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Book Series

The Lymond Chronicles

The Ringed Castle

The Ringed Castle

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/01/1999

Before George R. R. Martin there was Dorothy Dunnett . . . PERFECT for fans of A Game of Thrones. 'She is a brilliant story teller, The Lymond Chronicles will keep you reading late into the night, desperate to know the fate of the characters you have come to care deeply about.' The Times Literary Supplement The Ringed Castle is the fifth book in the series ----------------------------- 'Not to every young girl is it given to enter the harem of the Sultan of Turkey and return to her homeland a virgin . . .' Sixteen-year-old Philippa Somerville has left Constantinople intact. Returning to England as wife in name only to Francis Crawford of Lymond, she wastes no time in seeking the truth about her new spouse, even as she finds herself navigating the paranoid court of Queen Mary. Lymond, meanwhile, arrives in Moscow to assist its young Tsar Ivan to create a fledgling Russian army. But when he is tasked to visit London as Ivan's envoy his path is bound to cross that of the wife he has sworn to divorce. Yet neither Lymond nor Philippa, caught up in their own scheming, can quite see the vast conspiracy enshrouding them . . . 'Lashings of excitement, colour and subtlety' The Times 'Melodrama of the most magnificent kind' The Guardian

Checkmate

Checkmate

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/01/1999

I was probably too young when I first read Dorothy Dunnett, in the sense that things were winging over my head. At the same time, twelve year old me was smart enough to know it, and to still be mesmerized. I read The Lymond Chronicles, as they were eventually called, when complete, as the last of the six books were coming out. Indeed, I was working near Oxford on the editorial construction of Tolkien’s The Silmarillion when Checkmate, the final book in Dunnett’s series, was released. I told Christopher Tolkien I’d be taking two or three days off to read it. I bought the first copy sold in Blackwell’s in Oxford, waiting by the door for the store to open that morning, I remember.  The Lymond books, for me, are unmatched in many ways. Research, period feel, intensely vivid characters, wit, high drama, scintillating dialogue. The first book, The Game of Kings, is notoriously a challenge to get into. Fair warning. Dunnett uses an elliptical style and obscure quotes and references to a purpose. Her protagonist is simply smarter than everyone he deals with — and she puts the reader in that puzzle-him-out position, too. It is very effective, once one settles in. The series is anchored in Scotland in the 16th century, but covers an enormous amount of ground beyond: France, Malta, Constantinople, even the Russia of Ivan the Terrible. I was fortunate enough to meet her, by correspondence and in person, and as a young writer I learned valuable lessons, seeing her graciousness to readers. It was an earlier time, before social media, but grace was still grace.  Selected by our Spring 2021 Guest Editor, Guy Gavriel Kay

Queens' Play

Queens' Play

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/02/1999

Before George R. R. Martin there was Dorothy Dunnett . . . PERFECT for fans of A Game of Thrones. 'She is a brilliant story teller, The Lymond Chronicles will keep you reading late into the night, desperate to know the fate of the characters you have come to care deeply about.' The Times Literary Supplement Queen's Play is the second book in the series ----------------------------- 'The crossroads may not be of your own seeking, but at least the road you choose will be your own' It is 1548 and seven-year-old Mary Queen of Scots, betrothed to her cousin the Dauphin, heir to the French throne, has been dispatched to France. But far from home and vulnerable, surrounded by the double-dealing and debauchery of a dangerous and unpredictable court, she suffers a series of 'accidents'. Her mother, Scotland's Queen Dowager, orders Francis Crawford of Lymond to protect Mary, believing that at the very heart of Henri II's glittering, decadent court is an assassin hired to kill the infant monarch. Lymond must secretly hunt down this individual before he himself is exposed . . . 'Vivid, engaging, densely plotted -- are almost certainly destined to be counted among the classics of popular fiction' New York Times 'Melodrama of the most magnificent kind' The Guardian

The Game Of Kings

The Game Of Kings

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/02/1999

The Lymond books, for me, are unmatched in many ways. Research, period feel, intensely vivid characters, wit, high drama, scintillating dialogue. The first book, The Game of Kings, is notoriously a challenge to get into. Fair warning. Dunnett uses an elliptical style and obscure quotes and references to a purpose. Her protagonist is simply smarter than everyone he deals with — and she puts the reader in that puzzle-him-out position, too. It is very effective, once one settles in.  Selected by our Spring 2021 Guest Editor, Guy Gavriel Kay

The Disorderly Knights

The Disorderly Knights

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/03/1999

Before George R. R. Martin there was Dorothy Dunnett . . . PERFECT for fans of A Game of Thrones. 'She is a brilliant story teller, The Lymond Chronicles will keep you reading late into the night, desperate to know the fate of the characters you have come to care deeply about.' The Times Literary Supplement The Disorderly Knights is the third book in the series ----------------------------- 'The trouble about Mr Crawford is that he puts up with his enemies and plays merry hell with his friends' Summer, 1551, and Francis Crawford of Lymond is in Malta to assist the Knights of St John defend the island from an invading Turkish fleet. But under a weak leader there is dissension in the ranks of the Knights - and the chances of repelling invasion look slim. Here Lymond meets Knight Grand Cross Graham Reid Malett - known as Gabriel - a fellow Scot famed for his virtues. It is soon clear that Gabriel's wiles in war and intrigue rival Lymond's own as he attempts to bring his new comrade in arms into the bosom of his scheming. And if Gabriel should fail then his sister, Joleta, whose seductive charms no man can resist is waiting to prevail. Caught between warring factions and nations, between the wiles of Gabriel and the lascivious charms of Joleta, will Lymond prove strong enough to remain his own man? 'Romance in the grand manner. I recommend it for your delight' Sunday Times 'Melodrama of the most magnificent kind' The Guardian

Pawn in Frankincense

Pawn in Frankincense

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/03/1999

Before George R. R. Martin there was Dorothy Dunnett . . . PERFECT for fans of A Game of Thrones. 'She is a brilliant story teller, The Lymond Chronicles will keep you reading late into the night, desperate to know the fate of the characters you have come to care deeply about.' The Times Literary Supplement Pawn in Frankincense is the fourth book in the series ----------------------------- 'It seems to me that on the whole we run more risks with Mr Crawford's protection than without it . . .' It is 1552 and the royal galley Dauphine, under the command of Francis Crawford of Lymond, sails the glittering but dangerous Mediterranean looking for a lost son. Yet as the search grows more urgent, Lymond knows he is being drawn deeper into the intricate web of his enemy Gabriel, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St John, who is already weaving a subtle tapestry of revenge. It is a journey that will lead Lymond to Constantinople and the court of Suleiman the Magnificent where a terrible game will be played with deadly and incalculable consequences . . . 'Marvellous, breathtaking' The Times 'Melodrama of the most magnificent kind' The Guardian