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Queens' Play: Second in the Legendary…

Queens' Play: Second in the Legendary Lymond Chronicles (original 1964; edition 1997)

by Dorothy Dunnett

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1,144167,145 (4.37)55
Title:Queens' Play: Second in the Legendary Lymond Chronicles
Authors:Dorothy Dunnett
Info:Vintage (1997), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library

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Queens' Play by Dorothy Dunnett (1964)



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English (15)  German (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
After the riotous, roisterous introduction to Lymond and his family struggles, his personal goals seemingly take a back seat as he takes a commission from the Queen Dowager to protect the young Queen Mary at the court of her French fiancé.
I love the split personalities of Lymond the austere and his seemingly carefree slovenly alter-ego. And the set pieces in this book glitter so brightly, even the darkest ones, so many personal journeys on the way, and the rawest of all at Robin Stewarts cottage at the end hardening Lymond's character for the future. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Lymond goes to France, having promised the Dowager Queen Mary of Guise, on his own terms, not as her obedient servant, to do what he can to protect the small Queen Mary Stuart. There are many who would like to see her dead and those close to her are aware there have been attempts. They do not know who is behind these attempts, though. Lymond goes to France incognito, masquerading as Thady Boy Balaugh, the olave (royal poet/scholar/companion) to Prince Phelim O'Liam Roe of the Slieve Boom (an area in central Ireland) who has come to France to ask for support for getting out from under the boot heels of the English. There are plots within plots, Lymond by walking into a room, complicates matters for he always seems to bring out the best and worst in everyone. One person, Margaret Erskine, is making a serious effort to get the charismatic Lymond to take more responsibility for the effect he has on everyone around him and that forms the deeper and most riveting aspect of the story, touching the fate of the hapless archer Robin Stuart, a bastard son of that noble family, the beautiful Oonagh O'Dwyer, and the transformation of Phelim O'Liam Roe into a true prince. The climax was, literally, explosive! Lots of fun! I'm sure I miss half of what is going on listening, but that will make reading these books again later all the more interesting. ***** ( )
  sibyx | Jun 4, 2016 |
Queens' Play is the second book in the Lymond series starring "cool, daring, strangely haunted" Francis Crawford of Lymond. [By the way, don't you just love that description of him? Not my words, though.] The year is 1550 and Mary, Queen of Scots is now a seven year old. She has been sent to France as the betrothed to the Dauphin. Francis (or Lymond as he is sometimes called) goes "undercover" to follow her and protect her. There are a lot of other people who have designs on the throne and she is constantly at risk. As "Thady Boy Ballage" Lymond has dyed his hair jet black and poses as the companion to an Irish prince. He doesn't stand on the fringes of politics and just watch for enemies. True to Francis form, Thady prefers and enjoys being in the thick of it, causing most of the trouble. He still drinks like a fish and plays just as hard as he protects. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Sep 22, 2015 |
Queen's Play begins with Sir Francis Crawford of Lymond traveling incognito to France to investigate a threat to the life of the now eight year old Mary Queen of Scots at the request of her mother the dowager queen. The excesses required of him to maintain his cover inside the French court begin to take their toll on him, but the story really picks up in the second half with the political intrigues of certain Irish and English factions, some of whom were introduced in The Game of Kings, such as the Stewarts.

I found this second installment of the Lymond Chronicles somewhat less interesting than the first in terms of its character and thematic development and its plot (and it probably didn't help that the narrator of the audio edition wasn't as good either), but since the first set a fairly high bar that still leaves this well up the list of good historical fiction. I enjoyed it enough that I'm going to pick up the next book in the series, The Disorderly Knights, which sounds even better.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R26ULD5BFOZTJU ( )
  AshRyan | Jan 12, 2015 |
Very well done historical fiction. Francis Crawford has agreed to help prevent an assassination attempt on 7 year old Queen Mary, who is living in the French court of her affianced husband, the Dauphin. Throughout this story of Scotland and France runs the story of England and Ireland.

Shifting allegiances, spies, opportunists, pragmatic politicians all play a role in this most opaque novel of the Lymond series. And it is because of its opacity that this is the book in the series I like least. The main plot is more intricate, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that there is less exposition on its details and less straightforward adventures to carry the reader along. There are adventures or escapades, but they almost all have a hidden motivation. For example, the race across the rooftops was exciting, but we don't learn until almost the end of the book that Lymond had deliberately chosen that night as a way to keep Oonagh and Robin from communicating to d'Aubiney that Cormac O'Connor had arrived in France!

On this rereading, I found that I had forgotten many of the details but remembered the big picture - I was more concerned with the Irish part this time and found that aspect of the book made more sense to me than it had in the past. However, I was more annoyed by O'LiamRoe than I recall. ( )
  leslie.98 | Apr 3, 2014 |
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Dorothy Dunnettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Napier, AndrewNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Once an accused traitor, now a valued, if reluctant, agent of Scottish diplomacy, Lymond is sent to France, to protect a very young Queen Mary Stuart, who is being groomed for marriage to the dauphin. Disguised as a disreputable Irish scholar, Lymond insinuates himself into the glittering labyrinth of the French court, where every courtier is a would-be conspirator.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067977744X, Paperback)

For the first time Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles are available in the United States in quality paperback editions.

Second in the legendary Lymond Chronicles, Queen's Play follows Frances Crawford of Lymond who has been abruptly called into the service of Mary Queen of Scots. Though she is only a little girl, the Queen is already the object of malicious intrigues that extend from her native country to the court of France. It is to France that Lymond must travel, exercising his sword hand and his agile wit while also undertaking the most unlikely of masquerades, all to make sure that his charge's royal person stays intact.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:16 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

It is the 16th century, and the seven-year-old Mary Queen of Scots is in peril. She is under the constant threat of those who wish to keep her from taking the throne in England. The Queen Mother calls upon the former outlaw Francis Crawford of Lymond to protect the young girl. Lymond, in disguise, has infiltrated the palace in order to keep vigil. But will his watchful eye be enough to save the young Queen?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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