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Gemini, by Dorothy Dunnett

Second paragraph of third chapter:
As they progressed, Nicholas kept seeing faces he knew. A goldsmith. A shipmaster. A chorister from Trinity College. A man who sold fish-hooks. A man who made traps for devils. As with a person drowning, he appeared to be compulsorily reviewing his past, while all the time attending to Albany’s disjointed discourse.
So, it's taken me not quite seven years to read the House of Niccolò books by Dorothy Dunnett; thanks very much to jheald for introducing me to them in the first place. Looking back, I feel that there was a dip immediately after the halfway point, but the pace then picked up again, and I was thoroughly satisfied with the climax, set mostly in Scotland, over a longer period than any of the previous books. This novel is particularly tightly crafted into the historical events of the reign of James III, and occasionally it creaks with effort, but generally the personal drama of Nicholas and his extended household and possible family meshes pretty seamlessly with the Scottish court politics of the time. There are, as I expected, some pretty brutal deaths of leading figures from the previous books, hidden secrets involving the twins of the title, and a major betrayal which I should have seen coming after the events of Caprice and Rondo. Some day I shall sit down and read the whole sequence of 8 books and 6,000 pages in one go. I'm not especially tempted to commit to the Lymond series (set later though written earlier); however I do think I'll try and track down Dunnett's Macbeth novel King Hereafter, which I read as a teenager. Meanwhile you can get Gemini here.

This was my top unread non-genre fiction book. Next on that pile is Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2018 03:02 pm (UTC)
I am glad you liked it. Like you, I read it first, then tried the Lymond Chronicles. I bounced off the first book. Some people recommended starting with book 3. That worked but I've still only skimmed books 1 and 2. From my perspective, Claes starts out engaging, hits a low and then redeems himself. Lymond starts out an a**hole and then redeems himself (or maybe is redeemed). Anyway, I've never liked Lymond as much as Nicholas.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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