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Game of Kings - book one of The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett

Review by Alleandra

The World
Scotland in 1547.

The Characters
Francis Crawford of Lymond, the young Master of Culter; his older brother Richard, sister in law Mariotta, mother Sybilla. Non relatives include: Christian Stewart, Tom Erskine, Will Scot, Wat Scot, Janet Scot, Margaret Lennox and her husband, and Lymondís crew of outlaws. Gideon Somerville, Kate his wife & Philippa his daughter. Lots of others including: The Queen Mother and a very young Mary Queen of Scotland

The Story
Young Lymond has been branded a traitor to his country from the damaging evidence that came out after the disastrous (to Scotsman) battle of Solway Moss. Still, he has returned to his country after several years, and puts together a band of outlaws. But is he trying to save Scotland from the English, or vice versa?

The major problem people new to the series have is Lymondís ability to do everything, and do it well. He is an expert swordsman, musician and can speak many languages, is very well educated, handsome and intelligent. However, the many flaws to his character (and there are many!) are such that rends him one of the most compelling and irresistible characters ever.

From the minute he steps on stage, he is compelling, even though he does questionable and possibly quite evil things. The way Dorothy Dunnett weaves her story into an intricate design that will keep a reader guessing is almost as wonderful as her impeccable research of the times.

The book is certainly not for everyone. If one hates Lymond (and there are a few, as strange as that may seem to me!) then one wonít enjoy this or the other books in the series. Lymond also has a tendency to quote. A lot. In French and Latin primarily. Plus the author uses a very extensive vocabulary. Still, once you get into the flow, the rewards are numerous. The book made me laugh out loud and cry out loud in turn. A marvelous achievement especially considering that this was Lady Dunnettís first nove.

5 amulets

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