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The Spring of the Ram


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About the Author

Dorothy Dunnett is the author of the world famous Lymond Chronicles set during the sixteenth century, as well as the on-going House of Niccolo series. She was awarded the OBE for services to literature in 1992. She lives in Edinburgh.


Praised for her historical novels (King Hereafter, the Francis of Lymond series), the prolific Dunnett continues with this crisp and dashing tale of venture and misadventure, the second volume of a monumental 15th century sequence. In Niccolo Rising, Nicholas married the middle-aged widow Marian Charetty, head of a lucrative dyeworks in Bruges. Now, plucky 19-year-old Nicholas, fleeing his bitter foe Simon de Pol, journeys via Florencewhere he gets funding from the Medicisto the East. There he hopes to trade with the Emperor of Trebizond. Thus, the setting moves to the land of the fabled Golden Fleeceunderscoring the title, which refers to the wool merchant's star sign, Ariesand the plot thickens briskly. Marian's nymphet daughter Catherine is ensnared by sea-prince Pagano Doria, who is working secretly for the formidable Simon in his quest to wrest control of the House of Charetty. Doria and Nicholas race each other's galleys and meet in hasty skirmishes. The invading Turks pose a further threat. But the seductive Princess Violante, in diaphanous deshabille, offers Nicholas protectionand much more. Steeped in Byzantine luxury, pageantry and intrigue, this lengthy, complex narrative shows Dunnett at her dextrous best. History Book Club alternate. (July)

Dunnett's formidable skill shines through in the continuation of her ``House of Niccolo'' series, set in 15th-century Europe. No longer an apprentice although still an enigma, 19-year-old Niccolo is married to the widowed owner of the Charetty company. He has been forced to leave Flanders, and so sails to Trebizond on the Black Sea to establish a trading route for both the Charetty and Medici companies. His enemies' schemes follow him, and his stepdaughter's elopement with a business rival further complicates his life. To sort out this medley of fictional and historical characters and their interplay, it helps to have read Niccol o Rising , but any reader should enjoy this engrossing story. Highly recommended. History Book Club alternate. Ellen Kaye Stoppel, Drake Univ. Law Lib., Des Moines

Praise for Dorothy Dunnett -- - * - *
A storyteller who could teach Scheherazade a thing or two about pace, suspense and imaginative invention -- - * New York Times *
Marvellous, breathtaking -- - * The Times *
A masterpiece of historical fiction -- - * Washington Post *
One of the greatest tale-spinners since Dumas -- - * Cleveland Plain Dealer *
Lashings of excitement, colour and subtlety -- - * The Times *
Vivid, engaging, densely plotted - are almost certainly destined to be counted among the classics of popular fiction -- - * New York Times *

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