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The Game of Kings (1961)

de Dorothy Dunnett

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: Lymond Chronicles (1)

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2,416764,620 (4.28)222
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.… (mais)
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Inglês (75)  Alemão (1)  Todos os idiomas (76)
Mostrando 1-5 de 76 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This is a DNF but I think it's worth noting my thoughts for as far as I've got since many others have said that the first part is hard going but it is worth it in the end. I'm still stuck in the 'hard going' part but I do intend to come back to this sometime:

And one that I'm still struggling with. It has good press on LT but I'm finding the language vague and ambiguous, not to mention all the words in a language other than English (or LOTE, as my sons' school terms it), including some Scottish colloquialisms.

[The Game Of Kings: The Lymond Chronicles 1] by Dorothy Dunnett

ETA: I have temporarily abandoned this because it's too hard to slog through but - since I've been assured on all LT fronts that it is worth sticking with - I intend to return to it. Sometime.

Looking at other people's reviews, it seems to get better later on and repay effort in spades; but here at the beginning the ideal reader would be someone with an advanced historical degree in Renaissance languages - which just happens to not be my area of expertise. The writing makes me question my intelligence - and I ain't stoopid. As well, Lyman is a decidedly unsympathetic character, as far as I've got. One of his first actions on returning to Scotland from banishment is to burgle and set fire to his mother's castle, insulting his new sister-in-law along the way, all to fund his new career in outlawry.

Set in Scotland in what was the Tudor period in England.

Litsy notes

*Still only on Ch 1 but feel like I‘ve been thrown in the deep end re the language:

Amusement, principally. Don‘t you think it‘s time my family shared in my misfortunes, as Christians should? Then, vice is so costly: May dew or none, my brown and tender diamonds don‘t engender, they dissolve. Immoderation, Mariotta, is a thief of money and intestinal joy, but who‘d check it? Not I. Here I am, weeping soft tears of myrrh, to prove it.

*Eheu! My C20th education doesn‘t seem to be up to C16th standards; everyone spouts and replies in Classical Latin, French, German or Italian at the drop of a hat. Dunnett‘s prose (so far) is alternatively descriptive and (more often) vague enough to be ambiguous. I keep having to go back and reread a paragraph or 2 to be sure of the meaning. Or sometimes just move on - the e-book is due back in 3 days!

*The good thing about reading on Overdrive is that it‘s easy to look up historical characters so I have a chance of following the politics of the day.

*‘Sir James, in painful doubt as to whether this was meant to be humorous or not‘.
Much the same feeling I get. I think it might be meant to be funny and think I might finally be making headway but then I get lost in the welter of names etc

ETA: I think a large part of my confusion is that I can't get hold of any of the characters' motivations - or even their characters - and it's all a big bowl of porridge.
  humouress | May 30, 2021 |
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 vote 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 vote 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 vote quondame | Jan 30, 2020 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Dorothy Dunnettautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Gillies, SamuelNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Monteath, DavidNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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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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