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Queens' Play: Second in the Legendary Lymond Chronicles Paperback – April 29, 1997


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Queens' Play: Second in the Legendary Lymond Chronicles + The Game of Kings (Lymond Chronicles, 1) + The Disorderly Knights: Third in the legendary Lymond Chronicles
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (April 29, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067977744X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679777441
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

The finest living writer of historical fiction.

From the Inside Flap

For the first time Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles are available in the United States in quality paperback editions.

Second in the legendary Lymond Chronicles, Queen's Play follows Frances Crawford of Lymond who has been abruptly called into the service of Mary Queen of Scots. Though she is only a little girl, the Queen is already the object of malicious intrigues that extend from her native country to the court of France. It is to France that Lymond must travel, exercising his sword hand and his agile wit while also undertaking the most unlikely of masquerades, all to make sure that his charge's royal person stays intact.


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Customer Reviews

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Now I'm hooked, and plan to read the entire series.
Jonathan Robbins
I love Dunnett books because the characters are so well developed, and the plot so intricate yet discernable, I read in awed admiration.
Lorie
This is Lymond at his most elegant and most intimate.
soba525

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
A friend lent me her much loved copies of "The Disorderly Knights" and then "Queen's Play" and I've been hooked on this series ever since. It has a richness of prose and depth of character that set it apart from the average hero story. It also has an intriguing plot line and an interesting view of Renaissance politics. All six books fit smoothly together with a tasteful use of foreshadowing. This is perhaps the slowest moving book of the series, but I find that each time I re-read this I enjoy it more. I would recommend starting at the beginning (with A Game of Kings) instead of in the middle and out of order, as I did. While each book is self-contained, there are enough references to previous incidents to make following the series order worthwhile. This is the series I always recommend when a meet someone who TRULY loves to read. I can't say enough good things about it.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Concert Music on August 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Once you start with the Lymond series, you will either find it too difficult to follow and will put it down, never to pick it up again, or.... you will sink into the most intricately drawn picture of a fictitous character ever attempted. Once in, you'll never want to leave. You will be shocked by many things Lymond does, but you will find that you will understand in the end. You will also never meet greater evil than in this series - and I can't even give you the name of the character, since that would spoil the moment. Rarely do I sit up straight and experience a sharp intake in breath while reading a description of an event - you will do so every 20 pages or so. Don't be fooled into thinking the Niccolo series will satisfy the longing for more of this series that you will experience - but you have 6 books to keep you happy for a while. Please - try the Lymond series, if hooked, you'll be glad you did.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
QUEEN'S PLAY was the first Lymond book I read--stumbled across it at the public library about 20 years ago. I then had to ransack the rest of Washington,DC's branch libraries to get my hands on the other books in the series, and ever since, Dorothy Dunnett has been my favorite historical fiction writer. She is not for the faint-hearted: you must be literate (in several languages if possible)and well read in history of the period if you are to appreciate the books to the fullest. Or, if you come "cold" to the book, the kind of person for whom a novel opens a door through which you begin to learn about the real contemporary history. Her characters are so well-educated and well-bred that I have no problem picturing them at the various European courts where Mrs. Dunnett places them. Modern politics seem very dull indeed in comparison (Tony Blair vs. Mary Tudor!) Mrs. Dunnett writes a beautiful, lush English--one of my major fantasies is inviting her to tea in ! order to find out if she's anything like one of her creations.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've now been drawn completely into the Byzantine world inhabited by Francis Lymond. While I found Queen's Play to be bit less compelling than The Game of Kings, it's like saying one priceless gem is a bit less sparkling than another.
In this book, Lymond has rehabilitated his reputation in Scotland (at least to the point that his brother is no longer trying to kill him). Now Mary of Guise, the mother of the child queen Mary Queen of Scots, has asked him to go undercover in France to protect Mary from those who will try to end her life and thus change the political landscape in Europe. The problem is that there are far too many who might be advantaged by her death.
Lymond thus appears in the guise of Irishman accompanying an Irish prince. Needless to say, a million different things happen. Lymond's actions and motivations are, as usual, a bit unclear at times, but he's always focused on his task. So, we have fox hunts in which a cheetah plays a prominent role, the ultimate nighttime scavenger hunt on the rooftops of a French city, duels, near poisonings, and lots of drinking and singing in the French court.
Lymond is surrounded by marvelously drawn characters. Dunnett has the ability, like Dickens, to get you so focused on the complexity of her characters that often the plot becomes secondary. You just want to get to know some of the most interesting characters in historical fiction.
This is a great series.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Swan on November 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've read this series so many times I've lost count since discovery twenty tears ago. (I know, get a life...) but they really do reward repetition. Other writers just won't do after these..... Queen's Play, simply brilliant, simply the best, especially as a "standalone" novel (but try King Hereafter if you haven't already). Yes, some of the mediaeval French and Latin can be irritating (even one of the characters says so!), but the characterisation, description, political, military and social detail are unsurpassed. Talking literature with friends, these are my premier recommendation, and the multifarious and exotic locations are provide a great basis for an itinerary in Europe!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
For those U.S. readers who have not read the "The Lymond Series" by Scottish author Dorothy Dunnett, just hang on to your hats. Written in the 1960's, these 6 volume attempts of a young Scot nobleman to regain his good name, save the baby Mary Queen of Scots,keep Scotland out of the clutches of the greedy English crown, and rescue his own baby son held captive by a ruthless enemy in the Turkish capital of Istanbul are historical adventure at its very best. The hero, Francis Crawford of Lymond, is one of the most complex and fascinating studies in modern fiction. The action begins in Scotland and Enland in the first novel, moves to France in the second, Malta and Africa in the third, Africa,Greece and Istanbul in the forth, Russia and a mad czar in the fifth, and back to Scotland in the 6th. I challange a reader to put any of these books down. Extrordinary story lines.
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