Books Series

Reading Historical Fiction – The Lymond Chronicles and House of Niccolò Series: Spoiler-Free Intro

A couple of months back, I had this strange urge to read historical fiction. So began my search for a good historical fiction series. Through googling and scouring goodreads/reddit, I found that the most popular books were ones by Umberto Eco (of The Name of the Rose fame) and Ken Follett (Pillars of the Earth series). However reading the first few pages of the books couldn’t reel me in so they’re still stuck in my (now obnoxiously large and forever growing TBR) so when I read the blurb for The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett, I had a feeling that this was the one to get obsessed over. I’m not generally a series reader so I was both shocked and glad to finally find a series worth obsessing over, and obsessed I am.

My favorite quote from the book A Game of Kings and literally one of the saddest death scenes ever:

I mourned a little because nobody would ever point to a page of history and say, ‘The stream turned there to the right, or to the left, because of (character’s name).’ You could make that come true for me, if you think you owe me anything. And you could promise me not to retreat to a wine barrel and reduce what we’ve both done to a few artificial bubbles of regrets and self-blame. – Game of Kings: Part IV, Chapter II

You’ll have to read the book to know which character said these beautiful words!

This book series is seriously so underrated! I can’t believe I only heard of it after some serious googling.. It definitely needs more love. In writing this post, my goal is to convince you to pick up at least the first book of The Lymond Chronicles (or The House of Niccolò, but we’ll get to that later).

So how many books are there in total and which should I read first?

There are two series, the original Lymond Chronicles and the prequel House of Niccolò. The former is set in the mid 1500s during the reign of the Tudors in England and Queen Mary in Scotland while the latter is set some hundred years earlier during the early renaissance (beginning around the time of the Wars of the Roses and the Medici’s domination of Europe). I would suggest starting with whichever time period interests you more because you’ll probably get hooked and want to read the entire series after finishing the first book.

Here are the list of books in the two interconnected series (there are 6 in the original Lymond Chronicles and 8 in the prequel House of Niccolò series) and each book is around 400-600 pages each.  DO NOT. I repeat DO NOT google the blurb for these books, because they contain some light spoilers. You have been warned. I have also included examples of locations each book is set in to give you an idea of the series’s wide range of settings (Regrettably, I’ve googled blurbs and gotten spoilers this way..)

Lymond Chronicles. The main character is Francis Crawford of Lymond, Master of Culter who at the beginning of the series is an outlawed Scottish nobleman (the second son of the 2nd Baron Culter) who has just returned to Scotland amidst an increasingly worrying political situation between Scotland and England).

  1. The Game of Kings : Scotland
  2. The Queen’s Play: France
  3. The Disorderly Knights: Malta
  4. Pawn in Frankincense: Ottoman Empire
  5. The Ringed Castle: Russia
  6. Checkmate: France

House of Niccolò. The main character is Nicholas “Claes”, the bastard son of the deceased Sophie de Fleury who is a member of a prominent Genevan merchant family. At the beginning of the series, Nicholas is orphaned and staying with his late mother’s distant relatives (the Charettys) in Bruges in their dyeshop as an apprentice.

  1. Niccolò Rising: Bruges and Italy
  2. The Spring of the Ram: Trebizond (then part of the Byzantine empire)
  3. Race of Scorpions: Cyprus
  4. Scales of Gold: Africa and Portugal
  5. The Unicorn Hunt: Egypt
  6. To Lie with Lions: Iceland
  7. Caprice and Rondo: Poland
  8. Gemini: France and Scotland

The two series are quite similar, but not entirely so. They are similar in that both center on a prodigy-type character who navigate through turbulent political landscapes, often operating on a questionable moral compass. Both series have many, many plot twists and wonderful side characters. Also worth noting is that Dunnett is Scottish, and in both series the Kingdom of Scotland is a major character – though many of the books are set in different countries (this is especially true for the Niccolò series, which begins in Bruges, Flanders but you’ll have to read the series to understand what I mean). I’ve read the first two books from each series and my first impression was that Lymond focuses more on European politics and while Niccolò also focuses a lot on politics, it also focuses on the lives several merchants and workers. While the main characters in Lymond are mainly nobles and royalty, the central characters in Niccolò come from a much wider range of background (just in the first two books, we encounter the following main characters: workers, merchants, lawyers, doctors, nobles, royalty, priests and mercenaries). So far, I must say I am enjoying the Niccolò series quite a bit more but that’s probably because I’m only in book 2 of both series. I’ll have my final opinion once I’ve read all fourteen books at least once. 

Oh, one more thing. The Lymond chronicles are difficult to read (this is coming from a pretty enthusiastic and voracious reader who read things like Catcher in the Rye and Jane Austen novels as a 13-year old in their spare time, not for school). Needless to say, I am not exactly what you would classify as a novice reader (yes, I too am laughing at my arrogance) and yet I was way in over my head especially with the first book A Game of Kings. Thankfully, I found this amazing blog to refer to: Now You Have Dunnett who does a chapter-by-chapter summary and discussion. I would finish a chapter (the chapters are pretty long in the first book) and immediately read the corresponding blog post to better understand what I just read.

Now You Have Dunnett, whoever you are, you’re amazing and thank you so much!

So in case you couldn’t tell, I highly recommend picking up the book series if you are searching for a new book series that isn’t fantasy or romance, and yet full of drama and plot twists. I also highly recommend it for the history buffs out there, especially those interested in European history or the history of commerce. The Lymond chronicles is especially great for those interested in English and Scottish history in particular (especially around the Tudor period) while the Niccolò series is great for those interested in the early renaissance and mercantile empires. I think Niccolò is especially interesting to me because I have not come across many works of fiction regarding the specific setting and time period (I mean, just how many tv shows on netflix are set in 15th century Flanders with cloth merchants as main characters? Exactly). Plus, whenever I google the characters from any one of the books, chances are they are real characters and in my opinion Dunnett’s works are pretty much as historically accurate as you can get when writing fiction. In the off chance that you reading this are a TV exec, please please consider picking up this series on screen. Please? It’s action packed, historically accurate, full of strong female characters, and full of plot twists.. pretty much a guaranteed success. 

Well, that’s it for my review, I hope I’ve convinced you to pick up this series. Stay tuned for individual reviews of each book in the series! Meanwhile, please leave a comment or a message on our social media if you would like to discuss this series! Please, because I do not know anyone else who I can share this obsession with and I desperately need a reading/discussion buddy (You’ll understand once you read the books. There are just an insane number of plot twists). 

15,071 replies on “Reading Historical Fiction – The Lymond Chronicles and House of Niccolò Series: Spoiler-Free Intro”

|Schluesseldienst Schmalenfelde / Auetal (21439) – 24/7 Tueroeffnung – Schluesseldienst Muenchen [Url=]Schluesseldienst Schmalenfelde / Auetal (21439) – Tueroeffnung Schluesselnotdienst[/url] Schluesseldienst Schmalenfelde / Auetal (21439) – Tueroeffnung Schluesselnotdienst Ausgesperrt? Schluesseldienst service 24/7 Schmalenfelde / Auetal hilft schnell & zuverlassig bei Tueroeffnungen: 0157 9246 5509 ✓ Wir kommen sofort! Ihr Spezialist fuer Schluesselnotdienst in 21439 Schmalenfelde / Auetal.

Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established
blog. Is it very hard to set up your own blog?
I’m not very techincal but I can figure things
out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m
not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions?
Many thanks

Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your
blog? My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my
users would genuinely benefit from some of the information you provide here.

Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks!

Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured
I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or
maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot
of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly
benefit from each other. If you are interested feel
free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you!
Awesome blog by the way!

Hey would you mind letting me know which web host you’re working with?
I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and
I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a
good web hosting provider at a reasonable price? Thank you, I appreciate it!

Hi all! I want to have my own website let’s say i will purchase it through Godaddy and for designing part i want to use joomla. I have gone through guidance file given within joomla setup but still m confused in how to link my domain name and joomla?. Pls help me in this regard and give possible best suggestions. ..

Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
The words in your content seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer.
I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to
do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed
soon. Many thanks

Hi there, I discovered your web site by means of Google even as searching for a similar subject, your website came up, it seems great.
I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
Hi there, simply become aware of your weblog thru
Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels.
I will appreciate for those who proceed this in future.
Many other people will likely be benefited from your writing.

Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from
an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you
have any tips or suggestions? Cheers

We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with useful information to paintings on. You’ve done an impressive task and our entire neighborhood shall be grateful to you.

Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I wish to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and actual effort to make a very good article?however what can I say?I procrastinate alot and under no circumstances seem to get something done.

hey there and thank you for your info – I’ve certainly picked up
anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using
this web site, as I experienced to reload
the website a lot of times previous to I could get
it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect
your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a
lot more of your respective interesting content. Make sure you update
this again very soon.

We absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your
post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers
to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind
creating a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write with regards to here.
Again, awesome web site!

I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you develop this
amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my
own site and want to learn where you got this from or exactly what the
theme is called. Appreciate it!

I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. kudos

I have realized that online diploma is getting preferred because attaining your college degree online has developed into a popular selection for many people. A huge number of people have not really had a possibility to attend a traditional college or university however seek the improved earning potential and career advancement that a Bachelor’s Degree affords. Still other individuals might have a diploma in one field but want to pursue some thing they now possess an interest in.

An interesting discussion is price comment. I think that you must write extra on this matter, it won’t be a taboo topic but typically individuals are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

Excellent site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get comments from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

I have been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site. Reading this information So i抦 glad to express that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most surely will make certain to do not put out of your mind this site and provides it a glance regularly.

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if
you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping
maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog
and I look forward to your new updates.

Whats up very nice website!! Guy .. Excellent ..
Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds
additionally? I am glad to search out a lot of helpful info here in the submit, we
need develop extra strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.
. . . . .

Very shortly this web page will be famous among all blog people, due to it’s good content

I like the helpful info you supply for your articles.
I will bookmark your blog and take a look at again right here regularly.
I’m slightly sure I will be informed a lot of new stuff right right
here! Best of luck for the following!

you’re in reality a good webmaster. The web site loading speed is incredible. It kind of feels that you’re doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a great activity in this matter!|

I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog
that’s both equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt,
you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which not enough men and women are
speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something
relating to this.