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The Disorderly Knights
Dorothy Dunnett
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The Disorderly Knights (The Lymond Chronicles #3)

4.58  ·  Rating Details ·  2,874 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
The third volume in The Lymond Chronicles, the highly renowned series of historical novels by Dorothy Dunnett, Disorderly Knights takes place in 1551, when Francis Crawford of Lymond is dispatched to embattled Malta, to assist the Knights of Hospitallers in defending the island against the Turks. But shortly the swordsman and scholar discovers that the greatest threat to t ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published September 27th 1992 by Random House UK (first published 1966)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This third installment in Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond series is finally completed, and yeah, it took me many days (weeks? over a month) to work my way through to the end of this lengthy and complex historical fiction novel, with more than a few detours along the way (I was easily distracted by other books in the early stages, but that was my fault as much as this book's). But once again, as the story started moving toward its climactic scenes, and events got more and more exciting and gripping, and ...more
Aug 20, 2013 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

Dear me, said Lymond mildly. I am being taken to an unfortified island, where half the defenders and most of the defence fleet are missing, to lay down my life in defence of an Order incompetently if not culpably led, wholly divided among itself, given over to fighting for secular princes and entirely denuded of money with which to pay me for my services. Where are Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude and Justice? Where are the the Eight Beautitudes of that proud White Cross? Where are the Crusaders
Aug 10, 2011 xebec rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ok here is my review for this book

in helpful illustrated form
Mar 22, 2011 Danica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Well, I seem to have been properly sideswiped by this one. or perhaps the more accurate verb would be trounced. trammeled. shebanged. My sleeping habits these past few days have been nothing short of atrocious. Even as I type this I am thinking of throwing aside my laptop and making a dive for Pawn in Frankincense, lying but a few feet to the right of my itchy fingers. (I suppose I should be grateful there is no title in this series called The Fianchettoed Bishop, becau
Apr 29, 2010 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my god! What a book! There's only one problem! Now I've gotta read Pawn in Frankincense! And I'm already dreading it all being over!

Dunnett spins a wonderful, intricate, suspenseful plot. Sometimes she makes me laugh, sometimes she makes me look up words, but always she entertains me. What rewards a little work can bring. :)

This series has made me fall in love with the characters over time. The depth of character building is phenomenal. The plotting is sine qua non. The world building is impe
Kate Sherrod
Apr 15, 2013 Kate Sherrod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-re-reads
Oh, Lymond, Lymond, how I do want to love thee. And every book you almost, almost talk me out of it. Every book you look guilty as hell of whatever crimes most have all of Scotland/France/Malta/Wherever up in arms, and every book you turn out to be, well, I'm trying not to spoil anything here, but there are three more books in this series, so certain truths are probably pretty evident, even to the kinds of people you're so very, very good at fooling...

The Disorderly Knights, the third in the gre
Stephanie Ricker
I think the Dunnett obsession grows very slowly, but once it’s upon you, you don’t have a hope of escape. This book was bloody brilliant. Dunnett’s writing is so intelligent, I feel somewhat like a little kid sitting at the adults’ table, only understanding about half of the conversation. She uses words that even I’ve never heard of--that sounds terribly arrogant of me, I realize, but it’s a fact that I rarely run across a word I don’t know. “Corymb,” “calyx,” “firlot”…I had to look all of them ...more
Francis Crawford of Lymond is sent by the French King to the Island of Malta where the Knights Hospitallers are threatened by an invasion from the Turks. While there Francis is caught up in the politics of the Knights, in particular one Graham Malett who the reader will discover is not at all what he and his convent raised sister are what they appear to be on the surface. As Dunnett slowly peels back the layers of her story, the reader is taken from Malta to embattled Tripoli and then back again ...more
Third installment of this very excellent historical series. This book introduces a villan almost as compelling and mesmerisisng as Francis Lymond himself.
Can't add much more than what other readers have already stated. These books are lengthy and have quite convoluted plots but the characters and their motives are wonderful and engaging reading. Wonderful author and simply a top notch series
Jul 31, 2015 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Complicated, like all her books. She has no tolerance for lazy readers, and the ending! I have to find the next book right now!
Apr 19, 2012 sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I deducted a star just because (view spoiler) That said, nobody could ever accuse Dunnett of not loving all her other magnificent female characters (Oonagh! Sybilla! Kate and Philippa Freaking Somerville!!!) so I can overcome that d ...more
Dillwynia Peter
I'm a little conflicted about this book in the Lymond series. I loved much of it in retrospect but there were a good 200 pages of this 590 tiny print book that bored me to tears. I'm hoping it was just me being tired rather than the novel itself.

At heart this book is about a psychopath, except it will take you close to 90% before you discover this & then all the previous actions & comments make perfect sense. Before then, Lymond is truly annoying & a shit at baiting an honest and hon
It’s been a long time since I’ve read books that make me jump up and down with excitement, or throw the book away from me in anger. I was shaking, overcome with emotion, as I read the final scenes of Disorderly Knights. Dorothy has such a gift for story-telling and character development. It is hard to believe that with a three-page character list at the front of this book, I have a firm grasp of each personality (which is not due to any lack of complexity).

I knew, from Game of Kings and Queen’s
Apr 26, 2010 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seriously amazing. I loved the first book and liked the second but this one was possibly my favorite. This might have to do with it involving more familiar characters and thus requiring less confusing set up than the previous two.

These books are wonderful and really reward close reading. The historical details are amazing. I just finished and immediately put my bookmark in the next book.

What really pulls the books, though, are the amazing characters. Lymond is so likably flawed and a fantastic
Jun 06, 2015 Poiema rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I jumped in at the middle of the Lymond Chronicles series with this book, my first DD read. I had to take it slow, as the vocabulary was challenging, the plot rather complex and detailed, and the war accoutrements unfamiliar. This is a substantial piece of writing that requires your full attention, and in return you garner history, full throttled action, colorful geography, and mind boggling plot twists. This is not my typical genre, but the adventures of the Scottish Lymond, a brilliant and eni ...more
Feb 20, 2017 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series continues to get better with each book. And darker. Much darker. Dunnett continues to shock me at the end of each book with the intricate plot and non-stop twists present in this story. Long battles, massive betrayals, utter depravity and fascinating characters. ⚔⚔ ...more
The Idle Woman
Although I am thoroughly enjoying the Lymond Chronicles so far, this third book in the series struck me as having more difficulties in structure than the previous two (I am a first-time reader, so don't have the luxury of knowing how it all turns out in the end). The first scenes in Scotland, settling back in with Will Scott and Sibylla and the familiar characters there, were great fun. When the action moved to Malta, however, for the first 'act', I felt it was less engaging and more disjointed. ...more
I only hav e one word of any relevance: more!

(view spoiler)

“Jerott, for God’s sake! Are you doing this for a wager?’ said Lymond, his patience gone at last. ‘What does anyone want out of life? What kind of
Oct 19, 2013 Dorian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking down the list of reviews I wondered what the proportion of female to male readership is for these books. I thought about it too when I picked up this book. It was a random selection, and, truth I wasn't expecting much. It's been a long time since I read any historical fiction, and what I was really expecting was a sappy romance I wouldn't pursue very far. Well, this book turned out to be considerably better than that. I got the bright haired clear sighted hero I expected, but a hero who ...more
Mar 25, 2008 Elizabeth added it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Sherwood Smith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Francis Crawford's adventures continue in the third installment of Dorothy Dunnett's "The Lymond Chronicles." Francis Crawford of Lymond is dispatched to embattled Malta, to assist the Knights of Hospitallers in defending the island against the Turks. While there Lymond makes the acquaintance of another dazzling, larger than life man who becomes an integral part of the story.

Lymond is brilliant, sarcastic, witty, agile, sardonic, and romantic (even though he claims to love no one). 'Today' said
May 27, 2013 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: period-piece
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2008 JuliAnna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to JuliAnna by: rec.arts.books
Before starting on The Disorderly Knights (the third book of the series), I went back and reread the first two. This turned out to be a mistake. They are still good books, but they came up lacking when I knew what to expect from the plot. There is just not enough (history or philosophy or insight into human behavior) to keep me thoroughly engaged. I am now enjoying The Disorderly Knights quite a bit. It is definitely entertaining, but as with the earlier books a little intellectually lighter tha ...more
Jul 28, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite of the Lymond books so far, but of course, each one I read is my favorite until I read the next one! As always, I'm in awe of Ms. Dunnett's writing abilities. She always knows what is going on in each of her characters' heads but shows us only enough glimpses to keep us turning the pages. The effect is similar to really living through the events-- you have only the evidence of people's expressions and words and the facts on the ground that you know... when to understand the w ...more
Ann Kuhns
May 29, 2015 Ann Kuhns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am obsessed with this series to the exclusion of much else. I am foregoing TV and lighter books to work my way through these. They are slow going. You can't skim because critically important details are sprinkled throughout. (Whose the guy in Oonagh's tent that night? -- you think you know but oh you realize you are wrong when it's dropped in a passing reference in book 4). And really, I think the writing could have been cleaner...ini many passages it remains unclear exactly who is speaking or ...more
Katherine Harbour
Apr 17, 2014 Katherine Harbour rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book in a historical fiction series about a soldier of fortune, a trickster, in 1500s Scotland. Francis Crawford of Lymond serves as a spy in a series of adventures that are both fascinating, tragic, and suspenseful. Lymond is cunning, attractive, and seemingly amoral, but he gets the job done, sometimes with consequences to himself and those he loves. The villains are excellent and in this novel, Lymond makes an enemy of Graham Malett, the golden, St. Michael-like knight he ...more
Beverley Hoe
Jan 31, 2014 Beverley Hoe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I thought nothing could make me love Lymond more. I was wrong. He is fabulous. I got going much more quickly with this book - I think I've tuned in to the language really well now. In the end I couldn't put it down and pulled a couple of late nights to get through it. I particularly enjoyed it when Lymond got back to Scotland and we caught up with his family, the Somervilles and the Scotts. A magnificent bunch.
Dec 28, 2013 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
My favorite of the series so far.
Jan 07, 2017 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It keeps getting better and better.
There are a few things that make the book and the series stand out:
a) the main character doesn't need to be present at every scene for the plot to move on;
b) even the minor characters are Characters and have personalities that manifest themselves in the characters' actions and words (and not because the author says that they are 'kind, shy, etc' while their function is that of a piece of furniture);
c) once again the plot is intricately woven (the bits of infor
Sep 01, 2015 Vivyenne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well. What a read. As always, a gripping and profound read.
What I liked:
- the intricate setup for the final denoument, or rather, the intricacies of the various plots. I imagine most readers expected another shoe to drop, as one always does with Lymond, though I was surprised as to the extent of the plots and betrayel. Dunnett has left us with quite a villan; it is, I think, the first time we are confronted with an antagonist who appears to be actually evil, in the way most antagonists in lite
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Dorothy Dunnett OBE was a Scottish historical novelist. She is best known for her six-part series about Francis Crawford of Lymond, The Lymond Chronicles, which she followed with the eight-part prequel The House of Niccolò. She also wrote a novel about the real Macbeth called King Hereafter (1982), and a series of mystery novels centred around Johnson Johnson, a portrait painter/spy.

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Other Books in the Series

The Lymond Chronicles (6 books)
  • The Game of Kings (The Lymond Chronicles, #1)
  • Queens' Play (The Lymond Chronicles, #2)
  • Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles, #4)
  • The Ringed Castle (The Lymond Chronicles, #5)
  • Checkmate (The Lymond Chronicles, #6)

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