Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles, #4)

Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles, #4) Pawn In Frankincense Is The Fourth In The Legendary Lymond Chronicles Somewhere Within The Bejeweled Labyrinth Of The Ottoman Empire, A Child Is Hidden Now His Father, Francis Crawford Of Lymond, Soldier Of Fortune And The Exiled Heir Of Scottish Nobility, Is Searching For Him While Ostensibly Engaged On A Mission To The Turkish Sultan At Stake Is A Pawn In A Cutthroat Game Whose Gambits Include Treason, Enslavement, And Murder

here.Dorothy Dunnett Society

[Reading] ➹ Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles, #4) By Dorothy Dunnett –
  • Paperback
  • 486 pages
  • Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles, #4)
  • Dorothy Dunnett
  • English
  • 15 July 2017
  • 9780679777465

10 thoughts on “Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles, #4)

  1. says:

    How do you review a book for which the current rating system with its maximum five stars looks so insufficient That s the dilemma facing me And as much as I think I can t do justice to it, words might convey what the five stars can t explain why exactly I came to love this.The Chronicles of Lymond had a very rough start for me, very rough not so much for the usual reasons as for the protagonist character himself, and I was highly sceptical of the day I d adore the series ever arriving Like it, maybe Love it, unlikely Yet that day has arrived, and after Pawn in Frankincense, there s a place for Francis Crawford of Lymond and Sevigny in my very short list of favourite literary characters.All right, all right, that s too solemn a way to put it I have a crush on him, I bloody love him Done, that s better now Forward to the review, bos n.When the book opens, we see him through the unsentimental point of view of Philippa Somerville, the girl that hated him for long, and the circumstances are so deceptively decadent that we re ready once to place Lymond back so neatly in his little incurable rake box he s gambling at a bathhouse with a dubious personage and some nuns Could it look any debauched Yet hardly a couple of pages go by before we learn that, as it s a rule in Dunnett s books, nothing is as bad or as good as it appears, and Lymond is really on a mission that has for a purpose to recover a child born in the Turkish harem of Dragut whose parentage is part of the plotline s mysteries Off we go then on another adventure sailing out of Lyons, with a troupe including headstrong Philippa, loyal and tortured Jerott, ambiguous Marthe, even ambiguous Kiaya Khat n, tightfisted Gaultier, trusty Salablanca, and sickly sweet solicitous Onophrion This voyage will take them along the coast of the Moslem ruled parts of the Mediterranean, chasing the child Khaireddin from one place to the next barely stopping to catch their breath, always finding his trace, always getting within arm s reach of him, and always crashing down when about to snatch him from his kidnappers It s a mad game in which the personage behind the kidnapping dangles Khaireddin as a carrot before the Scots hare to keep him racing against time and hope People die, people betray, people hold fast to friends, and people love during this years long race that concludes in the most exotic of places, the seraglio of sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in Constantinople There, Lymond and his nemesis see each other and have to play chess with human lives it s an astoundingly brilliant scene that will put Lymond in the impossible position of playing God with living and breathing pawns He is a genius at chess, yes, but is encumbered by the burden of scruples, a disadvantage in this circumstance The decisions he makes are therefore sure to break the readers heart That s as much as can be said without spoiling everyone roundly.The pace of this storyline is sprightly and rarely allows the reader moments of pause, and the revelations come in so quick and fast as in a long line of ducks ready to shoot I d joked that Dunnett had pulled the rug from under me so many times that I was collecting bruises, and as hyperbolic as that might sound, it does illustrate how surprising the twists were I didn t expect nor guess practically any but one, which is disgraceful for my poor analytic skills, but with a writer like this one, I don t mind feeling all fooled and silly It s even part of the charm of these books by this point Does it speak for the extent of my conversion that I ve come to have an indulgent soft spot for the rhymes and the often unintelligible quotes that frustrate so many Yes, that s actually happened I don t know from where they come and for the most part not even what they re about really, but there are some that I liked, such as the one Lymond sings to Marthe Speaking of, the female characters are strong in this narrative, a very appreciated bonus in a genre that tends by one reason or another to feature mostly males To the likes of Lady Sybilla, Christian and Kate from previous installments we have to add Marthe and Philippa now Both are so well defined, each in their own consistent characterisation, and add the commonsense touch to the testosterone driven swashbuckling, and in some instances even save the day for the whole group Philippa, to me, has added a new dimension to the phrase The things we do for love that strips it of its negativity whilst keeping the undercurrent allusion to sacrifice One can t help but love her personality, her practicality and no nonsense worldview, a much needed anchor to reality that was so needed in these books.No, I can t do justice to this book You will have to read it and submerge yourself into the plot, and see with what emotions you emerge at the end To me, this deserves to be widely read and appreciated, so paraphrasing the wise words of Gandalf Run, people, run to read this now

  2. says:

    I have run out of stars to award and out of superlatives to describe how awesome this historical epic by Dorothy Dunnett is The previous three books were all five stars for me, but Pawn takes the game to a whole new level of emotional turmoil Gone is the playful, mischievous tone of the youtfull Francis Lymond Gone is, for the moment, his political ambition to make a name for himself and to prop up his beloved Scotland teetering monarchy This time it s personal I wish to make my fortune with you Well, you can forget about that, for a start, said Francis Crawford And if your place in Paradise has been written, then for God s sake hang on to it Because we re going in the opposite direction Note may contain spoilers from this point forward about events and characters from the previous volumes i recommend reading the books in chronological order.His Nemesis, Graham Reid Mallet, has been thwarted in his plans to take over the mercenary company Lymond created and forced to run away But he has promised revenge and the lynchpin of his dirty plans is Khaireddin, an innocent child unknowingly fathered by Lymond in one of his past affairs The child is hidden, kidnapped and then moved from one city to another all along the Arab controlled part of the Mediterranean coast, leading Lymond and his companions on a wild goose chase fraught with peril the roadway to Hell alluded to in the above quote The title of the fourth novel references Khaireddin as the pawn in this latest game of deadly chess Dorothy Dunnett is constructing, with frankincense as the symbol of Oriental mysteries But there is a remark by Jerott Blyth that I found relevant and with a deeper reach into Lymond motivations You summon and you throw away You treat love like a bird for the table Like a pawn, now in frankincense, now discarded and thrown in the dirt You don t know what love is, either of you And God help us and you, if you ever find out I see it as a comment on Lymond s previous gamemaster role, his intellectual detachment and his ruthlessness in following his plans, as opposed to those driven by their emotions, by their passions In the beginning of the series Lymond was indeed than a bit annoying in his multiple accomplishments and arrogant superiority Chapter by chapter we watch now as he struggles to maintain his cool exterior demeanour while Gabriel strikes indiscriminately at the people around him When the control slips, Lymond is deadly, and towards the end of the novel he will sacrifice his own health and sanity to put a stop once and for all to Gabriel power plays Lymond was too near the edge too near the limit of the drug the place where, driven beyond their means, first the body relinquished the race and then the mind Madness cometh sometime of passions of the soul, as of business and of great thoughts, of sorrow and of too great study, and of dread The amount of suffering Lymond is forced to go through is staggering, eclipsing often all other considerations about the wealth of historical detail in the novel and the clever plot twists or reversal of fortunes for the secondary characters I know now how some of the other readers were pushed to throw the book at the wall in anger at reading some of the most painful scenes in the novel view spoiler I really wanted Lymond to get back together with Oonagh O Dwyer, as I believed she was strong and smart and a good choice for a lifelong partner for our hero, out of the several women offered as possible candidates Her gruesome fate might be a clever move in the economy of the chess game the author is playing with us, but I could have done without the pain and the sorrow of losing her Later, even her death pales in comparison with the actual chess game using human pawns that is played between Lymond and Gabriel in the Top Kapi palace hide spoiler

  3. says:

    Holy cow RTC

  4. says:

    Holy smokin story I nearly had a heart attack several times and if I hadn t been at work, I would ve sobbed my eyeballs out.And of course, now I can t stop, so planned November reads Bye bye This series is absolutely wonderful Why are people surprised that Lymond loves Of course he does so intensely he just can t show it.I can t say anything at all without it being a spoilerLymond takes a gift to Sultan Suleiman in Istanbul from the King of France chasing his bastard son before the baby is murdered by the totally evil Graham Mallett As always we see him through everyone s eyes but his New characters and old, ever fascinating and richly drawn Incredible detail of the riches and cruelties of the Islamic countries of that time The looting of Hagia Sophia, the maze of the Seraglio where the harem is kept, the polishing of Phillippa his old friend s daughter from previous books All of it fine, beautiful, terrifying, and achingly sad 11 17 10 I m adding this bit from a blog post that was lifted by someone else in a yahoo group devoted to Dorothy Dunnett because it so much says how I feel felt about these boooks Unfortunately the lifter didn t give a source so I can t either But anyone who grows to know and love Francis Crawford of Lymond will be able to relate It s a good thing she s dead It was my friend Nora on the phone Not hello, Penelope, this is Nora, how are you Just It s a good thing she s dead, or I d kill her I d bugged Nora to read the Lymond Chronicles, raving that it was the most intense reading experience of my life Now Nora had just finished book four, Pawn in Frankincense She was crying, she was raging, and she wanted nothing better than to throttle Dorothy Dunnett I knew how she felt.Lymond is my favorite sort of hero the tormented mastermind He is a poet, musician, mathematical genius, and the greatest military mind of his day He is witty in at least a dozen languages He is also so racked by self loathing that he repeatedly tries to goad otherwise nice people into killing him He commits appalling acts for reasons that may become clear only hundreds of pages later into the story Which brings me back to Nora s phone call Dunnett inflicts some cruel sucker punches on her readers This is embarrassing to admit, but at onepoint, I screamed Traitor , threw the book across the room, and began wailing in grief My bewildered husband tried to comfort me, saying But it s only a story Only a story For the past six weeks, it had been my life.

  5. says:

    OH MY GOD MY HEART I just.WHAT SO UPSETTING Every book I think it can t possibly get worse and then it DOES And every book I think I can t possibly love this book series and I do I think it s been years since a book has made my cry uncontrollably like I did reading this one So heartbreaking and yet so good The plot is crazy as usual and this book, like the third, was action packed pretty much from start to finish All the new characters were great, especially Marthe, who is badass All the characters are so well drawn and developed and feel so much like real people Also they are awesome Lymond Phillipa I missed the Crawford family but if I had my way these books would be all Crawfords having fun times instead of being emotionally destroyed I m so afraid of the terrible things that I m sure are to come in the next book But I feel like starting it now SO GOOD AND YET SO UPSETTING.

  6. says:

    Oooooh boy I feel like I m at the top of a rollercoaster s first, steepest drop Here I go.Edit ARRRRRGH SO FUCKING GREAT EXTREMELY LENGTHY THOUGHTS TO COME LATER.Edit the second I could not stop reading this book Stayed up until 4 am on a weeknight again, then proceeded during the next day to read it in the bathroom, over a breakfast of oatmeal, and in the car, while waiting for traffic lights to turn green Seen by the lucid light of day this fixation seems a little overwrought Why am I weeping on the airplane with the wadded up ball of my Southwest complimentary napkin affixed to various parts of my splotchy, streaming face Why, pray tell, am I contemplating the idea of purchasing all eight of the Niccolo books new, off of .com But man oh man, this one hit all of my buttons Like ALL of them Continent spanning action check Dazzling descriptions of exotic locales check Political intrigue check Massive emotional stakes check Gorrrrrrrgeous, mind expanding writing yes Requisite writerly showboating which in the past has availed itself to cheetah hunts, rampaging elephants, moonlit rooftop races, epic castle sieges, and other carnivalesque riots of activity, but now expands its scope to include, um, gymnastics performed atop galloping horses yup Main character, through no small devising of his own, WRITHING IN HELLISH AGONY and if you read this series you will understand why this is a source of jolly good fun rather than an indication of my own severely unbalanced mental state check Complex, pivotal, nuanced girl roles uh huh Adorable kid mommying scenes that made my ovaries squirm check Tension between main character and his dedicated captain brooding Christian knight loyal friend so thick you could stand a spoon in it awwww yeah.Longer thoughts continue here

  7. says:

    The character of Philippa Somerville pretty well stole my heart in the second half of the prior Lymond novel, The Disorderly Knights, as I watched her turn from passionate Lymond hater to grudging Lymond supporter largely via her well developed sense of fair play You ve got to enjoy any character who can not only admit she s wrong, but take all the necessary steps to redress the wrongs she s done in thought or deed Philippa is, in other words, a character with character And she s not even a grown up yet as that novel ends In Pawn in Frankincense, she is still quite young but that doesn t stop her doing exactly what she wants, which in this case is to take off in search of Lymond that she might continue to make up for her earlier bad opinion of him by helping him in his current quest in a way that, she has decided, only she can Even though she really doesn t know nothing about nursing no babies, as it were.Babies Yes, babies For it turns out that Lymond is a daddy, having apparently fathered an illegitimate son on the lovely but perhaps slightly foolish Oonagh O Dwyer in between bouts of derring do back in Queen s Play Which son, partly through Oonagh s own questionable choices and partly through the machinations of Graham Reid Mallett, revealed last novel as the Moriarty to Lymond s Holmes, has been hidden away somewhere in the Ottoman Empire and, as Pawn in Frankincense opens, is basically being used as the titular pawn by Mallett Lymond, of course, claims not to care all that much about a mere by blow but he ll be damned if anybody gets used as a human shield by his enemy Philippa, though, dear Philippa, is not fooled, and bullies her way onto the team solely by means of her advanced emotional intelligence, even though she has no idea how she can really be of help So she just starts learning stuff along the way Like, oh, Arabic and Turkish, for a start Go, Philippa, go Meanwhile, another remarkable woman has shown up on the scene, the fabulous and enigmatic Marthe, who is attached to Team Lymond as the assistant to the builder of the world s most expensive spinet, which TL is charged with delivering on behalf of the King of France remember, Lymond s prior exploits on behalf of the current Queen of Scots who is also the Dauphine of France have landed him a French title even though he s Scottish to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Thus giving TL the perfect cover for looking for the baby McGuffin.But back to Marthe Marthe, Marthe, Marthe She is blond and blue eyed and comes off as kind of cold hearted and genuinely doesn t care if other people think poorly of her and devastatingly cunning and intelligent and manipulative and cynical and sound like anyone we know I mean, Sebastian and Viola called, they want their bit back, amirite No, seriously, amirite Because all we get are hints that somehow, this French woman with a French name might possibly be, somehow, rather closely related to Lymond Whom, by the way, she cannot stand Um, wow Just wow.And it all ends, bizarrely and very excitingly, in a live chess but not Doctor Who live in this case, live means people used as pieces not currents of electricity running through the pieces game deep in the seraglio of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire And things get tense and tragic And also weirdly satisfying in a way I totally did not see coming.I now already want to go back to the first book and read all these again and I m not even finished with the series The blurb for the next Lymond novel, The Ringed Castle, indicates that his next adventure is largely in Russia But with things as they ve ended here, I cannot imagine how that s going to come to pass But I don t have to The brilliant, the wonderful, the mind boggling Dorothy Dunnett done it for me But turns out to be not quite as young as I ve been thinking Lymond speaks of her and treats her as younger than she is for a variety of good, if irritating, reasons, and since a lot of the fun of reading these books is being misled by Lymond, well, there you go At any rate, as becomes clear in this novel, Philippa is 15 going on 16, so probably newly nubile, and given the adventures she has, it s probably just as well that most everybody believes she s still a kid though, of course, the concept of the teenager had a few centuries before it really became a thing As such.

  8. says:

    Pawn in Frankincense opens up shortly after the end of The Disorderly Knights, as Jerrott and Philippa track down Lymond on his search to find Francis child, stolen by renegade Knight Graham Reed Malett and hidden somewhere in the heart of the Ottoman Empire Francis uses his position as an emissary of France delivering gifts to Suleiman the Magnificent as an entr e into the mysterious world of the east as he and his companions continue their desperate search for Lymond s son However, the deliciously evil Graham s schemes lead them on from one false lead to another, as the web is spun to bring Francis and troops further into Graham s evil web Nothing and no one is as they seem, and the author throws many red herrings and surprises into her tale and eventually we discover that there are two blond, blue eyed children being sought One child is Francis , who is father of the other Although separated, Lymond and his followers all end up in Constantinople, as Graham s plots come to fruition and Lymond, Jerrott, Archie and the mysterious Marthe with the striking resemblance to Lymond begin the fight of their lives in a real life chess game with deadly consequences for any who are captured , and Francis battles to maintain his wits against the deadly addiction Graham s schemes have unknowingly afflicted him with As with the first three books in the series, Francis Crawford is a fascinating hero, and is as suave, debonair, flawed and fascinating as only a 16th Century version of James Bond could be This book is filled with non stop action and suspense and ends with quite a big surprise of a cliffhanger which will send the reader reaching for the next book in the series, The Ringed Castle Lymond Chronicles, 5 A solid five stars and my favorite so far in the series.

  9. says:

    I have NEVER read poetry so obscure that Googling it doesn t turn up at all I can now paraphrase the Koran s injunctions on left handed people, recite the names and succession of upto ten of the 16th century Grand Masters of the Hospitaller Knights, use the word corybantic in conversation, and probably even play a little bit of chess And for all that, my god, the book still took my heart out and ate it I hate Lymond HATE him Oh Jerott Blyth, I love you, though.

  10. says:

    The fourth installment of the Lymond chronicles I would advise reading the other 3 first, especially disorderly knights as you might be a bit lost otherwise If you haven t read them yet then don t read this or any other review There will be spoilers.At the end of disorderly knights Philippa prevents Lymond from killing Gabriel in order to spare the life of a child, Gabriel escapes in the confusion and lures Lymond onto the depths of the Ottoman empire.It is no problem for the gloriously feisty Philippa to convince first Jerott and then Lymond that they really need to take a 14 year old girl along as they try to resolve the problems that she has caused.Jerott is a man who needs leader he can worship like a god He found that in Gabriel and even when the truth began to come out he would not give up hope that he could somehow be saved until the bitter end Now he has transferred his allegiance to Lymond things are complex, he knows Lymond is flawed and will always challenge his faith and loyalty, but still he follows passionately.They are joined by Marthe a grumpy clock maker whose origins are shrouded in mystery but who bears than a passing resemblance to Lymond.As the chase around the Mediterranean develops it becomes clear that things are never straightforward, Gabriel holds all the cards and the others must follow the game he has devised Only Phillipa has a clear sense of purpose, she knows what she must do and does not flinch when sacrifices need to be made.This is a fantastic story, A cleverly constructed puzzle, It draws you in through many layers and builds to an ending that twists and turns into a knot of emotion and drama As you would expect if you have read the previous books, it is shocking and challenging, bad stuff happens, good people cause pain, suffering and death by their actions, and no one is truly good anyway , difficult choices must be made and innocence must be sacrificed for the greater good Of course Lymond is arrogant, rude and controlling, he is a driven man on a single minded quest to destroy his enemy.I felt actually pretty ill after the end of this book I had to spend a couple of days in bed I think I had a bug but can t rule out that it might have been psychosomatic.I still recommend reading this book I can t wait to read the next but I dread to think what horrors the author has in store for the main characters.I love this series and this has been my favourite book so far

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