Dorothy Dunnett Book Club discussion

Niccolo Rising > Chapter 9

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 12, 2018 10:05AM) (new)

After the severe beating Claes obtained from our Lord Simon, he returns back to the Charettyy family home. He is still a long way from a full recovery, but his type of stock always seems to recover. Eventually, he is recovered enough to leave his sickbed, and he is offered three jobs; 1) with the galley, 2) with the Dauphin, and 3) as a mercenary for the Charetty family. He chooses to stick with the Charetty family, and learn the mercenary trade. He will leave for Italy very soon.

We switch over to Katelina who attends a party with a lot of important people. We learn that she does not want to go to the covent. She wishes that she was a widow to be able to make up her own mind and be independent. She decided she was going to be civil to Simon, which she does not. She was a little insulted that he frowned at her, so she became a little sassy during a conversation among other peers. One in particular is very interested in the story of Simon's mishap. His nam is Jordan de Ribérac, who happens to be Simon's father. He has a distant relationship with his father, and Simon is a bit tense around him. I would too, since he is a little on the creepy side. Katelina tells the man that plainly she does not like Simon. Well, yikes, not a great first impression.

There is a great father daughter moment, where they understand each other. Katelina's father sounds sincere and says they can find better, which I believe they can. Katelina leaves the party early to go home, but instead goes to Charetty's house to seek out Claes. Luckily! Madam Charetty and Claes is the only ones there, because everyone is at Sluys. Katelina apologizes to Claes for Simon's actions, because she believes it is somewhat her fault. Simon should of been a gentleman in the first place, and he deserved to be put in his place.

We are left with Madam Charetty immersed in her own work and thoughts.

In the beginning of this chapter Claes talks about plants with the doctor. More precisely about alums which is used for dying and tanning. I found it really strange of a topic, especially since he kept saying "hair dye". Why do you think he wanted to know about alums, and where they came from? Is it going to disguise himself? Is it for the business? He also said he put himself on the market, could it be for a new business opportunity?

We also find some information about Claes beginning. He is from Geneva, and that Claes is going to go stop at Geneva when the group of mercenaries travel to Milan. What do you think will happen there? Or during his travels?

Do you think Madam Charetty wants to make Claes a partner? Is that what she was implying that she wants someone who cleverer?

I might add more later. To be continued.

message 3: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 346 comments Mod
I think the three job offers was really interesting. As though people are taking notice of Claes in spite of his goofy diffidence. There’s obviously something about him worth noting.

I’m also interested in the relationship he seems to have with Madam Charetty. It’s almost maternal but also she seems interested in his opinion. It’s true that he is in a position to overhear things which might be useful to the business. People seem to overlook him... well, not everyone since he’s getting job offers.

message 4: by Giki (new)

Giki | 272 comments madame charetty sees his intellegence, felix and julius treat him like an idiot servant and he is happy to play the part. He is pretty quick at working out what is important.
His recent adventures are the sort of funny stories that everyone would be talking about, the rich and powerful included. Even though he ends up beaten and imprisoned he gets to showcase is cunning and bravery, his toughness and coolness when captured, he is always loyal to his employer. I guess some people would find those traits desirable in an servant, someone to get into trouble on their behalf.

message 5: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 346 comments Mod
Yes, and it costs Charetty Co. a lot less than when Felix is on his own. I thought it funny that Madam sees through all Julius’s careful accounting.

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