Dorothy Dunnett fans discussion

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House of Niccolo > Gemini

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message 1: by Pam (new)

Pam (PamLoeb) | 26 comments Just finished Gemini and the 8 book series -- which was a wonderful journey. I'm still trying to figure out a few things. What is Dunnett implying about Nicholas' twin? What do the flashes allude to? Is this connected to Lymond Chronicles (which I have not read)?
Not sure how I felt about the Julius realization. I need to go back and re-read those scenes where supposedly Julius was plotting to kill St. Pol family members, and Nicholas knew it. There were a few times I wondered how they had come across one another in childhood and then at Charrety house, but in the end, the connection seemed to be a little far-fetched. And why was Julius so obsessed with proving Nicholas' inheritance? Am I missing something?
Finally, I was disappointed that Nicholas did not have any closure with Henry. Or maybe the fact that the boys were "halfway to becoming friends" is as good as it gets -- again opinions?
Any more thoughts on this book/end of the series are welcome. Its hard to find people who can committ to a series as long as this!


message 2: by Sara (new)

Sara Giacalone | 8 comments Hi Pam,
Yes, reading one of Dunnett's series creates lots of questions. I find the best way to answer those questions is to read and re-read passages. You do definitely need to read the Lymond Chronicles (if nothing else because it is wonderful), but even then you may need to re-read the whole set again for better understanding. Heck, every time I read the books I learn something new. They are like onions with so many layers to peel back! :)
Luckily, there are some discussion groups that you may be interested in; and there is a great amount of information on the Dorothy Dunnett web site. Here's the link: http://www.dorothydunnett.co.uk/dulin....
The Julius thing totally surprised me too, the first time I read it. When I re-read the series, I found the connection less tenuous. The Nicholas/Henry situation is very sad... as in real life, sometimes closure is not possible.
I haven't read the series in (gasp!) four years. I'm feeling the itch again. I will have to peruse some scenes again to discuss more detail with you, but I would be happy to! It is hard to find people who read Dunnett. I've been trying to get my husband to for years so I can discuss it with him. He wants to, just isn't into reading fiction right now.
Now you've got me excited to read the series again, yay!!
Sara


message 3: by Pam (new)

Pam (PamLoeb) | 26 comments Thank you for your recommendation. I have convinced my son to read the series, and am enjoying looking over his shoulder and iscussing scenes I did not totally understand the first time. You are right -- reading and re-reading is often the only way to get the most out of these books.
Any thoughts/insights you have as you go through again, I am ready to discuss!


message 4: by Pam (new)

Pam (PamLoeb) | 26 comments Another question -- thoughts on the title "Gemini"? I thought it would have more significance (learn more about Nicholas' twin). But maybe I was just looking for the obvious. Are there other types of "twins" in the story? Nicholas and Jordan de Riberac? Henry and Jody?


message 5: by Sara (new)

Sara Giacalone | 8 comments I thought Gemini was about the Nicholas / twin thing, but also about other types of twins, mainly those exposed in the Lymond Chronicles. It was a very complicated, yet sublime, way for Dorothy to tie the two series together.
I'm such a Dunnett freak that I also belong to the Dorothy Dunnett Readers' Association, and just received the March 2010 issue of Wispering Gallery. It's a wonderful publication by the DDRA that includes snippets of Dorothy's research, photos from readers' travels, insights from readers and great photos of the gatherings each year. There's an article in this issue that discusses geneology and twin-like issues, but until you read Lymond, I can't comment further. Argh! ;)
It's great that you're sharing the series with your son! I usually start reading the series with The Game of Kings, but I wonder if I should start at the other end and begin with Niccolo Rising?
What did you think overall of Nicholas and Gelis?
The Game of Kings (The Lymond Chronicles, #1) by Dorothy Dunnett Niccolo Rising


message 6: by Sara (new)

Sara Giacalone | 8 comments Hi again,
I forgot to mention that you may find The Dorothy Dunnett Companion by Elspeth Morrison of interest as well. There are two volumes, and they cover many of the references and quotes found in the two series - many of them obscure. The Dorothy Dunnett Companion
I was also lucky enough to obtain a series of transaltions of the really obscure quotes found in the Lymond Chronicles by an amazing reader and fan named Nancy G. Wright, which I'm in the process of scanning right now.
As you can tell by now, this Dorothy Dunnett stuff is an obsession! :)


message 7: by Pam (new)

Pam (PamLoeb) | 26 comments I saw the DDRA, and am interested in joining. Your right, it is an obsession. I am going to take a break for a month or two, and then read Lymond.

I had a love/hate relationship with Nicholas/Gelis as they had with one another. When she told him that the baby was Simon's (end of book 4), I literally threw the book across the room at my gym and starting screaming. But I think Dunnett's premise was that a challenging woman like Gelis made Nicholas a better man (Bel says something to that effect in Gemini). I found their relationship pretty absorbing, and loved watching them finally come together at the end of Book 7.

What about you?


message 8: by Sara (new)

Sara Giacalone | 8 comments I agree with the love/hate aspect. Gelis made me crazy for a while, and so did Nicholas' all-knowing ability. In the end I realized that they needed each other. Gelis was probably the only female Nicholas would be able to truly respect and think of as a partner (besides Kathy); and of course Gelis had to work hard to convince him of her abilities and that she was worthy of that respect. I really hated her in book four though, and it took me a while to get past that.


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Hillman | 5 comments Sara wrote: "I agree with the love/hate aspect. Gelis made me crazy for a while, and so did Nicholas' all-knowing ability. In the end I realized that they needed each other. Gelis was probably the only female N..."
The twin allusion seems to run throughout the series . Nicholas and Kathi are the male and female sides of the same coin . In a way, it takes two women to make Nicholas complete: Gelis as partner and Kathi as manic friend (boon companion?).


message 10: by Pam (new)

Pam (PamLoeb) | 26 comments Yes, Kathi is definitely one of Nicholas' boon companions!


message 11: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandi13) | 21 comments Dorothy Dunnett, one of my long term favourite authors. I have read and reread all her books so many times. The later series (written that is) - the House of Niccolo - has quite a different flavour than the Lymond series, which is more swashbuckling. But both are wonderful and reading the Lymond series will answer some of your questions about Nicholas's twin and the flashes forward.
After I read Gemini for the first time, I had to go back through all eight books to find the threads and hints that supported the "Julius realization". I did find them, incredibly subtle but they were there.
I would recommend looking at the Dorothy Dunnett Readers' Association (http://ddra.org/). I have found answers to many of my questions, as well as information about the history and the settings, within Whispering Gallery, the quarterly magazine that is sent out to members. And the get-togethers with other Dunnett readers are not to be missed.
Discovering Dorothy Dunnett has been one of the most life-changing and life-enhancing events in my life, as so many new avenues to explore and friendships have resulted from a chance encounter with Queens' Play many years ago.


message 12: by Pam (new)

Pam (PamLoeb) | 26 comments Sandi -- thanks for your recommendations and motivation to read Lymond. I cannot imagine enjoying a series more than I did House of Niccolo, but it sounds like this is also a must-read, and the connections are enlightening.


message 13: by Diane (new)

Diane (moonmistress) | 10 comments I am thrilled to have a hard=copy of Gemini, signed by Dorothy Dunnett, herself. I'd sort of forgotten about it, till I was re=reading the series. I practically screamed in delight.


message 14: by Jennifer (JC-S) (new)

Jennifer (JC-S) (jenniferjc-s) Diane wrote: "I am thrilled to have a hard=copy of Gemini, signed by Dorothy Dunnett, herself. I'd sort of forgotten about it, till I was re=reading the series. I practically screamed in delight."

I'm with you Diane :-)


message 15: by Betsey (new)

Betsey (llamaduck) | 28 comments y'know, I don't know if I'm dumb or paranoid, but is there really any reason to believe that Jordan is definitely Nicholas's son?


message 16: by Zorro (new)

Zorro (zorrom) Betsey, and wouldn't that fit right in with the Lymond father/son dilemma...hmmm....I wonder....will we really ever know? But Jordan does look like Niccolo, doesn't he?


message 17: by Zorro (new)

Zorro (zorrom) I actually have more doubt that Henry was really Nic's biological son. This is really a nature vs. nurture question, isn't it. Henry acts and looks like his 'father',Simon. And Jordan acts and looks like Niccolo.


message 18: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 61 comments But Mary, then who would be Henry's father? Katelina was a virgin when she had sex the first time, and tricked him in to sex the second time. It was only when she knew she was pregnant that her thoughts turned to Simon. Even though Gelis had sex with Simon before her marriage, I have always been of the belief that she was already pregnant before she went to Scotland and I think Nicholas knew that.


Mickey


message 19: by Zorro (new)

Zorro (zorrom) Mickey, I was just commenting on Betsey's post and not trying to offer absolute proof or argue the point.

I think both boys are Niccolo's biological sons. But the nature vs. nurture question is very interesting in this case.


message 20: by Pam (new)

Pam (PamLoeb) | 26 comments I thought the genes kind of skipped a generation. Henry looked and acted like his grandfather, and Nicholas looked and kind of acted like his (Jordan de Riberac).


message 21: by Chris (new)

Chris (tomatolover) | 1 comments Many spoilers ahead-----

I agree that both boys belong to Niccolo. At the end of The Unicorn Hunt it says that there could be no doubt about Jodi's paternity. He is the spitting image of Nicolas (who does not resemble the St. Pols). In Gemini, Henry comes to see Nicolas in search of his stolen horses, and Gelis notices that father and son look exactly alike when they are angry. Plus there are the dimples. Of course at the end we learn that Jordan de Riberac-St. Pol knew all along.

In Gemini, Nicolas is also reluctant to have other children with Gelis. I believe he was fearful of the St. Pol genes showing up in other children which would not only endanger Henry but the rest of his family. While I hated to see Henry die, the rest of the St. Pols not so much!


message 22: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 20 comments Pam wrote: "Just finished Gemini and the 8 book series -- which was a wonderful journey. I'm still trying to figure out a few things. What is Dunnett implying about Nicholas' twin? What do the flashes allude t..."

Pam wrote: "Sandi -- thanks for your recommendations and motivation to read Lymond. I cannot imagine enjoying a series more than I did House of Niccolo, but it sounds like this is also a must-read, and the con..."

Pam, I'm still a little over 100 pages from the end of Caprice and Rondo and am looking forward to Gemini, but it has taken me a long time to get this far. With the Lymond books, on the other hand, I read straight through, even carrying my current copy around with me--almost literally couldn't put it down! When I acquired a copy of Checkmate, the last volume, before I finished , I kept Checkmate securely wrapped in rubber bands to keep myself from peeking at the end! So yes, I agree with Sara and with everyone else who has been encouraging you to read the Lymond series, (Incidentally, you'll find dome similar motifs in both series>)


message 23: by MaryC (last edited Apr 08, 2019 06:44PM) (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 20 comments Zorro wrote: "I actually have more doubt that Henry was really Nic's biological son. This is really a nature vs. nurture question, isn't it. Henry acts and looks like his 'father', Simon. And Jordan acts and look..."

On the other hand, if we accept that Katelina was pregnant by Nicholas when she married Simon, the fact that Henry is the image of Simon is certainly strong evidence that Simon is indeed Nicholas's father.

I think now that I'd better get off this site before I learn more than I want to know before I finish the series! : )


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