And so it begins! (House of Niccolo)

My insides are dancing a jig. My brain is squealing in excitement. And the reader in me has a distinctly satisfied smile on her face.

All this because I have decided to embark on The House of Niccolo series. Yes! Miss Dunnett leaped across like a seasoned athelete, clearing the miles long TBR pile confidently and sure-footedly.

Having been gobsmacked by Miss Dunnett the first time around though I am determined to be better prepared this time!

For one, I am ordering the Dorothy Dunnett companion books by Elspeth Morrison. Miss Dunnett’s superb wielding of European history and my woeful ignorance of the same, her use of archaic words that prove un-findable, her lavish use of poetry that goes right above my head and her switching between multiple languages — all these were frustrating obstacles during my reading of the Lymond Chronicles and issues that I would like to address before commencing the House of Niccolo series.

For another, I intend to read up all the spoiler-y things about the Niccolo series. Before Dorothy Dunnett fans jump up and scream blasphemy, let me explain my rationale! My whole experience of the Lymond Chronicles was marked by a sort of lurch forward, a stagger backwards where my desire to savour each and every word was at a constant war with my impatience to know what happens next. One could argue that a mark of a good story is inspiring this very behaviour in a reader. This time around though I have an overwhelming desire to focus more on the rich details and the incredibly beautiful prose that is so central to Miss Dunnett’s works than spending energy fretting about future events. I’d also like to read more critically which I know will require a more patient reading as compared to how I read Francis of Lymond’s chronicles.

Knowing myself this will be possible only if I have a general idea of the biggies of the series, of which, two I know I need to know for sure for my strategy to succeed – the identity of the villain, if there is one; the identity of Niccolo’s love interest and the one he finally ends up with.

I am also thinking of processing my thoughts on this blog as I read along. I don’t know what the schedule would be – halfway through the book, end of each section / book, or something else – but I’m tempted for sure!

Or that’s the plan anyway!


In the meanwhile I have The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield ready and waiting for me.

Something else that I want to get to is a review of “The Chocolate Kiss” by Laura Florand, easily one of the better romances I have read in a long long while. It’s funny like hell, has delightful characters and really good writing, a Parisian hero and a Parisian pastry shop and to top it all oodles of hot chocolates and dozens of macarons! Ahh, I shall just have to sit down and write it out, n’est-ce pas? (and that’s the sum total of my French!) ((and I really hope I used that correctly!))