Dorothy Dunnett fans discussion

Lymond Chronicles > **SPOILERS** Queens' Play #2 The Lymond Chronicles

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message 1: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandi13) | 21 comments This book was the first DD I read, so it holds a special place in my heart. It took me a while to 'get' Lymond, but once I did she became a favourite author and has remained so.

message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert Hillman | 5 comments Keep your eye on Oonaugh. She becomes a pivotal character.
I am just finishing the Lymond Chronicles and must say that I do not have the same feeling for Lymond that I had for Nicholas . N.seemed a plausible real person , while Lymond's motives and actions are sometimes beyond human. Nevertheless, Ihave enjoyed the read . By the way , I have just returnrd from a "pilgrimage" to Bruges. It was quite a thrill to visit the Jerusalemkirk and the White Bear Society . Bruges,although very touristy , is fantastic medieval city .

message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Hillman | 5 comments The answer will come as you read along and discover Oonaugh's real interests.

message 4: by Sj (new)

Sj | 24 comments I've thought at least three times that I had Oonaugh's real interests figured out and every time she shows up, I change my mind. There are only two or three people whose motives are pure and actions clear so far; everyone else is living some sort of double life with some hidden agenda. But that premise seems to be what makes it all so interesting.
I realize that the Lymond Chronicles continue beyond this one, but I just can't see his liver standing up to a whole lot more drinking and wild excesses, but I'm probably wrong.
I'm at the point in the book where O'LiamRoe comes back into the picture in England and has gone to the French Ambassador to tell him what he's discovered.
I probably read it in "the Kings", but have forgotten, is Sevigny (sp?) the property of Lymond?

message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Hillman | 5 comments Yes. Sevigny is Lymond's estate in France. At various times he is the Comte de Sevigny.

message 6: by Sj (new)

Sj | 24 comments Thanks. I do remember that now. Does Lymond take advantage of his French connection and title once he has recovered from his injuries? If the answer is yes, don't tell me how he does it, I just think that the title, etc. is too important a hole card not to take advantage of.

message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert Hillman | 5 comments Read on . Lymond's French connections are important over and over again .

message 8: by Sj (new)

Sj | 24 comments Where? How?

message 9: by Sj (new)

Sj | 24 comments Apparently that's why it's called "fiction". With all the clothes they wore back then coupled with the lack of personal hygiene and just all round dirtiness, maybe nobody got close enough to see that the fat guy had an otherwise muscular build, a young face and hands, and how the devil did that black dye stay on as many times as he was in the water? And at one point he received injuries that required first aid at the hands of his French buddies. How did the false stomach get past them? Otherwise, how'd we like the book Ms. Z?
As for his drinking and carousing, seems he could have done a lot less of that since he seemed to set the standard for debauchery in the group he was running with. I'm just not sure how that lifestyle put him in a better position to protect the queen than one less infamously behaved would have.
I'm still wondering how old he is. I thought he was perhaps in his early twenties, but we're told that he had an affair with Margaret Douglas some ten years before so that would have made him around eleven at the time (naughty Margaret). So how old was he?
Also did I miss something in the "Kings" that would have told me that Margaret Erskine was Lymond's mentor or protector or secret ally?

message 10: by Sj (new)

Sj | 24 comments Before the sun sets today, either find your cord or call Amazon for a replacement. We can't possibly do without our Kindles. I just got back from sitting in my car at the bank drive-thru reading while I was waiting.
I've read two or three books (very light intellectual pursuits at best) since I finished "Queens". Will wait for you to go on with "Knights".

message 11: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
MaryZorro wrote: "Did that yesterday.

I will get serious with reading the book tomorrow.

Who done it? Who is trying to kill Baby Queen?"

Ah, that is the mystery, isn't it? I just finished this one a bit ago and had to head right into the next. I admit being a bit confused in the beginning, at first assuming O'Liam-Roe was Lymond, then Thady boy. It's actually very clever, and I don't agree it's lame.

I'm tickled to find this group, BTW, as I absolutely love these books and now can't stop reading. I will probably finish the series early next month.

message 12: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
MaryZorro wrote: "Oops! I was going to let SJ find out as she reads through the books."

Ok, sorry. I deleted it and hopefully she hasn't yet seen it.

message 13: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
I'm not remembering bisexual references in this book, but perhaps I will pick them up on my 2nd read. However, in that lifestyle - soldiering, killing, the camaraderie that develops from shared hazard - I think there are bound to be homoerotic feelings that arise. And especially with someone like Lymond, who is physically beautiful, a leader of men, charismatic, intelligent -- I mean, who wouldn't fall in love with him? Male and female alike.

I do think Robin Stewart has a homoerotic attachment...

message 14: by Sj (new)

Sj | 24 comments Mary, I'll wait for you. Just let me know when you're ready to go on with DK.

Sandra, thanks for deleting your post if it actually gave Lymond's age. I'm now only more curious, but want to be shocked when I find out.

I saw only one bisexual reference and was so sure I was misinterpreting it that I couldn't even tell you now where it was. Perhaps I should look for more subtext than I have been. So far I think I'm on target, but that subject just wasn't on my radar.

message 15: by Sandra (last edited Nov 22, 2010 01:19PM) (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
MaryZorro wrote: "Yes, from other on-line groups I hear that RS is in love with Lymond but I think it is unrequited love. At least I have not found the physical contact yet. And maybe the young men at court were p..."

The bisexual references are subtle, and throughout, feelings are only implied, never explicit, at least as far as I can see.

MaryZorro wrote: "what does 'dhia' mean?"

What is the context? It seems to be a name or part of one.

message 16: by Sj (new)

Sj | 24 comments The meaning of "dhia" is in the DD Companion, I think. It's an Gaelic endearment and was used a lot in the Outlander series I read. When I get home I'll look it up if you haven't found it by then.

And perhaps RS was in love with Lymond. He certainly wanted to show him how he could change and have some self respect, but I just thought he was doing it to attain Lymond's respect, nothing more.

message 17: by Sj (new)

Sj | 24 comments Okay, I was wrong. Imagine that. "Dhia" is more likely used in a phrase giving a blessing invoking the name of God. I'll still look it up in my Companion when I get home.

message 18: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
IT's not in the companion that I can find.

message 19: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 29 comments Dhia is the Irish gaelic word for God.

message 20: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod

message 21: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
It's been a while since I read it, but I believe the Constable and the Duke knew what was happening. Wasn't Margaret Lennox involved in it as well? I think the paragraph about the Constable and his daughters was to show his cavalier attitude about the death of the child queen as a hazard of state.

message 22: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
Margaret Lennox wants to be queen of Scotland. She and her husband plotted with D'Aubigny who is her brother. Her main target was Mary, but if she got Lymond along the way, so much the better. Cormac McCarthy also was involved somehow, with Oonagh O'Dwyer, a classic example of abused spouse syndrome if I ever saw one.

It isn't easy to get. Dunnett is cagey. I just finished Ringed Castle and am headed into Checkmate. I can't stop. They get easier as you go along. Disorderly Knights is easier and so is Pawn in Frankincense, the most powerful one of all, although Ringed Castle is, too. All the reviewers say Checkmate is a great finale, so I'm hoping I agree, although I'm sad it's going to be over, already.

message 23: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
Oh, Pawn was agonizing.

message 24: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
Nite. It is bedtime. :) I think I fell for him in the first book. But it took a while.

message 25: by Janny (last edited Nov 24, 2010 07:28AM) (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 29 comments MaryZorro wrote: "Why do you suppose DDunnett gave Oonagh "boy's hands" and described them several times in that way? Wasn't she a beautiful woman? or not?"

My guess: Dorothy Dunnett was also a portrait painter.

Hands characterize a person as much, or even more than a face. Could be the author was trying to impart a sense of Oonagh's inner ambition - her intelligence and awareness of power, balked from expression by her sex. She was a beautiful woman who could not access the masculine world, except through her liaison with powerful men, and I perceived that to be a frustration that embittered her, since most of her partners were considerably less able than she.

message 26: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
Ahhh! I think you're right about that!

message 27: by Sandra (last edited Dec 30, 2010 08:30AM) (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 314 comments Mod
I just finished listening to the audio version of this book before Christmas and found it very enlightening, as I noticed many things I had missed first time around - Robin Stewart's envy that destroys his capacity for enjoying life. FC gives him this 'gift' during the rooftop race.

- I think FC is often not as drunk as he appears. He throws out the smoke screen of drunkenness and despicable behavior deliberately :: both to play his role and to keep people away from him. He has terrible problems with intimacy.

- Robin Stewart is, of course, who dunnit, but he is being paid by D'Aubigny and the Lennoxes are involved, as is well shown by the London episode.

- Oonagh is a complicated and not very likable woman. Her motives always involved Ireland and Cormac, her lover. She attached herself to powerful men as a way of gaining power for herself, something very hard to come by for women. She is beautiful, intelligent, and has been hardened by her abused role in her relationship with Cormack O'Connor.

Finally, I decided after the reread (or listen) that Queen's Play is my least favorite book in the Lymond Chronicles. It doesn't touch me emotionally as the others have. The only time I was really moved was in Robin Stewart's final actions.

message 28: by Zorro (new)

Zorro (zorrom) Queen's Play is also my least favorite. I am starting QP for my second time thru. Will I enjoy it more this time?

p. 16 or so.... Who knows that Thady Boy and O'liam Roe are on the boat? And which man are they trying to sink?

p. 18 or so.... Who is trying to burn the boys in their beds? Who is the man without a heel? Who hired him?

Hmmmm...will I find answers to my questions along the way?

message 30: by Zorro (new)

Zorro (zorrom) Zorro wrote: "Queen's Play is also my least favorite. I am starting QP for my second time thru. Will I enjoy it more this time?"
Yes I am enjoying it more and it is so much clearer and understandable this time through.

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