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The Game of Kings (1961)

av Dorothy Dunnett

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Serier: Lymond Chronicles (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,687875,331 (4.28)245
Fiction. Literature. Romance. Historical Fiction. HTML:In this first book in the legendary Lymond Chronicles, Francis Crawford of Lymond, traitor, murderer, nobleman, returns to Scotland to redeem his reputation and save his home.
It is 1547 and 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 scapegrace nobleman of crooked felicities and murderous talents, posessed of a 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 reputations even at the risk of his life.… (mer)
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engelska (84)  spanska (1)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (86)
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I am a very happy reader right now. And why, oh why have I not read Dorothy Dunnett before? Some books come to you in their own time, and in unfathomable ways. Perhaps this is the case here.

The prose is lovely. I want to quote every gorgeous, vibrant, surprising sentence and turn of phrase, but then I might end up just writing the whole book down right here. This will get me nowhere, obviously ;) (I will put some quotes in, because it’s impossible not to.)

The Game of Kings makes you look a lot of things up, and I am the kind of reader that loves this. There are quotes from La Fontaine and Rabelais, there is Latin, there is Old English and Old French, references to Medieval and Renaissance poetry and plays, ancient philosophy and old nursery rhymes. There are dialogues where characters quote poetry while trying to outsmart and outwit each other. Yes, please, give me more.

There are also double and triple layers of intrigue, backstories, double-crossing and double-dealing, and a mystery to solve. Following the tangled threads is both enjoyable and demanding. This invites rereads – I am sure that I missed quite a few cleverly hidden clues.

Can I gush about the characters now? This book wouldn’t have been such an amazing reading experience if it weren’t for the characters. Complex, compelling, clever (not all of them ;)), tragic, sometimes infuriating, and always changing, developing, becoming more themselves. I could hardly breathe and felt the tears coming during some of the emotionally wrecking confrontations. Sometimes it became too much and I tried to force myself not to care – “some of these people haven’t even existed, ever, come on!” It didn’t work, of course ;)

Lymond: a wunderkind, a polyglot, a leader of men, a swordsman, a philosopher… chivalrous, twisted, unhappy, bitter… and so many other things. He needs a psychologist very badly, but the psychologist might not come away from the encounter unscathed, so he shall have to do without. At times I was convinced that Lymond was an incarnation of some trickster god who got bored with godly stuff and decided to live in the 16th century for a while. And no, he cannot speak like a normal human being:

“I am used to being taken for a cross between Gilles de Reis and a sort of international exchange in young mammals, but I draw the line somewhere.”

…………..

“ ‘I wish to God’, said Gideon with mild exasperation, ‘that you’d talk – just once – in prose like other people.’ “

I loved, loved, loved Lymond’s speech on patriotism:

“Patriotism is fine hothouse for maggots. It breeds intolerance; it forces a spindle-legged, spurious riot of colour… ‘Patriotism’, said Lymond again. ‘It’s an opulent word, a mighty key to a royal Cloud-Cuckoo-Land. Patriotism; loyalty; a true conviction that of all the troubled and striving world, the soil of one’s fathers is noblest and best. A celestial competition for the best breed of man; a vehicle for shedding boredom and exercising surplus power or surplus talent or surplus money; an immature and bigoted intolerance which becomes the coin of barter in the markets of power – ‘ “

And now there is hardly any space left for everyone else I loved, quoting is a dangerous business..

Christian: your bravery and resilience are incredible, and you are the only person who is a match for Lymond in wit, erudition, and cleverness. I wish there was more of you. (Sometimes I wonder why authors do certain things.)

Will Scott: what a coming of age story, what a character arc (probably the best in the book), and, yes, indeed “What a game. God! What a game.”

Richard: oh, you brave, stubborn, clever, foolish, hurt and redeemed man. I hope to see you again. (After nearly drowning: “My God, we need practice at that. Shall we do it again?" Go, Richard!)

Also I’d love to have Kate and Gideon over for tea. No wait, they did not drink tea in England at the time, they will be confused. Food and wine it is, then. Anyway, I want to invite them.

The final chapter was almost impossibly tense, I kept reading until late in the evening. That ending… :)))))))

Five. More. Books. Five! *Me doing a happy dance around the room.*

Huge thanks to Nastya, Nataliya, Marquise, Roman Clodia, Ryan, Temperance for having me in the epic buddy read. This book and this series wouldn’t have happened to me without you. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
This book is really, too much. It is crisply written prose and delightful but honestly the dialogue is completely unbelievable and excessively erudite to a ridiculous degree. It is the baptism by fire for entree into the world of Dorothy Dunnett. If you can make it through this silly book, the rest of the series is great fun and improves exponentially. It is my least favorite of them all and in it I think Dunnett was getting her bearings. Well worth getting through somehow to get to the gold later, but always makes me wonder how many of my friends I can coax through it.... Not many, so far.... but I will keep trying! ( )
  puabi | Aug 13, 2023 |
Didn't get on with Lymond ( )
  sjflp | Jun 18, 2023 |
The Lymond Chronicles 1 ( )
  SueJBeard | Jan 8, 2023 |
"Lymond ha vuelto". La frase corría de boca en boca en aquella cálida noche de agosto. Francis Crawford de Lymond, exiliado durante cinco años, segundón de una noble familia escocesa, estaba otra vez en su país. Su llegada a Edimburgo en aquel verano de 1547, con los ingleses a las puertas de la ciudad, desencadenará una serie de imprevistos acontecimientos...
Mientras Escocia lucha por defenderse del gigante inglés, este fascinante personaje, proscrito en ambos países, noble y forajido, trovador, cínico y seductor, liderando una banda de leales que han esperado su regreso todos estos años, tendrá que revelar la identidad del traidor que le hizo caer en desgracia años atrás.
  Natt90 | Dec 8, 2022 |
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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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Fiction. Literature. Romance. Historical Fiction. HTML:In this first book in the legendary Lymond Chronicles, Francis Crawford of Lymond, traitor, murderer, nobleman, returns to Scotland to redeem his reputation and save his home.
It is 1547 and 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 scapegrace nobleman of crooked felicities and murderous talents, posessed of a 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 reputations even at the risk of his life.

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