HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Scales of Gold by Dorothy Dunnett
Loading...

Scales of Gold

by Dorothy Dunnett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The House of Niccolo (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
589516,710 (4.49)16
  1. 00
    Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage: A Cultural Journey Through the Mediterranean from Venice to Istanbul by Francesco da Mosto (marieke54)
    marieke54: The link is historical person (15th Cent.) Alvise da Ca’ da Mosto, a merchant explorer who in this 4th book of a terrific series guides protagonist Niccolo along the coast of West Africa. Alvise is mentioned by Francesco da Mosto as an inspiring forebear.… (more)
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 16 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
After all the double double dealings of Cyprus, Nicholas sets out to restore the fortunes of his Bank, and accompanies Loppe on a journey down the Guinea coast in search of gold. Pursued by a ship of the Vatachino, a rival banking company who reared their head at the end of the last book, trading and skirmishing along route. Gelis, Kateline's sister accompanies them with the desire to take revenge on Nicholas for his treatment of Kateline on Cyprus. The journey along the coast complete, they turn inland to find the source of the gold trade, and are thwarted by friends and unfriendly tribes. They eventually end up at Timbuktu, where Gelis, nursing Nicholas through swamp fever, finds out that he is the father of Kateline's child.
Quite why, after this discovery, Gelis and Nicholas become close is not clear. At least, not until the end of the book. Nicholas and Godscalc set out for Ethiopia to find the land of Prester John, but have to turn back, both worn and wounded. Gelis returns to Europe with Godscalc, and Nicholas is again nursed, by Lppe/ Umar. He finds peace in Timbuktu, until the warring tribes threaten again, and he becomes pivotal in the defence of the city. Finally, he leaves for Europe via the camel trains across the Sahara.
Finally reunited, Nicholas proposes marriage to Gelis, she asks for time to think and goes to Scotland. After being away for eight weeks, she returns to Bruges amid wedding preparations for the Duke of Burgundy; and finally agrees to marry Nicholas. On her wedding night she reveals <spoiler>that she is pregnant by Simon, Nicholas's disputed father</spoiler>; which comes as a genuine shock and kick in the guts. Leaving me (the first time, and subsequent times) shaking my head and asking What? What just happened? ( )
1 vote jkdavies | Jul 7, 2016 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2469592.html

Fourth in the series of the adventures of Niccolò, the smart young Flemish merchant who travels fifteenth century in search of wealth and its inevitable political entanglements. This time, a cunning plan to penetrate deep into Africa becomes complicated by a new wrinkle in a long-standing family feud, and extraordinary dynastic and legal manœuvres from Vanice to Madeira to Timbuktu. The ground has been well laid, as one of the supporting cast from the first three books was an African ex-slave who turns out to be extremely well-connected back in his homeland.

It's a good book, as they all are, but the portrayal of Timbuktu as a center of culture, learning, commerce and communication is particularly vivid, and directly challenges any perception of pre-colonisation Africa as somehow backward and savage. On the other hand the violence and illness endured by the protagonist and his friends are pretty graphically portrayed as well, so there is a certain squick factor. Still, very much recommended. ( )
  nwhyte | May 30, 2015 |
This feels like the turning point of the 'House of Niccolo' series, much as Checkmate was in the 'Lymond Chronicles.' There's the long, slow build-up of character development throughout the book—for all that much of it takes place in West Africa, in places where Europeans would so rarely have ventured in the fifteenth century, or even in the present day, there is relatively little description of the environment in which Nicholas and his group find themselves. It's much more introverted, about the ways in which going there changes them. (In a way, yes, which does ping a little on the enigmatic-black-folks-mystically-empowering-the-white-people scale).

A leisurely, engaging, if unsurprising read—until, of course, you get to the last ten pages or so, when in classic Dunnett style your eyebrows are made to rise higher and higher until you squeak "What?!" very loudly. Not as bad as Checkmate, of course—what ever could be?—but still. What. ( )
1 vote siriaeve | Jun 30, 2008 |
My favorite Niccolo book of the series (thus far), though one that had
me wanting to throw almost every character against the wall at some point. But I think I learned a lot more about Nicholas in this novel, which made it all the harder to bear at the end. Great character development of Gelis, whom I think is intriguing, though I don't know if I'll like her. ( )
  aarti | Aug 2, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dorothy Dunnettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Griffin, GordonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
With the bravura storytelling and pungent authenticity of detail she brought to her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett, grande dame of the historical novel, 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.

The year 1464 finds Nicholas back in Venice. Plagued by enemies bent on dissolving his assets and smearing his character, he sets sail for Africa, legendary location of the Fountain of Youth, home to a descendant of Sheba and Solomon, and the source of gold in such abundance that men prefer to barter in shells. He will learn firsthand the brutality and grandeur of the Dark Continent, from the horror of the slave trade to the austere nobility of Islamic Timbuktu. He will discover, too, the charms of the beautiful Gelis van Borselen--a woman whose passion for Nicholas is rivaled only by her desire to punish him for his role in her sister s death. Erotic and lush with detail, Scales of Gold embraces the complexity of the Renaissance, where mercantile adventure couples with more personal quests behind the silken curtains of the Age of Discovery.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375704809, Paperback)

With the bravura storytelling and pungent authenticity of detail she brought to her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett, grande dame of the historical novel, 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.
      
The year 1464 finds Nicholas back in Venice. Plagued by enemies bent on dissolving his assets and smearing his character, he sets sail for Africa, legendary location of the Fountain of Youth, home to a descendant of Sheba and Solomon, and the source of gold in such abundance that men prefer to barter in shells. He will learn firsthand the brutality and grandeur of the Dark Continent, from the horror of the slave trade to the austere nobility of Islamic Timbuktu. He will discover, too, the charms of the beautiful Gelis van Borselen--a woman whose passion for Nicholas is rivaled only by her desire to punish him for his role in her sister s death. Erotic and lush with detail, Scales of Gold embraces the complexity of the Renaissance, where mercantile adventure couples with more personal quests behind the silken curtains of the Age of Discovery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:50 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Nicholas vander Poele, a Renaissance merchant, takes a desperate journey to Africa.

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
18 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.49)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5 1
3 9
3.5 3
4 31
4.5 6
5 66

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,325,227 books! | Top bar: Always visible