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Topic: What comes after Dorothy Dunnett?

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Subject: What comes after Dorothy Dunnett?
Date Posted: 4/2/2008 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2008
Posts: 7
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Hi All,

I'm new to historical fiction, but just loved DD's Lymond Chronicles, and Niccolo Rising series....  I mean really loved them.

What's as good that I should read next?

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I tried the first book in the Lymond series awhile back, but I couldn't get into the writing style. I have to try her again some day when I'm up to a heavier read.

Meanwhile, I'm sure others here will have recommendations for you. But you might also want to check the forum at historicalfiction.org.

Two of the participants who come to mind immediately as lovers of Dunnett are MISFIT and EC. Search for these user names and Dunnett. Or post your question there. They'll probably respond.

EC, btw, is Elizabeth Chadwick. I would definitely recommend her books. She's easier to read, but every bit as comprehensive and accurate. You might start with Lords of the White Castle, which is about a 12th Century outlaw who has a few run-ins with King John.

The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion are equally good. They occur during the same time period and revolve around the knight, William Marshall.

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2008
Posts: 7
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Great. thanks for the lead Genie!

Date Posted: 4/3/2008 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2007
Posts: 106
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I have read two of Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles.  She has a style unlike any I have run into to date.  I love her vibrant and lively descriptions of scenes.  She presents entertaining chaos in such a way that you get the feeling you are standing on the sideline watching it live.  I have no doubt that I will finish the Lymond series and also read her Niccolo Rising series.  She is certainly not an easy read but in my opinion is well worth the effort.  As far as recommending an author with her style, at this point I know of none and it wouldn't surprise me if none existed!!  However, the field of historical fiction is huge, educational and satisfying.  Certainly one of my favorite authors is Sharon Kay Penman. 

Date Posted: 4/4/2008 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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Which series is the Best Lymond Chronicles or House of Niccolo? I am missing two books in the Lymond Chronicles and 3 books in the House of Niccolo series.

Date Posted: 4/5/2008 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Anne, I've heard that the Lymond Chronicels is the best series to start with. Actually, I've heard that one should read Lymond, Niccolo, and then go back and re-read Lymond to pick up the things you missed. I can see how a re-read would be helpful. There is too much in these books to get everything in the first reading. I've only read Lymond, but plan to read Niccolo this summer. I'll admit that I had a hard time getting through the first Lymond book, but after that, it was much easier going. By the end of the first book, I was more familiar with the style and it was just easier to comprehend.

As for a similar series of books...I'm drawing a blank! The only thing I can think of that would even be a bit similar is Dumas' Musketeer series. They have the literary style of writing and the action and adventure, but other than those similarities, they are completely different. Still, I'd think that anyone who enjoys Dunnett would also enjoy Dumas.

Date Posted: 4/5/2008 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2007
Posts: 106
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Valli, I agree with you that re-reading these books is very helpful--I already re-read most of the first of the Lymond Chronicles.  I have all the books in both series but they will be part of my permanent library.

Date Posted: 4/5/2008 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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Thanks Valli I will start with the Lymond Chronicels.I may wait a little while till I have more time before I start them.



Last Edited on: 4/5/08 9:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/5/2008 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 812
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Genie-

Thanks for posting about historicalfiction.org!  I was not familiar with that site, and it is fabulous :)

Date Posted: 4/5/2008 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I'll admit that I had a hard time getting through the first Lymond book, but after that, it was much easier going.

Ah ha! I'm not the only one. ;-)

Date Posted: 4/7/2008 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2008
Posts: 7
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Thanks for the thoughts all of you. 

I have to admit I have read Dumas Count of Monte Christo, and Three Musketeers, and Iron Mask, I loved them all.  Guess I hadn't realized they were historical fiction.... duh....  Very good stories, but different in style from Dunnett, it's true.

But I definitely will reread both Lymond and Niccolo series, and there is a stand alone book of her's about MacBeth (King Hereafter), that's also really good - and I'd highly recommend it....   Can't tell you which I liked more, but I agree it's easiest to start with the Lymond series.

She has such a dense style of writing, so packed full of things....  I'm so sad to have finished them all.  It's good that there are so many other books out there though :)  

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,474
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Have you read her book about Macbeth?  It is called "King Hereafter".  This is excellent, but alas, not a series!

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 12/19/2009 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,101
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I am 53 pages into The Game of Kings. I really really want to like this book, but the language is killing me. If I can get through the language I think I will enjoy the plot. I have put in my unofficial rule of 100 pages or the book goes out. I may give this one 150 because it is a classic. Tell me I am not the only one out there that does not love this book.

Alice

Subject: Argh! My browser and PBS do not get along!
Date Posted: 12/19/2009 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Last Edited on: 12/19/09 5:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/19/2009 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Let me try to post again, maybe I'll get lucky this time. I put off reading the Lymond Chronicles for the longest time as I knew they would be "thinkers". I finally took the first one into the gym knowing I'd at least get 30 minutes a day that way. Her style is so similar to Dumas (as others have mentioned) and I've read a lot of his books so I picked up on her style easier than I expected.

If it doesn't work for you I wouldn't push it. Set it aside and try another day. The Niccollo books don't interest me but I do plan on reading King Hereafter one of these ambitious days.

Speaking of Dumas, there are several books in-between The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask. After TTM is Twenty Years After, The Vicomte de Bragelonne (sp?) and Louise de la Vallierie (sp?) and then ending in TMITIM. The last three were originally one HUGE book, but the English speaking world has it broken down into three. It's best to stay with one publisher to avoid story overlaps, and always be careful what edition you buy as there are some very crappy translations out there and make for a mediocre read.

Do we have  a Dumas thread buried somewhere or should we start one? One of my favorite reads this year was his lesser known The Two Dianas (Diane de Poitiers). Next up if I can find it is one he wrote on Mary Queen of Scots. That is also available on audio cassette (narrated by Julie Cristie) and last time I looked you can get that here at PBS.

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,350
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Alice, Genie - You are not alone. I had the first 2 books of the Lymond series and I absolutely could not get into her style of writing. I feel somewhat inferior after hearing all the accolades re these books. With my cavalier attitude about 50-100 pages and you either make it or break it, I ended up posting the books. Believe it or not, I am not sorry that I did so because I have found many other books that I've enjoyed reading. I don't want my reading to be "work".

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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OT  Liz my home town is Idaho Falls hence the I.F. in my user name. I have family in Nampa!

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 12/20/2009 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,101
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Well I cried uncle. Couldn't get through it. I made it to page 60 something. Just posted it. I am trying to stick to my rule of 50-100 pages if I don't like it out it goes.  I think I will read a lighthearted witch story next.

Alice

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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I don't want my reading to be "work".

I heartily concur!

King Hereafter is buried in one my book boxes. I keep looking at it, but my bad eyesight cringes at the micro-text. I swear it MIGHT be 8pt font, but likely a bit smaller. Egads.

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,710
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Cathy, thanks for the info on Dumas!  I wasn't aware of the "in-between" novels.  I'm getting a Kindle for Christmas (doin' an excited happy dance here) and so I just looked up Dumas in Kindle editions...I can get all these in one Kindle book:

The D'Artagnan Romances:

The Three Musketeers
Twenty Years After
The Vicomte de Bragelonne in three parts:
Ten Years Later
Louise de la Valliere
The Man in the Iron Mask

The Black Tulip
Chicot the Jester (La Dame de Monsoreau)
The Companions of Jehu
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Forty-Five Guardsmen
The Queen's Necklace

Celebrated Crimes:
Ali Pacha
The Borgias
The Cenci
The Countess De Saint Geran
Derues
Joan of Naples
Karl-Ludwig Sand
La Constantin
Martin Guerre
The Marquise De Brinvilliers
The Marquise De Ganges
Massacres of The South
Mary Stuart
Murat
Nisida
Urbain Grandier
Vaninka

 

Now, what are the "Celebrated Crimes?"  Are they fictionalized accounts?  Anyway, I may go this route, and make 2010 be the Year of Dumas!