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Dorothy Dunnett

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Thu August 28th, 2008, 5:45 am

LOL about the cheetah's claws, EC - with the masses of excellent research Dunnett did on the historical background for her novels, it's really a low blow to come down so hard on her about this one little detail.

Donroc, thanks for mentioning Elspeth Morrison's guides. I don't think I've ever read a guide like this - too busy reading novels! But with the incredible amount of detail in Dunnett's novels, a guide could be very useful. I've added information about them to my Niccolo Rising review.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 2:26 pm

"Margaret" wrote:I read King Hereafter years ago - it was my introduction to Dorothy Dunnett. There are a lot of scenes I can still recall vividly. Her rather startling premise in this novel is that Macbeth and the Viking leader in the Orkneys, Thorfinn, were one and the same person. I doubt it, but was quite willing to entertain the premise for the novel, especially since Dunnett's knowledge of the time period was so intimate. Unlike Niccolo Rising, both the scenes that excited me and the scenes that I found hard to follow and tedious were scattered throughout the novel, which made it a little easier to keep reading - I always knew there was something good waiting for me around the bend.


My intro to Dunnett was the Lymond Chronicles, which I adore. I also read King Hereafter, and loved it just as much. I felt, in particular, Dunnett did a marvelous job of capturing the spirit of the sagas in some of her characters (esp foster parent, Thorkel), and I have a fascination with the lcelandic sagas so KH would probably naturally appeal to me anyway. I've been afraid to try the recent novel by Susan Fraser King about Macbeth's wife, because I loved how Dunnett portrayed Groa in KH. Dunnett's version of Groa would be hard for any author to live up to, IMO. Eventually, I plan to read her Niccolo series, but I'm saving that for when I can afford to buy all eight books and gobble them down at once, because I've learned with Dunnett, once you start, you can't just stop.
Last edited by Ludmilla on Wed September 3rd, 2008, 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 6:28 pm

I enjoyed King's Lady Macbeth, but I don't feel her portrayal of Groah lived up to Dunnett's portrayal in King Hereafter. Dunnett's Groah was a mature woman, whereas King's portrayal stresses the character's younger years, with several opening chapters devoted to her childhood and teenage years. King's Lady Macbeth might be called "spunky," Dunnett's Groah definitely not! On the other hand, Lady Macbeth is a much shorter novel that presents Lady Macbeth's viewpoint exclusively, so might be a more satisfactory read for people who less interested in the wider political context of the times.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell & And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Niccolo Rising

Postby Vanessa » Mon January 19th, 2009, 12:56 pm

I've just finished Niccolo Rising and have to say I thought it was excellent. Like others, I found the writing style difficult and quite confusing at first, but once I'd got used to it, I was hooked! The characters are numerous and also confusing due to their similar sounding names - I photocopied the list from the front of the book and used it as a bookmark for easy reference purposes, which helped me enormously! There are some great characters, however, especially Claes (!) and there are a couple of twists at the end which left me thinking and wondering! All in all a great adventure story, wonderfully written and plotted, and I'm looking forward to book no:2, Spring of the Ram.

I have been busy trying to find the rest of the series which is out of print in the UK. I've successfully found five of them so far.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Mon January 19th, 2009, 2:40 pm

I have been busy trying to find the rest of the series which is out of print in the UK. I've successfully found five of them so far.


Why are those and the Lymond books so hard to find in the UK when they're so readily available in the US?

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Mon January 19th, 2009, 8:43 pm

The characters are numerous and also confusing due to their similar sounding names - I photocopied the list from the front of the book and used it as a bookmark for easy reference purposes, which helped me enormously!


What a great idea! I'll have to remember this. It would have been a great help when I read Mary Doria Russell's A Thread of Grace, too, which was a wonderful novel in every other way, but likewise had a huge cast of characters.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell & And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Tue January 20th, 2009, 3:38 pm

Yes, it saves a lot of flicking backwards and forwards! :)
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
nona
Bibliophile
Location: Oklahoma

Postby nona » Sun August 9th, 2009, 1:37 pm

I have not read Dorothy Dunnett as of yet but i plan on changing that since I read EC's top 20 on her blog to read. I've looked over several titles and they all seem rather interesting, I'm going to start with the Lymond Chronicles the first is The Game of Kings I believe.

Celia Hayes
Reader
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Contact:

Postby Celia Hayes » Tue September 22nd, 2009, 9:30 pm

You'll love it - all six novels will keep you enthralled for days ... weeks, or months. Depending on how fast you read! :D
Celia Hayes
www.celiahayes.com

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Mello
Reader
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby Mello » Thu February 25th, 2010, 10:49 pm

First let me say that I read the Lymond Chronicles about 15 or more years ago and while I loved them, I was always confounded by Dunnett's many characters and whether they were Scottish, English, sitting on the fence or straddling it. So when I heard about Elspeth Morrison's Companion about a year ago I bought it and re-read Game of Kings. I’m not sure it helped at all, but I loved Lymond even more! I thought at the time I wouldn’t re-read any more as I’ve so many books TBR, but have just picked up Queens[/I[I]] Play – the gorgeous man on the cover is beckoning.


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