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The Game of Kings

Book One in the Legendary Lymond Chronicles
Narrated by: David Monteath
Series: Legendary Lymond Chronicles, Book 1
Length: 21 hrs and 42 mins
5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this first book in the legendary Lymond Chronicles, Francis Crawford of Lymond, traitor, murderer, nobleman, returns to Scotland to redeem his reputation and save his home.

It is 1547, and Scotland has been humiliated by an English invasion and is threatened by machinations elsewhere beyond its borders, but it is still free. Paradoxically, her freedom may depend on a man who stands accused of treason. He is Francis Crawford of Lymond, a scapegrace nobleman of crooked felicities and murderous talents, possessed of a scholar's erudition and a tongue as wicked as a rapier. In The Game of Kings, this extraordinary antihero returns to the country that has outlawed him to redeem his reputations even at the risk of his life.

©2010 Dorothy Dunnett (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“[Lymond] is arguably the perfect romantic hero.” (The Guardian)

“Vivid, engaging, densely plotted.... Dunnett is a master of suspense and misdirection.” (The New York Times)

“Ingenious and exceptional...its effect brilliant, its pace swift and colorful and its multi-linear plot spirited and absorbing.” (Boston Herald)

What members say

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A good narrator enhances a great novel

I have read The Game of Kings (and the other five books in the Lymond Chronicles) many times and enjoyed them every time, but the new audio version by David Monteath revealed a few things I still hadn't noticed before. He enhances both major and minor characters with subtle shading of accents and voice-pitch. The entire experience is a pleasure--and these books are already pleasurable--intrigue, history, thrilling action, suspense. Romance--yes, but more of a subplot than the main attraction. With these new editions--both print and audio--"Lymond is back" and better than ever.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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One of my all time favorites!

The reader was outstanding in portraying individual characters differently. My only regret was that he didn’t portray Lymond with a younger voice like he used with Will Scott. Other than that he read extremely well!

Dorothy Dunnett was a brilliant author especially throughout the Lymond Chronicles.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful, wonderful!

I've read this book in print many times. It is one of my all-time favorites, so I had some reservations that an audiobook could be as good an experience as a regular read. But I needn't have worried. David Monteath and the audio producers have outdone themselves! I've falling in love with this book all over again, thanks to them. Monteath's Scottish accent is perfection, and his lovely voice helps evoke the mellifluous tones of the beloved main character, Lymond, as well as the roar of Buccleuch, and all the rest. I will be buying the whole series on audio.

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  • Corinne
  • Los Angeles Co, CA USA
  • 05-27-19

Worth the third or more re-listen!

I discovered Dorothy Dunnett in the 1970s. I have the books, but the audio for Dunnett's words and the languages and poetry makes them even better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the best novels of all time brilliantly performed

Nothing you will ever read will compare with Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles, and David Monteath is a performer worthy of Lady Dunnett’s writing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Be prepared to be completely enthralled

David Monteath does a bang up job of pronouncing the various languages Dorothy Dunnett wrote and he has a wonderful intonation that helps the listener to recognise characters, especially since DD didn't always make it clear in the books if the same person was speaking or if someone else chimed in.

Dorothy Dunnett books are not for the faint of heart reader. Prepare to be challenged. Prepare to think. Prepare to use a dictionary, the Internet and possibly make notes. But, if you stick through an initial difficult read (or listening), be prepared to be wholly immersed in the world of Francis Crawford of Lymond, swashbuckler extraordinairre. Be prepared to read and re-read, listen and re-listen, to the entire chronicle. To date, DD is the best historical fiction writer I have read. She is masterful in evoking visual imagery. What she conjures is entertaining and spellbinding; what is historically true is conveyed in depth.