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The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

The Game of Kings (1961)

by Dorothy Dunnett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lymond Chronicles (1)

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2,216704,361 (4.29)181

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English (69)  German (1)  All languages (70)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
I bought this after seeing the author recommended by Harry Turtledove on Twitter. I'm actually surprised I didn't find this series in my teens. This is historical fiction at its highest: deep, complex, incredibly well researched, and enlightening. The dialogue is so well steeped in the voice of the 1500s that at times I wasn't sure what was happening, but I was so enthralled by the very lyricism that I kept reading nonetheless.

The plot itself defies simple description. This is politics at its most topsy-turvy, where prisoners are a commodity to be traded like sacks of wheat, and northern England and the Scottish lowlands see fighting and raids more often than the sun. Amid all this is Lymond: a rogue prone to verse in a myriad of languages, a declared traitor to Scotland who has returned home for presumably nefarious purposes. The reality is far more complicated.

The cast is vast, and if you're like me and have trouble tracking names, that can be an issue, especially near the start. The characters are fantastic and realistic, and the sense of place is incredible. I can see why these books are considered classics. I wouldn't mind reading on at some point. I don't usually like rogueish characters, but like many of his peers, I couldn't help but be intrigued by the charismatic Lymond. ( )
  ladycato | Feb 24, 2019 |
I didn't expect to be so excited as the narrative drew to its conclusion. I'm looking forward to the next Lymond. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
My three star review probably doesn't give a good indication of how much I liked this book. I liked it very, very much. But (and all my three star reviews have a "but") you have to be on your toes when you read it. Dunnett, unlike many authors, assumes you're smart and does not ever write down to you. She assumes you've brought your brain with you when you open the book. That's one of the best features of the book but it isn't for everyone. ( )
  MelissaLenhardt | Mar 11, 2018 |
I loved this. Really high-end historical fiction, so dense-packed with classical and time-specific references, vernacular, and 16th-century wordplay that it took a while for me to hit the right pace when it came to my ratio of reading/looking up—this is one series that I really need to read in ebook format with its quick look up function. But I did find a rhythm, and with that the story popped out and it was a LOT of fun. The subtext is the game of chess, and the twists and turns here—intrigue, double-crossing, warfare, spying, scandal, enmity, and the age-old question of who the good guys are—are exciting and fun to untangle. Plus Dunnett is just a lovely writer, and a lot of her scene-setting is just wonderful. I'll definitely keep on with the series—Lymond is a great character, and I'm a sucker for the good historical stuff. Not for everyone, but for the patient and the lover of history, a real gem. ( )
1 vote lisapeet | Feb 28, 2018 |
Wikipedia: The first International Dorothy Dunnett Day[8] was announced by the Dorothy Dunnett Society to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Game of Kings. It was held on Saturday 15 October 2011, with readers gathering in locations around the world at 13:00 (1pm) local time to toast the author. Meetings were held in Edinburgh, London, Vancouver, San Francisco, the Costa Del Sol, Boston, and other locations. The second IDDD [9] was held on Saturday 10 November 2012, to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the death of Dorothy Dunnett on 9 November 2001. The next was held on 9 November 2013.[10] ( )
  librisissimo | Feb 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dorothy Dunnettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gillies, SamuelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monteath, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679777431, Paperback)

Praised for her historical fiction by critics and devoted fans alike, author Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles took the romance world by storm some 30 years ago, firmly fixing Dunnett's reputation as a master of the historical romance. The Game of Kings, the first story in The Lymond Chronicles, sets the stage for what will be a sweeping saga filled with passion, courage, and the endless fight for freedom. The setting is 1547, in Edinborough, Scotland. Francis Crawford of Lymond returns to the country despite the charge of treason hanging over his head. Set on redeeming his reputation, He leads a company of outlaws against England as he fights for the country he loves so dearly. Dangerous, quick-witted, and utterly irresistible, Lymond is pure pleasure to watch as he traverses 16th-century Scotland in search of freedom. The Game of Kings is a must-have for the historical romance connoisseur.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:26 -0400)

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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. He is Francis Crawford of Lymond, a scapegoat nobleman of crooked felicities and murderous talents, possessed of scholar's erudition and a tongue as wicked as a rapier. In The Game of Kings this extraordinary antihero returns to the country that has outlawed him - to redeem his reputation even at the risk of his life.… (more)

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