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Race of Scorpions by Dorothy Dunnett
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Race of Scorpions (1989)

by Dorothy Dunnett

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Showing 5 of 5
It's okay to admit that I still don't have the foggiest idea about much of what goes on in this book, right? Especially in the last third, when the plot twists, revelations and political machinations are coming fast and thick. Still, fast-paced enough to be very enjoyable, though, and I think it's a lot easier to spend six hundred odd pages with Niccolo than it is with Lymond. (Don't get me wrong, I'm very fond of Lymond, but the urge to smack him upside the head is so strong.) ( )
  siriaeve | Apr 26, 2008 |
2924 Race of Scorpions, by Dorothy Dunnett (read 6 Nov 1996) This is the third volume in the House of Niccolo series. It tells of Niccolo in Cyprus and Rhodes, where in 1461-1464 he helps James of Lusignon, bastard son of King James II of Cyprus, defeat his sister Carlotta and become sole ruler of Cyprus. There is stirring action at times, but I have decided not to read the fourth volume--while there is a lot of research in these books, for long periods they are not too interesting, and I have decided that I have read enough of Dorothy Dunnett. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jan 23, 2008 |
Ah, the frustrating pleasure of reading a Dorothy Dunnett novel :-) Her writing is dense, her plots are complex, and her characters (especially the male ones, which IMO are infinitely easier to like than the female ones) are nothing short of psychological studies. Often, while reading this book, I felt like I was way in over my head. And yet, I kept going, and the reward of Dunnett's writing, and her story, are well worth the effort, in my view.

In this third part of the eight-part Niccolo series, Nicholas is kidnapped and taken to Cyprus to fight with King James for control of the island, against his legitimate half-sister Carlotta. We meet the engaging courtesan Primaflora, who becomes Nicholas's mistress. We also see some old friends, such as Tobias the physician and Captain Astorre and the faithful Loppe. We meet Nicholas's cousin Diniz, and are reacquainted with the vengeful Katelina van Borselen.

But the vortex, as always, is the dynamic, ingenius, amazing Nicholas vander Poele. In this chapter of the story, we see how Nicholas deals with the stress of so many demands. We see how he deals with the love of two women whom he does not love in return, and the guilt associated with that. We follow him as he tries to play two sides (and sometimes more) of a dangerous game, all so that he can come out the winner. Nicholas is difficult to understand, but fascinating to read about. And in Race of Scorpions, Dunnett ensures that readers will not fail to follow him into his next adventure. ( )
  aarti | Jun 28, 2006 |
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Book description
With the bravura storytelling and pungent authenticity of detail she brought to her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett presents The House of Niccolò series. The time is the 15th century, when intrepid merchants became the new knighthood of Europe. Among them, none is bolder or more cunning than Nicholas vander Poele of Bruges, the good-natured dyer's apprentice who schemes and swashbuckles his way to the helm of a mercantile empire.
In 1462, Nicholas is a wealthy 21-year-old. His beloved wife has died. His stepchildren have locked him out of the family business. He and his private army are the target of multiple conspiracies. And both contenders for the throne of Cyprus, the brilliant Queen Carlotta and her charismatic, sexually ambivalent brother James, are demanding his support. Walking a tightrope of intrigue, Dunnett's hero juggles adversaries and allies, from the delectable courtesan Primaflora to the Mameluke commander Tzani-Bey al Ablak, a man of undiluted evil. Masterfully paced, alive with sensual delights, Race of Scorpions confirms Dorothy Dunnett as the grande dame of the genre.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375704795, Paperback)

With the bravura storytelling and pungent authenticity of detail she brought to her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett presents The House of Niccolò series. The time is the 15th century, when intrepid merchants became the new knighthood of Europe. Among them, none is bolder or more cunning than Nicholas vander Poele of Bruges, the good-natured dyer's apprentice who schemes and swashbuckles his way to the helm of a mercantile empire.
      In 1462, Nicholas is a wealthy 21-year-old. His beloved wife has died. His stepchildren have locked him out of the family business. He and his private army are the target of multiple conspiracies. And both contenders for the throne of Cyprus, the brilliant Queen Carlotta and her charismatic, sexually ambivalent brother James, are demanding his support. Walking a tightrope of intrigue, Dunnett's hero juggles adversaries and allies, from the delectable courtesan Primaflora to the Mameluke commander Tzani-Bey al Ablak, a man of undiluted evil. Masterfully paced, alive with sensual delights, Race of Scorpions confirms Dorothy Dunnett as the grande dame of the genre.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In 1462, widowed twenty-one-year-old merchant/adventurer Niccol and his private army become caught between warring factions--respectively led by Queen Carlotta and her brother, James--battling for control of Cyprus.

» see all 2 descriptions

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