Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mistaken Recommendation: The Game of Kings

Game of Kings
I read The Game of Kings (Lymond Chronicles, 1) by Dorothy Dunnett because I associated it with the friend (MM) who got me hooked on Georgette Heyer.  Except when I asked her she had never read anything by Dunnett and wondered if the books were good.  It's a fortuitous misunderstanding because I ended up thoroughly enjoying the book but would never have persevered beyond the first seventy pages without the imaginary recommendation.

The main problem was my lack of education.  My Latin is weak, my French non-existent, my German rusty, my Greek juvenile, and my Spanish confined to menus.  So when the characters use quotes, make multi-lingual puns, and recite poetry that comes so easily to their lips, and which everyone in the scene usually immediately understands, I'm left sitting in the dunce seat feeling lucky to understand a single word.  Dunnett also takes her time setting up the characters, and spends a lot of the time blackening Lymond's name, but he's apparently the hero of the whole series, which is a bit confusing.  But at some point the sweep of the story caught me up, and then at the end when all the poles started to line up the pay off was terrific.  So I'm off to read the next one, and I shall just forgive myself for not understanding any of the non-English jokes.  I blame society.  A

1 comment:

Birgit said...

OK that's too weird. I tried to start them -- bought the whole series and then floundered hopelessly for all of your reasons but I gave up. What's weird is I could have sworn it was on YOUR recommendation that I tried them about 3 years ago... Guess I should try again!