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543 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1961
* “I wish to God,” said Gideon, with mild exasperation, “that you’d talk – just once – in prose like other people.”
Yeah, me too. I wish this book had been written in normal prose, like other authors manage. But apparently both me and Dorothy Dunnett eschew the knowledge that “Brevity is the soul of wit” because why use one word where an ornamental sentence containing a bit of an obscure medieval poetry reference (in French, probably) would do? And so we split into two warring camps here - (1) those who bask in the richness of the language and multilayered complexity of the story and (2) those who view this book as a bramble thicket of overwritten metaphors that grind repartees and battles to eyes-glazing-over stupor.
(Whoever was responsible for those book covers that make this novel look like a cheap bodice-ripper should be hanged. Or quartered. Or both.)
* “I am a narwhal looking for my virgin. I have sucked up the sea like Charybdis and failing other entertainment will spew it three times daily, for a fee.”
See what I mean? It’s like he’s trying to drive you insane. And yes, that’s on purpose.
“That,” said Henry Lauder, closing his spectacles and throwing his pen in the wastepaper basket, “is a brain. If I were ten years younger and a lassie, I’d woo him myself.”
Don’t we all, Mr. Lauder, don’t we all. Get in line, and that line is long.
“So she was on her own, Kate thought, and instilled all the friendly helpfulness she could into her next question. “Excuse me, but are you the bad company young Mr. Scott has got into?”
“I wish to God,” said Gideon, with mild exasperation, “that you’d talk – just once – in prose like other people.”
"Don't you think it's time my family shared in my misfortunes, as Christians should? Then, vice is so costly: May dew or none, my brown and tender diamonds don't engender, they dissolve. Immoderation, Mariotta, is a thief of money and intestinal joy, but who'd check it? Here I am, weeping soft tears of myrrh, to prove it."I rest my case. I also had a challenge following the political maneuvering and battles, although that may not be a problem for more historically savvy readers.
“The Scot, the Frencheman, the Pope and heresie, overcommed by Trothe have had a fall. Again yes.”
“I wish to God,” said Gideon with mild exasperation, “that you’d talk—just once—in prose like other people.”
“Lymond, a man of wit and crooked felicities, bred to luxury and heir to a fortune, rode off serenely to Midcutler to break into his new sister-in-law’s castle.”Game of Kings follows Lymond on a quest to restore his name to his fellow Scots, his story set against the English border disputes that plagued much of 16th century British history.