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Vintage Books, pages : maps ; 20 cm.

Dorothy Dunnett

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Date Publisher Phys Desc. Language Availability c, p Clipper Audio; 1 sound media player 26 hr. English On Shelf. Add To List. In this fifth volume of the series, 16th-century soldier of fortune Francis Crawford of Lymond journeys from Mary Tudor's England to the barbaric Russia of Ivan the Terrible. There, he attempts to civilize the mad tsar's court, while scheming to become second in command. Also in This Series.


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These cookies allow us to monitor OverDrive's performance and reliability. They alert us when OverDrive services are not working as expected. Without these cookies, we won't know if you have any performance-related issues that we may be able to address. Though a cosmopolitan military leader, diplomat and spy, he has an abiding feeling for his home country of Scotland.

Dorothy Dunnett

Despite his reluctance to relinquish his cherished independence and align himself permanently with any nation's ruler, Lymond's professional reputation increasingly makes him a sought-after ally, or a foe to be avoided, by many of the crowned heads of Europe. Still, only for goals he believes in strongly will he deploy his glittering and commanding persona, quicksilver mind, talent for dissembling what he thinks or feels, and rapier tongue; and once he dedicates himself to a goal, his will is implacable.

In his personal life, Lymond has an unusual ability to inspire intense loyalty and even love in those who are attracted to him. But the Crawford family's history begins to produce more and more tensions, and these conflicts are exacerbated by the family's shared weaknesses: immense pride and a stubborn refusal to explain the reasons for their actions.

The Ringed Castle (The Lymond Chronicles, #5) by Dorothy Dunnett

As a whole, the Lymond Chronicles tell how an arrogant, brilliant, but troubled individualist, though increasingly successful professionally, becomes alienated and isolated as a result of battles with forces he can't control, as well as with himself; and how he ultimately becomes reconciled with his country, his family and friends, and himself.

Dunnett paints on a large historical canvas, with details based on meticulous research in hundreds of primary and secondary sources. In addition to their original characters, the novels feature a large number of historical figures, often in important roles. The historical setting is the incessant jockeying for power through treaties, alliances of convenience, political marriages, wars, and even piracy, among the English Tudors , the Holy Roman Empire of the Habsburgs , the French Valois , the Ottoman Empire of Suleiman the Magnificent , and their respective secular and religious allies, including the Stewarts of Scotland, the Knights of St.

Each of the six books has several locations with the exception of the first, The Game of Kings , which takes place almost exclusively in the Scottish Lowlands and the borders with England. The novels examine the politics and culture of each court and its nobility as monarchies centralized their power; the intensifying controversies over the Reformation ; implications of the Age of Discovery for political and economic power and knowledge; and the blurred boundaries between faith and reason in religion, esoterica such as alchemy and astrology , and science.

In addition, the large number of women in positions of political power during this period as rulers in their own name, as regents, as strong wives or mistresses of kings, or as heirs to thrones affords an exploration of women's roles. The six books together form a single story, told in chronological order. However, the first two books can be read as self-contained novels. The endings of the third and fifth novels have no real resolution, but lead directly to the story taken up in the fourth and sixth novels.

Both the historical and fictional characters are, however, taken from a wider variety of occupations and social classes than in the Lymond Chronicles. There are significant differences in narrative approach and writing style between the series, reflecting in part the very different personal journey taken by the central character in each.