compelling historical fiction, which kept me guessing right to the end. Throughly recommended.
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