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The Disorderly Knights: Third in the legendary Lymond Chronicles Paperback – June 24, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The third volume in The Lymond Chronicles, the highly renowned series of historical novels by Dorothy Dunnett, Disorderly Knights takes place in 1551, when Francis Crawford of Lymond is dispatched to embattled Malta, to assist the Knights of Hospitallers in defending the island against the Turks. But shortly the swordsman and scholar discovers that the greatest threat to the Knights lies within their own ranks, where various factions vie secretly for master.

About the Author

Dorothy Dunnett was born in 1923 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. Her time at Gillespie's High School for Girls overlapped with that of the novelist Muriel Spark. From 1940-1955, she worked for the Civil Service as a press officer. In 1946, she married Alastair Dunnett, later editor of The Scotsman.

Dunnett started writing in the late 1950s. Her first novel, The Game of Kings, was published in the United States in 1961, and in the United Kingdom the year after. She published 22 books in total, including the six-part Lymond Chronicles and the eight-part Niccolo Series, and co-authored another volume with her husband. Also an accomplished professional portrait painter, Dunnett exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy on many occasions and had portraits commissioned by a number of prominent public figures in Scotland.

She also led a busy life in public service, as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Scotland, a Trustee of the Scottish National War Memorial, and Director of the Edinburgh Book Festival. She served on numerous cultural committees, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was awarded the Office of the British Empire for services to literature. She died on November 9, 2001, at the age of 78.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 24, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679777458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679777458
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By soba525 on April 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you've made it to this, book number three in the series, you are no doubt an Lymond addict like me. This book was yet another incredible "fix" in my terrible, obsessive craving for more of Lymond and his heart stopping adventures. I am an impatient soul by nature. And because my time is limited, I loathe the thought of seeing a movie twice and it has never crossed my mind to re-read any book, no matter how good. This all ended when I discovered the Lymond Chronicles. I not only (happily) read and reread passages of each book (often by necessity to puzzle out the complex plots) as I am reading it but as soon as I finish a book in the series I want to start rereading it, and the entire series, right away. These books are like a drug. I cannot get enough of them. They are the most wondrous, satisfying reading experience I have ever had.
Disorderly Knights made me laugh so hard, especially Lymond's early escapade with not a small number of sheep. Knights made me cringe during Lymond's terrible beating (particularly since he had known this torture as a galley slave). And, Knights took my breath away with its exciting, brilliantly staged climax with Gabriel.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By schapmock on November 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Disorderly Knights, 3rd in the Lymond Chronicles, must be one of the most thrilling adventure stories ever written. From the initial Borderland skirmishes to the intrigue on Malta, from the cryptic dueling at St. Mary's to the Edinburgh climax, the thunderbolt narrative never ceases to twist, turn, and surprise. Lymond himself seems almost to transcend the existing literature -- a genuinely original romantic hero.
I'd argue that Lymond Chronicles are actually underrated, as no one I know seems to have heard of them. Having at this point read the first three, its hard to think of anything with which to compare them. The dazzling, larger than life characters, the gleaming wit and razor-sharp dialogue, the breathless action and labyrinthian plotting all combine to create nearly perfect novels: rollercoaster, thinking person's adventure tales.
If the first volume has the advantage of surprise and the second is distinguished by its French Court setting and intrigue, I'd make the (arguable) argument that this third is even better, having the advantage of a more serpentine plot, genuinely shocking final quarter revelations, and a villain of spectacular stature.
If you love to read, dig into these masterpieces at earliest opportunity -- but start with the first, Game of Kings. They're confusing enough as it is...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Robbins on March 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dorothy Dunnett continues to impress me. I'm a big fan of Dumas and his trilogies. Dunnett comes darn close to his writing. Her books are engrossing, weave a great story, and draw me in more each time I read another book. This is the third in the Lymond Chronicles series. It is very well written. I enjoy how the story stands on its own but also weaves into the first two books. If you have the time, read the entire series from start to finish. I'm looking forward to reading the next one! I also can't wait to get into her House of Niccolo series. This book, and series, is well worth a read!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
The third in the Lymond series sees Lymond fight in Malta and then return home to some surprises in Scotland. Dunnett weaves an intricate plot that sets the stage for the next three books. While the first two books pretty much stand on their own, the last four weave a continuous story that sees Lymond travel all over Europe searching for answers to his most personal questions. Do not miss this series; it is the best historical fiction I have ever read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Disorderly Knights is a wonderful addition to Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles. These books are truly wondrous creations on many levels.
The scenes are beautifully wrought. I just spent some time in Spain (both the Canary Islands and the mainland). While I wasn't wasn't in Malta or Tripoli (the setting for major portions of this novel), I can say that Dunnett captures impeccably the atmosphere of southern Europe and the islands near it. My next trip to Europe will include a sidetrip to Malta.
The plot is labyrinthine in the good sense: complex, but ultimately satisfying.
The characters are people you want to get to know better. Lymond is perhaps the most complicated and enigmatic character I've run into in fiction. I hope by the end of the sixth novel, I can say that I understand him to some degree. In the meantime, trying to determine what makes him tick is a major part of the satisfaction of these great novels.
The action sequences are simply brilliant. The last set piece in the cathedral in Edinburgh is as good as it gets.
What I don't understand is why "Masterpiece Theatre" hasn't figured out a way to dramatize the Lymond chronicles.
Finally, I have a quibble with the reader who says that Dunnett's work is overrated. He compares them to Patrick O'Brian's series and makes the point that Dunnett's don't measure up as great historical fiction. I love both series, but in very different ways. But even if one were to conclude that O'Brian is the superior (which I don't), Dunnett's work stands so far above everyone else, it's a crime to give her work anything less than five stars.
These books are worthy of being read and re-read.
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