Love and Glory: Last of the Lymond Chronicles

Checkmate (The Lymond Chronicles, #6)Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is not often that the final course of a six course meal is as satisfying as the first, but Dorothy Dunnett serves up a banquet in the Lymond Chronicles that pleases more with every volume.

The violence of the sixteenth century court and battlefield sometimes reaches almost cartoonish levels, and the level of intrigue is such that, did we not have a record of such (later) historical events as the Gunpowder Plot, it could hardly be credited. Nevertheless, the novels are beautifully paced and plotted, and Dunnett weaves a rich tapestry depicting the pageantry, poetry, music, literature, and science of the era immediately preceding the cultural explosion of Elizabeth's reign. Indeed, while the novels deal principally with France and Scotland, looming in the background throughout is the rise of English greatness following the ascent of her most illustrious monarch.

To borrow a phrase from As Time Goes By, in the end, it's "the same old story, a tale of love and glory." But what a tale, and how beautifully told!

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