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The Game of Kings (1961)

av Dorothy Dunnett

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: Lymond Chronicles (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,402754,592 (4.29)221
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.… (mer)
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» Se även 221 omnämnanden

engelska (74)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (75)
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In 1547, Francis Crawford, the Master of Lymond, wanted by the Scottish government for treason, is back in Edinburgh. I started this five years ago but didn’t make much headway, and when I noticed the library had acquired the audiobooks I decided to try again.

The audiobook turned out to be the perfect way to experience this story! Because it’s told from the perspective of characters who don’t know everything that’s going on or who keep their suspicions and conclusions to themselves, the reader just has to pay attention and wait for things to be revealed. But the narrator gives the characters different voices, making it easier to follow who is speaking, and, in the tone of voice he uses, highlights clues in the text about a conversation’s subtext, how characters are attempting to portray themselves and what people’s emotions might be. That helped me to follow the story even when I was feeling confused!

I enjoyed the Scottish accents, the clever wit, the ambiguity about Lymond’s plans and motives, and the way many of Dunnett’s characters are very intelligent, perceptive people. I was interested in the historical political intrigue. I loved the twists and revelations, which are brilliant -- incredibly clever and satisfying.

“You don’t owe me anything, except a little amusement. Why not bite back?”
“Because,” said Lymond, lifting his eyes suddenly, “I’m a constant practitioner of the art and you are not.”
“I don’t mind,” said Kate wistfully. “Won’t you bite?”
“Like a shark. It’s a habit. And habits are hell’s own substitute for good intentions. Habits are the ruin of ambition, of initiative, of imagination. They’re the curse of marriage and the after-bane of death.”
Katherine surveyed the indifferent face critically. “For an advocate of chaos, you’re quite convincing. There is such a thing, you know, as habitual disorder—as of course you know: few have had such a permanently unsettled regime as you have. Suppose you had a chance to lead a normal life?”
“Let’s leave my sordid affairs out of this, shall we?” he said. “You’ve missed a point. There’s a nice difference between rootless excitement and careful variety.”
“If I can’t be personal, I don’t want to argue,” said his hostess categorically. “I may be missing your points, but you’re much too busy dodging mine.”
( )
  Herenya | Dec 22, 2020 |
Without question, the best series of historical novels ever published.
(Except for a few personal caveats regarding the "revelations" in the final book.) ( )
1 rösta librisissimo | Nov 1, 2020 |
Definitely not my usual fare, and it took me a while to get into it, but by the halfway point I was thoroughly hooked. There were tears. ( )
1 rösta RJ_Stevenson | Aug 19, 2020 |
It's been almost ten years since I last read this, but so much of it is, after at least 3 reading prior to that, still fresh. Re-reading is such a different experience than the original whiplash impact of the story and it characters, but no less satisfying as the richness and depth of a 16th century world is rolled out before us. It may not be the real 16th century world, but it has a real, immediate feel, with real stakes and unmistakable dangers. Most of the historical persons brought on as characters seem truly capable of the actions recorded and the invented ones worthy to move among them, and often vibrantly interesting. Dunnett was unparalleled in her presentation a believable Renaissance world in which adventure seems natural if not inevitably romantic. ( )
1 rösta quondame | Jan 30, 2020 |
It’s 1547, and as the first line states, Francis Crawford, Master of Lymond, “is back.” He’s been in prison for reasons not immediately revealed, and is now living the life of a swashbuckling outlaw, appearing unannounced and often in disguise to influence political events between Scotland and England. The English are keen to arrange a marriage between two child monarchs: Edward VI (son of the notorious King Henry VIII), and Mary Queen of Scots. The Scots aren’t having it, which has led to repeated armed conflict at the border. Lymond’s role and motives are unclear: whose side is he on, anyway? Can we, the readers, trust him? Would he be the hero of this story if we couldn’t? Well, maybe.

The Game of Kings is the first of Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles, and Dunnett expects a lot from her readers. First, there’s the history, which is clearly well-researched but not provided as background. And then, there are characters. So. many. characters. Lymond is clearly fictional, as is his family and many of his cronies, but plenty of historic figures play important roles in the story. And finally, through Lymond, a well-read polyglot, Dunnett infuses the story with literary references, songs, and sayings, often in French or Latin.

But don’t be put off by these complexities. Readers who are willing to invest effort into understanding these elements will be rewarded with a rollicking story, filled with so many twists and turns that I often had to re-read passages to figure out what just happened. But it was fun! Just trust me, and start reading this series. ( )
1 rösta lauralkeet | Jan 9, 2020 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (7 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Dorothy Dunnettprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Gillies, SamuelBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Monteath, DavidBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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The Game of Kings is jointly dedicated as may seem fitting to an Englishwoman and a Scot FOR ALASTAIR MACTAVISH DUNNETT AND DOROTHY EVELINE MILLARD HALLIDAY
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"Lymond is back."
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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.

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