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Publisher's Summary

This second book in the legendary Lymond Chronicles follows Francis 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.

©2010 Dorothy Dunnett (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Expert entertainment....Dunnett can describe a duel more convincingly than Dumas.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Dorothy Dunnett is a storyteller who could teach Scheherazade a thing or two about suspense, pace and invention.” (The New York Times)

“Dunnett evokes the sixteenth century with an amazing richness of allusion and scholarship, while keeping a firm control on an intricately twisting narrative. She has another more unusual quality . . . an ability to check her imagination with irony, to mix high romance with wit.” [Sunday Times (London)]

What listeners say about Queens' Play

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Music and "dangerous juggles"

David Monteath is brilliantly narrating the LC re-release--thanks, publishers! Queens' Play was the first Dunnett novel I discovered, and like most of the French characters in the novel, I had no idea who this Crawford of Lymond guy was for the first three chapters, and wasn't sure why he was considered so valuable for quite a while more. But I love a mystery, and the Irish allusions, and I kept reading for the action, too--extravagant parties, terrifying hunts, parkour (not called that, of course) across the rooftops of Blois! Elephants, cheetahs, lions, rabbits. Fire, water, air, earth. And all written by an author with an artist's eye for color and detail. This is just book 2 of a six-book series. The mysteries deepen. Lymond has much farther to go.

7 people found this helpful

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Lymond incognito

There is not enough good I can say about this series. I have read them in hard copy multiple times, and still thought it worth buying the audiobooks, which absolutely do not disappoint.
Somebody threatens the life of small Queen Mary of Scots in France, and her mother, Mary of Guise, gets Lymond to come to France to protect the small queen. Too many subplots, quotes, and personalities to list, but this book is terrific.

1 person found this helpful

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Best Historical Novels!!!

Dorothy Dunnett’s “Lymond Chronicles” are among my favorite books of all time as is her series “Niccolo Rising” (not available in the US on Audible). I have read the books until they are falling apart and I am having to replace them. This is my second round in an audio format. I can’t recommend Dorothy Dunnett enough. There is a good reason she was considered the best living historical novelist. Now that she has died, he work is no less amazing.

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Ah, Lymond.

Need one say more? IMHO, there are no better books this side of paradise. Dunnett is pure genius and Monteath does such a flawless job reading these, they’re a joy to hear. I read these books in print nearly two decades ago and was initially wary of hearing them in someone else’s voice, but the execution is just beautiful. Can’t wait for book 3 - think I’ll start tonight :)

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Queen's Play review

Less difficult to follow than book I in Lymond chronicles. There were fewer passages which failed to move the story forward. The performance was excellent, the story gripping. Wonderful descriptions involving the pageantry of the period, i.e. 2nd half of 16th century in France.

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Lamentable French Accent

I cannot judge his accent for the Spanish Italian or Latin sayings. However his bad accent rendered the French incomprehensible.

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worth the effort

Humor. Action. Diverse personalities brought to life. History. The books in this series are not easy reads, but they are fun and memorable reads. And the narrator does a beautiful job.

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Ring ring

Several times throughout the recording a phone could be heard ringing. Terribly distracting and disappointing.