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Queen’s Play - book two of The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett

Review by Alleandra

The World
Most of the action takes place in France in the mid 16th century, although we also get peeks at Scotland and England as well.

The Characters
Once again, we are dealing with the exploits of young Scotsman Francis Crawford of Lymond, the younger brother of the Baron of Culter, Richard Crawford, who also has a small part. Joining Francis are Phelim O’LiamRoe, an Irish nobleman looking to garner support from France, Oonaugh O’Dwyer, a beautiful young woman currently the mistress of Cormac O’Conner, Robin Stewart, and Thady Boy Ballagh, who is O’LiamRoe’s ‘ollave’ or secretary of sorts. Additionally, there are tons of nobles from the court of France, including Mary of Guise, the Queen Mother, her daughter, Mary Queen of Scots, Lady Jenny Fleming, Tom Erskine and his wife Margaret, many, many more.

The Story
Although young Mary was successfully sent to France at the end of Game of Kings, her life is in great danger from unknown sources. Protecting her is a tricky situation at best, for the Queen Mother dare not insult the French court by indicating that the child is not safe there. She therefore engages/pleads for the assistance of Lymond, to act in a clandestine way to secure her daughter’s safety. Lymond does agree to help out, but in his own way and under his own terms. The result is an exciting, and often quite funny story.

Each Lymond book has at least one hilarious scene, and Queen’s Play is not an exception. Without spoiling, there is a drunken race that that had me crying because of all the laughing. The plot is cleverly pieced together, and there is an incident in the book that has a huge impact on Lymond’s life.

The character of Francis Crawford is layered and textured in such a way as to render him one of the best drawn heroes in present day literature. But the books are not just character driven…the plot is tense and exciting, funny and interesting, as well has intricately paced. Great stuff.

4.95 amulets

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