Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

This is a very difficult one to review, because it is very definitely quality reading, but it took me about six months to finish and although I enjoyed it at times, I can't say that I enjoyed it ALL the time.

It's because of Alex that I read The Game of Kings in the first place. It's one of her favorites (see her fabulous lists here and here to see why and to discover other great books) and she wanted me to read it as part of our challenge for 2011 - we recommended five books to each other, ones that we loved and wanted the other person to get to experience as well.

Alex did warn me that perhaps this was not the time to start reading a book like The Game of Kings. I have a very busy life and don't get much sleep because of baby S. She said that it wasn't a book that you could read a page of here and there. But that's really the only kind of reading I get to do and I was curious so I tried it.

The Game of Kings is part one of the Lymond Chronicles. It takes place in 1547 Scotland, a country plagued by English invasion but still free. The story is about Lymond himself - his relationship with his brother, his women, how he deals with the accusation of treason. It is a complex tale and I admit that I regularly got lost among the characters - I used the Kindle of feature of being able to search for a character  by name to see where they appeared before.

But in the end, despite getting lost in the characters, the plot lines and the language as well, since Dorothy Dunnett includes bits in Latin, in Spanish, in French, despite all this, I must say I liked it.

I liked Lymond's passion and his honor. I liked the historical setting and what I learned about Scottish-English-French relations of the 16 century. I thought I would give up on this story, but I found myself coming back to it over and over, wanting more.

I do want to read the next book of Lymond's adventures, but I'm not sure I have the courage to read it right away. But I feel like if I don't read it then I'll be missing out on something, so, yes, I want to know what happens to Lymond in France, while he's in the court of Henri II.


Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

You brave girl! The first two in the series are the hardest ones (the second was actually the more difficult for me), so between baby and work you did really well!

How are you getting along with A Room With a VIew?

joanna said...

I'm determined to do the second one too, I will not give up! :-)

Kailana said...

I have wanted to read this series forever, but it is a time commitment and I just haven't got around to it yet...