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The Game Of Kings: The Lymond Chronicles Book One Paperback – 25 Feb 1999
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Praise for Dorothy Dunnett (-)
A storyteller who could teach Scheherazade a thing or two about pace, suspense and imaginative invention (New York Times)
Marvellous, breathtaking (The Times)
A masterpiece of historical fiction (Washington Post)
One of the greatest tale-spinners since Dumas (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Lashings of excitement, colour and subtlety (The Times)
Vivid, engaging, densely plotted - are almost certainly destined to be counted among the classics of popular fiction (New York Times)
The opening book in the world famous "Lymond Chronicles", Dorothy Dunnett's bestselling series. Lymond is back ...the whisper spreads quickly on that warm August night in 1547. Francis Crawford of Lymond, and outlawed rebel, is in Edinburgh again ...and his arrival in Scotland ignites a series of explosive events. Against a background of political intrigue and violence, Lymond is tracking three men, one of whom holds the only answer he can give to the world, the parliaments and the men who condemned him.See all Product description
From the Publisher
The Game Of Kings
'I despised men who accepted their fate. I shaped mine twenty times and had it broken twenty times in my hands'.
It is 1547 and, after five years imprisonment and exile far from his homeland, Francis Crawford of Lymond - scholar, soldier, rebel, nobleman, outlaw - has at last come back to Edinburgh.
But for many in an already divided Scotland, where conspiracies swarm around the infant Queen Mary like clouds of midges, he is not welcome.
Lymond is wanted for treason and murder, and he is accompanied by a band of killers and ruffians who will only bring further violence and strife.
Is he back to foment rebellion?
Does he seek revenge on those who banished him?
Or has he returned to clear his name?
No one but the enigmatic Lymond himself knows the truth - and no one will discover it until he is ready.
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Amongst these thrilling raids, labyrinthine political intrigue and daring escapes, the plot is slowly being teased out and we begin to realise there is more to this brutal antihero than is first apparent. The unraveling of this complex character kept me hooked right to the end.
The writing style is unashamedly dense with historical detail, the atmosphere of the period is painstakingly created. The language is complex and difficult, littered with quotations in many languages and references to classical and early European mythology and politics. The writer uses these to a large degree to create a distinctive voice for her main character, It is clear when he is talking, even if not made explicit in the text, by the way he uses language, as a weapon, to confuse and obscure his true purpose as well as to wound. It
often has a similar effect on the reader as on the victim (reading on the kindle is useful as you are only a tap away from a Wikipedia or dictionary definition, although, often, Lymond confounds both of these). I did find the book challenging and infuriating at first, until I got into the rhythm of it, there is no need to understand every reference, just because you can't breathe underwater it doesn’t mean you shouldn't swim. Once you get past this, the writing is mesmeric, it makes you slow down, it demands your focused attention, you cannot skip lightly over the pages. It gets right inside your head.
Don't be misled, though, this book is no dry historical epic, it is thoroughly entertaining. You are never far away from a joke, something shocking, something scurrilous. Lymond's madcap adventures rattle along with breathtaking speed. This book is anything but dull.
This is the best book I have read all year, I have never come across anything like it before. It was exhausting but rewarding to read and I have thought of little else for the past week.
And now they're in Kindle format. I'm over the moon! Delighted! I may never leave the house again!
They are not an easy read, not something you can browse through with half a mind. The writing is challenging, awe-inspiring and mesmorising. One runs out of superlatives. Read the series in the correct order, this one being the first, and do not stop until you reach the very last page of "Checkmate." Enter the rarified world of the Lymond Chronicles and you will never want to leave.
The Game of Kings starts with the return of outlawed Francis Crawford of Lymond to Scotland. Enter a cast which includes his wonderfully urbane mother, his personal group of bandits, hordes of bickering Scots and the old enemy, England. Through the book we begin to work out why Crawford has come home. Crawford is the lynch pin which draws this story together. Brilliant, beautiful, occasionally vile and sometimes violent, he is magnificent to read.
Read this book and enjoy it but read all 6 to really appreciate the genius of both Crawford and Dunnett