It feels like my life has been consumed by Dorothy Dunnett. Francis Crawford of Lymond and Phillipa Somerville have grabbed hold of me so forcefully that I do not even wish to enter a new world any more.
I am just about able to restrain myself from jumping a few pages ahead to see how it all ends. As I’d mentioned earlier this struggle between wanting to slow down and gallop ahead seems to mark this first round of reading. The sheer brilliance which is these books has just started to register with me – Rich character development: check; Layered and a thorough plot line: check; Prose: Ahh, what can I say about the prose… I have to stomp down the desire to break into hyperbole. I have this niggling feeling that I have just scratched the surface with this first reading and have yet to plumb the depths of delight offered by these books. I see now why Dunnett fans have read and re-read these works.
In fact I am contemplating purchasing the companion book which I suspect will deepen my appreciation of these books for my next round of reading. Indeed I have found myself wikipaedia-ing Mary Tudor, Richard Chancellor, Ivan the Terrible, Henry the IV, the Siege of Calais and the innumerable other characters and events from history that form the canvass for Miss Dunnett’s imagination. Reading up on these I am in awe at the way Miss Dunnett integrates these actual historical figures and events so adroitly and seamlessly into her narrative. I can only wonder at the sheer research which must have gone into the writing of these books. The fact that Miss Dunnett delivers so consistently with each one of them amazes me.
I am now on the sixth and the final installment of this phenomenal saga. I am both loath and impatient for it to end.