Dorothy Dunnett Book Club discussion

Niccolo Rising > Chapter 5

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)


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I get this Count of Monte Cristo vibe from the this book.

message 3: by Sue (new)

Sue Marsh | 48 comments Chapter 5 summary in next few days: have been working 10 hour days this week so apologies for hiatus!

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Sue wrote: "Chapter 5 summary in next few days: have been working 10 hour days this week so apologies for hiatus!"

No worries Sue, take your time! And dang! Ten hour days! Yikes! Sleep! No need to rush. Life is hectic.

message 5: by Sue (new)

Sue Marsh | 48 comments In which Claes is behind bars again.....

Is this a literal depiction of what everyday life was like for the “average Joe” at the time: or a metaphorical description of Claes’s current life and a hint that he has to break free of many constraints; not least the social mores of the time? I also found echoes in this chapter of Game of Kings when Lymond was captured, taken to Threave Castle and proceeded to entertain the crowd. There Will Scott comments that “laughter ...... is a notorious locksmith”. Is Claes hoping that someone will be entertained enough to release him from the Steen?

The Greek with wooden leg is taking quite an interest in Claes and stops by to exchange pleasantries through the bars. Claes tells him he won’t be able to raise fees for his release by applying to any of the Scots party and de’Acciajuoli comments “nor from those innkeeper-brokers with pretty serving girls”. He has his suspicions about what Claes is up to. TGWTWL (shorthand for the Greek with the wooden leg) agreed to take a message to Felix “Don’t do it” which is intriguing enough for anyone to agree to be a messenger. This part of the chapter ends with some foreshadowing/warning as Claes says to TGWTWL tell me if I may ever do you a favour. Afterwards the Greek remembers laughing, which seems to mean something; but what?

Everyone in Bruges seems to be either angry, drunk or sulking (Felix). There is some unpleasantness in a tavern with a mercenary and some confused double talk between Felix and TGWTWL as he delivers the message. The fact that he asks if it is too late seems to indicate that he knows it is. Just what access to knowledge/spies does this man have?

Then a multi-coloured, soapy flood starts running through the streets, ruining clothes and the gardens of the van Borselens and the work being undertaken on Adorne’s Jerusalem church. Now, who would/could have been responsible for ruining things for those two families and why?

It seems Felix will be blamed (after all, Claes was under lock and key) and then we learn that the mistress of the house (and the business) is coming to town with Astorre “that maniac of a mercenary”, whom Lionel hates with a vengeance. Things are hotting up!

Thought please on what we learn from this chapter - and re-read the last sentence......

message 6: by Sue (new)

Sue Marsh | 48 comments Sorry - should read my own last sentence 😂. Thoughts, please .......

message 7: by Giki (new)

Giki | 272 comments There is something going on - Claes is at the centre of it, I am not sure what but nothing is as unplanned as it appears.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree that the Greek has more power and knowledge than he lets on. Why is he so interested in Claes? 🧐

Sometimes I think it is boys being stupid and naive. They are letting off steam and don’t really like Simon or the rich folk. Some sort of revenge? Then again there is that hint that their is something bigger going on. If the Greek did know what was happening and didn’t stop it what does he have against Simon, Borselens, and others? Does he want something to be ruined? Does he want Claes as an apprentice? It is probably all right there and I am missing it. 😂

message 9: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 346 comments Mod
Hmm. Okay the flood was kinda weird and I feel like I’m missing something about it. Plus, it almost seems like Claes wants to get blamed even though he had an alibi. I mean TGWTWL who is Adorne’s guest seems a pretty high profile messenger.

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