Terri 's Reviews > Queens' Play

Queens' Play by Dorothy Dunnett
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's review
Aug 15, 12

bookshelves: all-time-favs, historical
Recommended for: History lovers
Read from July 24 to August 01, 2010, read count: 3

I'm really enjoying these books, and specifically the hero Francis Crawford of Lymond.

For anyone interested in reading these books, but put off by the many reviews citing the difficulty of the read; the many allegorical references; and quotes in many different languages - including Spanish, French, Latin, Gaelic, etc, I say: Just Jump In! Yes, they are an active read, and yes you will be occasionally scratching your head in puzzlement, but they are wonderful.

The hero of these books, Francis Crawford of Lymond, is such a richly layered character. Yes, he's brave, talented, heroic, etc. But he is also brilliant to the degree of boredom, and occasionally self-destructive also. He is equal parts completely committed to a cause, and completely no one's man, but his own conscience's. I found myself both jealous of those characters who were able to mingle their lives with his, and then very sorry for those same characters for that same reason. Lymond's presence leaves a mark on those who's lives he touches, and not always a comfortable gentle mark...even when it's positive.

Contrary to most of the reviews of these books, I found this book harder than the first in the series, but even better written. I was specifically impressed with Dunnett's writing in the very last pages, where the character O'Liam Roe sums finally comes to terms with his feelings toward Lymond, and shares this character analysis with Lymond. This is a beautiful piece of writing - rich and deep and profound.

My measure of a great piece of literature is: Do I dream these characters when I put my book down and the end of the night and turn off my light? In Lymond's case: Yes! And in Dolby sound and Technicolor!

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Quotes Terri Liked

Dorothy Dunnett
“[Robin Stewart] was your man. True for you, you had withdrawn the crutch from his sight, but still it should have been there in your hand, ready for him. For you are a leader-don't you know it? I don't, surely, need to tell you?-And that is what leadership means. It means fortifying the fainthearted and giving them the two sides of your tongue while you are at it. It means suffering weak love and schooling it till it matures. It means giving up you privicies, your follies and your leasure. It means you can love nothing and no one too much, or you are no longer a leader, you are led.”
Dorothy Dunnett, Queens' Play

Reading Progress

06/18/2010 page 207
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