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The Lymond Chronicles
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Jorrie Spencer



Joined: 05 Oct 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I missed this thread earlier, but enjoyed reading it through. I've read the Lymond Chronicles twice and House of Niccolo once. One day I'll read straight through from the first Niccolo book to the last Lymond book.

At this point, I prefer the Lymond Chronicles over HON, even though Pawn broke my heart. That said, I found Niccolo's character more appealing, and warmer. (I just wish his women were more palatable.)

Quote:
With Lymond though, you knew that he would always win.


He doesn't though. At least to my mind. Even before Pawn he loses quite often. I find that at times he can barely deal with all that he has lost.
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Anne Hume



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 152
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorrie Spencer wrote:
At this point, I prefer the Lymond Chronicles over HON, even though Pawn broke my heart. That said, I found Niccolo's character more appealing, and warmer. (I just wish his women were more palatable.)

Quote:
With Lymond though, you knew that he would always win.


He doesn't though. At least to my mind. Even before Pawn he loses quite often. I find that at times he can barely deal with all that he has lost.


Pawn In Frankincense was terribly heartbreaking. I couldn’t take it off my mind for days. But I do agree with you that Lymond does not always win. If he did, then the boy Khairredin, Oonagh, Wil (though he has to die sometime since he was a historical figure as Sir Wat) and the others would still be alive. And though he did win against Graham Mallet in the end, in another sense, he lost quite a lot.

I’ve just finished my reread of the Ringed Castle last night and I’m always struck by how Dunnet skillfully set up that scene at Blackfriars. The beginning, telling us how fateful that day is going to be, the improvised play full of letter L and the fun that they all had, showing us that Philippa is more than equal to Lymond in wit and intelligence, the realization of Lymond’s feelings, plus the ending when the young boy Nicholas Chancellor says, “We’re here sir.” I kept thinking that yes, Lymond is finally there. That even though Nicholas meant something different, it has a far more greater meaning than just arriving at their destination. The man who said in the previous books that he has never been in love has finally experienced it. And what was striking is that while they were using a lot of words that begins in L, the Love word was never mentioned. Yet, you can feel it there.
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Brenna



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kass wrote:
Quote:
Take this one for example, "Une belle, mais pas frigide! Pas frigide du tout!"

A beauty, but not frigid.

It's really not that hard to understand.


For someone who does not speak French at all but limited to a few greetings, I guess I’m kind of slow. Laughing And while I did get the gist of it, I did find the translation of “Not ice cold of the whole” rather weird. Although, I would prefer the use of the word "cold" rather than "frigid".

Linda in sw va wrote:
Brenna, what chapter was it in Queen's Play? I'll look it up for you if you like. If you purchase the guide I think you'll be very pleased. Linda


Thank you Linda. It is in Part IV, Chapter II. De Chemault's secretary scribbled under a report he sent: "C'est un belle mas frigide. Un belle, vois tu" describing Francis. Then when d'Enghien met the Vervassal, he said, "Un belle mais pas frigide. Pas frigide du tout!" I assume that the secretary was probably saying that he's a beauttiful man but rather cold or not having too much emotion whereas d'Enghien agrees that he is indeed beautiful but definitely not a cold person. I'm curious as to how it is translated in that reading guide.

I do think I need to buy that translation guide.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For someone who does not speak French at all but limited to a few greetings, I guess I’m kind of slow. Laughing And while I did get the gist of it, I did find the translation of “Not ice cold of the whole” rather weird. Although, I would prefer the use of the word "cold" rather than "frigid".


I don't speak French or any other language for that matter either Brenna, so I can completely understand where you are coming from here. Smile It often seems obvious once you know the answer but not always so easy trying to get there, lol. Not only the case with translations but various plots and schemes going on throughout the books. Part of the fun of reading these is trying to figure out what is really going on and when I would get it ahead of time I would be positively glowing with pride, lol.

Quote:
Thank you Linda. It is in Part IV, Chapter II. De Chemault's secretary scribbled under a report he sent: "C'est un belle mas frigide. Un belle, vois tu" describing Francis. Then when d'Enghien met the Vervassal, he said, "Un belle mais pas frigide. Pas frigide du tout!" I assume that the secretary was probably saying that he's a beautiful man but rather cold or not having too much emotion whereas d'Enghien agrees that he is indeed beautiful but definitely not a cold person. I'm curious as to how it is translated in that reading guide.


I'd be happy to Brenna! Here is what it contains of Part Four, Chapter II.

p. 300
"C'est une belle..."
She's a beauty, but frigid. [Using the female form of the word for beauty to describe him]

"Faut-il que Pere..."
Is it necessary for the Holy Father to beat Pater Noster and Hail Charles be the same as Ave Maria?

p. 302
"Une belle...Mais pas frigide."
A beauty...A beauty but not frigid. Not frigid at all.

Linda
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Brenna



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:
I don't speak French or any other language for that matter either Brenna, so I can completely understand where you are coming from here. Smile It often seems obvious once you know the answer but not always so easy trying to get there, lol. Not only the case with translations but various plots and schemes going on throughout the books. Part of the fun of reading these is trying to figure out what is really going on and when I would get it ahead of time I would be positively glowing with pride, lol.Linda


Thanks!

Trying to get there can be hard and confusing. It's not just the languages itself but also trying to understand all those quotes, proverbs and poetry Francis likes to quote. And I was never interested in poetry before. Then there's the use of old english w/c is so frustrating. I remember being so frantic and trying to look for Wyatt's sonnets in the web so as to understand fully why it made Sybilla cry during the betrothal party. I found this wonderful Shakespeare website w/c included Wyatt's sonnetts plus translation.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
With Lymond though, you knew that he would always win.


I don't agree with that. He suffers devastating losses throughout the books. I am re-reading the series now and I am afraid to start Pawn - I was an absolute basket case on my first reading at the end. After I finished Pawn I was certain Lymond would not get a happy ending and I was shocked at the end of Checkmate when not only was Lymond alive but also happy. Indeed I was so unbelieving of the HEA that I was double-checking for more pages convinced that Dunnett was holding the real ending back, hee.

I don't actually like Lymond but I did grow to love him. But he is one of those fictional characters you want to alternately throttle or hug. Sometimes both at the same time. And I adore some of the women in the series. Philippa. Kate. Christian Stewart.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaime wrote:
I am re-reading the series now and I am afraid to start Pawn - I was an absolute basket case on my first reading at the end. After I finished Pawn I was certain Lymond would not get a happy ending and I was shocked at the end of Checkmate when not only was Lymond alive but also happy. Indeed I was so unbelieving of the HEA that I was double-checking for more pages convinced that Dunnett was holding the real ending back, hee.

I don't actually like Lymond but I did grow to love him. But he is one of those fictional characters you want to alternately throttle or hug. Sometimes both at the same time. And I adore some of the women in the series. Philippa. Kate. Christian Stewart.


Ahh Jaime, I am thrilled to speak about TLC. I heard about them here on AAR when reading one of the archived threads and then went on and read the series from May to October last year. It was such a wonderful experience! For me it was for sure one of the most challenging reading-in-English experiences.

Because I read both reviews of the series and Checkmate here on AAR (and Jo Bererley's review contained a major spoiler without a warning), I knew about the happy ending so I went in with a calmer heart, perhaps, than you but what an exciting, thrilling and exquisite ride that was!

What is/are your favourite book(s) in the series?

Have you read House of Niccolo? I plan to start on it this summer.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 529

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mirole wrote:
jaime wrote:
I am re-reading the series now and I am afraid to start Pawn - I was an absolute basket case on my first reading at the end. After I finished Pawn I was certain Lymond would not get a happy ending and I was shocked at the end of Checkmate when not only was Lymond alive but also happy. Indeed I was so unbelieving of the HEA that I was double-checking for more pages convinced that Dunnett was holding the real ending back, hee.

I don't actually like Lymond but I did grow to love him. But he is one of those fictional characters you want to alternately throttle or hug. Sometimes both at the same time. And I adore some of the women in the series. Philippa. Kate. Christian Stewart.


Ahh Jaime, I am thrilled to speak about TLC. I heard about them here on AAR when reading one of the archived threads and then went on and read the series from May to October last year. It was such a wonderful experience! For me it was for sure one of the most challenging reading-in-English experiences.

Because I read both reviews of the series and Checkmate here on AAR (and Jo Bererley's review contained a major spoiler without a warning), I knew about the happy ending so I went in with a calmer heart, perhaps, than you but what an exciting, thrilling and exquisite ride that was!

What is/are your favourite book(s) in the series?

Have you read House of Niccolo? I plan to start on it this summer.


mirole No, I haven't read House Of Niccolo yet, I have to be in the right mood for a long series like that.

About LC - I was completely unspoiled when I read those books for the first time so I had no idea what to expect. My favorite is probably the last one because Lymond gets his happy ending in it. I think it's actually great that I didn't know who Lymond's heroine was until Dunnett wanted me to know - it was a wonderful development because the reader gets to see the heroine grow up - plus, I love the heroine's mother too.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaime, I was warned to wait between the series and not to expect something similar to TLC. So I think one year is enough and all I expect is the same quality of writing.

I heard that a lot of people had trouble getting into the series especially with the first two books. For me personally, I was swept away right from the start and loved both of the first two books and at the same time I was amazed at how different the first two books were.

The Disorderly Knights was perhaps the least favourite as there was too much of the military/seige action that felt a bit like a drag for me.

I loved The Pawn in spite of all the heartbreak. I was mesmerized by all the drama and sumptuous Oriental descriptions.

The Ringed Castle would have been my least favourite book if not for the latter part of it and a certain 'lightbulb' moment. Being Russian and knowing that part of the Russian history quite well, it was very hard for me to suspend disbelief about a foreigner achieving such lofty position as did Lymond.

Checkmate may be my favourite. I just love the heroine so much and it helps that I picture Natalie Portman as her very clearly.

So, I would do the final rating like this:

1. Checkmate
2. The Pawn in F.
3. The Game of Kings
4. Queen's Play
5. The Ringed Castle
6. The Disorderly Knights
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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 949

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anne Hume wrote:
...The beginning, telling us how fateful that day is going to be, the improvised play full of letter L and the fun that they all had, showing us that Philippa is more than equal to Lymond in wit and intelligence


Actually, that was my primary complaint about the series. I felt Philippa was completely out of her depth with Lymond. She certainly wasn't stupid, but she wasn't as brilliant as Lymond - I felt he constantly was plotting rings around her. She was also much, much too innocent for his world. I mean, look at how she reacted to what she had to do in the last book - weeks of emotional shutdown. But if I read correctly and as I think Dunnett implied, Lymond did the same thing the entire time they were in Istanbul without blinking.

If Christian had survived, I thought she was strong enough for Lymond. But Philippa was just a nice, practical girl with a strategically deployed virginity. It kind of irked me that "I'm good with children and reasonably clever and pure and love you and will sacrifice myself for you" passed for "I'm your intellectual and emotional equal." The rest of the series holds up so well but this part feels really, really dated to me.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nana wrote:
Anne Hume wrote:
...The beginning, telling us how fateful that day is going to be, the improvised play full of letter L and the fun that they all had, showing us that Philippa is more than equal to Lymond in wit and intelligence


Actually, that was my primary complaint about the series. I felt Philippa was completely out of her depth with Lymond. She certainly wasn't stupid, but she wasn't as brilliant as Lymond - I felt he constantly was plotting rings around her. She was also much, much too innocent for his world. I mean, look at how she reacted to what she had to do in the last book - weeks of emotional shutdown. But if I read correctly and as I think Dunnett implied, Lymond did the same thing the entire time they were in Istanbul without blinking.

If Christian had survived, I thought she was strong enough for Lymond. But Philippa was just a nice, practical girl with a strategically deployed virginity. It kind of irked me that "I'm good with children and reasonably clever and pure and love you and will sacrifice myself for you" passed for "I'm your intellectual and emotional equal." The rest of the series holds up so well but this part feels really, really dated to me.


I loved that Lymond's HEA was with Phillipa, I thought their contrast to each other balanced perfectly. I am not one of those that feel a H&H has to 'match' each other, I'm more about bringing balance to be the perfect counterpart. Phillipa was exactly what Lymond needed, I thought Dunnett chose brilliantly for him.

Linda
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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:


I loved that Lymond's HEA was with Phillipa, I thought their contrast to each other balanced perfectly. I am not one of those that feel a H&H has to 'match' each other, I'm more about bringing balance to be the perfect counterpart. Phillipa was exactly what Lymond needed, I thought Dunnett chose brilliantly for him.

Linda


But you didn't feel even a little frustrated that she felt a a brilliant, world-shaking man had to be "balanced" by an adoring young virgin? After all the politically savvy and interesting women he met in his travels? I didn't really like the implicit message in that.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nana, I agree with Linda about Philippa and don't agree with you that she was completely out of her depth with him. Of course, at first she was (and don't forget she was 10 years younger than he) but gradually she matured and she was never afraid to argue with him. We see how she got educated after she returned from Turkey spurred on by his example and living in his house surrounded by his books. She had a propensity for politics herself. She grows into a strong clever woman right in front of our eyes. And I love that she had a great sense of humor (no doubt from her mother).

Also, what's wrong with being a virgin? You are making it out to be some sort of a character flaw. And I am sure Christian was a virgin too yet you think she was right for Lymond.

What other woman you think would be a better match for him? If you a referring to Oonagh or Gusel, thank God, DD did not do that - one is too bitter, the other one too calculating.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Nana"]
Linda in sw va wrote:


But you didn't feel even a little frustrated that she felt a a brilliant, world-shaking man had to be "balanced" by an adoring young virgin? After all the politically savvy and interesting women he met in his travels? I didn't really like the implicit message in that.


Not at all, that's not my outlook on either of them. After everything Lymond had been through Philippa was exactly what he needed to ensure a HEA. Her balance was her sweetness and genuiness to counter all the conniving, scheming, backstabbing political world he lived in for years. I never reduced Philippa to an adoring virgin, she was intelligent, funny, brave, loyal and had also suffered through her own trauma and showed her resileince. She wasn't a little girl hidden away from the world, she was out there fighting to survive herself. I can't imagine him being paired with any other kind of heroine and living happily ever after. She was just what he needed to lay his head, finally. Dunnett chose perfectly for him, she knew what she was doing with her characters. Philippa's sexual history or lack of it, does not make her an unworthy heroine for him.

Linda
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chris booklover



Joined: 12 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Linda in sw va"]
Nana wrote:
Linda in sw va wrote:


But you didn't feel even a little frustrated that she felt a a brilliant, world-shaking man had to be "balanced" by an adoring young virgin? After all the politically savvy and interesting women he met in his travels? I didn't really like the implicit message in that.


Not at all, that's not my outlook on either of them. After everything Lymond had been through Philippa was exactly what he needed to ensure a HEA. Her balance was her sweetness and genuiness to counter all the conniving, scheming, backstabbing political world he lived in for years. I never reduced Philippa to an adoring virgin, she was intelligent, funny, brave, loyal and had also suffered through her own trauma and showed her resileince. She wasn't a little girl hidden away from the world, she was out there fighting to survive herself. I can't imagine him being paired with any other kind of heroine and living happily ever after. She was just what he needed to lay his head, finally. Dunnett chose perfectly for him, she knew what she was doing with her characters. Philippa's sexual history or lack of it, does not make her an unworthy heroine for him.

Linda


Linda:

Agreed. Lymond and Philippa complemented each other very well indeed. They made perfect sense as a couple in the context of the series. I don't believe that a romantic pairing has to satisfy any abstract, externally generated sense of "balance" in order to work.
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