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Dorothy Dunnett


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Dorothy Dunnett is one of the best known and best loved authors of historical novels. She is best known for two series, the Lymond Chronicles and the House of Niccolo.

The Lymond Chronicles tell the story of a Scottish nobleman, Francis Crawford of Lymond, a scholar and mercenary of the time of Mary, Queen of Scots. Lymond is witty, skilled, and utterly maddening. He is content to be misunderstood, and as he refuses to explain himself, usually is. Dunnett does not give us an omniscient narrator: we see what happens, and we hear what is said, but we have no more insight into Lymond's thought processes than the other characters do.

Lymond, his family, and his close friends (and enemies) are fictional, but the world in which he lives and moves is not, and Dunnett brings it richly to life.

The Lymond books are currently in print in the United States in trade paperback; get them while they are available.

The House of Niccolo concerns a Flemish dyeshop apprentice, Nicholas van der Poele, with a head for numbers, a devious mind, and a taste for extremely subtle and thorough revenge. I've not yet finished the series, but it's better than the Lymond Chronicles, if that's possible.

All of the House of Niccolo books are currently in print here in the U.S., including the final one, Gemini, which is currently available in hardback. I'm waiting for the softcover, but I'm told that in addition to wrapping up the series it also provides a link between the Niccolo books and the historically later Lymond books. I don't know what the link is (and please don't tell me, if you know), but I'm been wondering for some time if that awful old man in Paris at the end of the Lymond chronicles is actually a St. Pol.

The Lymond Chronicles

The Game of Kings
Reviews: 1 June 1997, 1 December 2001
Queens' Play
Reviews: 1 June 1997, 1 January 2002
The Disorderly Knights
Reviews: 1 August 1997, 1 February 2002
Pawn in Frankincense
Reviews: 1 August 1997, 1 April 2002
The Ringed Castle
Reviews: 1 November 1997, 1 May 2002, 1 June 2002
Checkmate
Reviews: 1 November 1997, 1 July 2002, 1 August 2002, 1 September 2002

The House of Niccolo

Niccolo Rising
Reviews: 1 May 1998, 1 November 2001
The Spring of the Ram
Reviews: 1 May 1998, 1 November 2001
Race of Scorpions
Reviews: 1 June 1998, 1 November 2001
Scales of Gold
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 November 2001
The Unicorn Hunt
Reviews: 1 October 1999, 1 November 2001
To Lie With Lions
Reviews: 1 October 1999, 1 October 2002
Caprice and Rondo
Reviews: 1 October 2002
Gemini
Reviews: 1 October 2002

Other Novels

King Hereafter
Reviews: 1 May 2001


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