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Penguin presents the audio edition of Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett, read by David Monteath.

It is 1557, and legendary Scottish warrior Francis Crawford of Lymond is once more in France. There he is leading an army to rout the hated English from Calais.

Yet while Lymond seeks victory on the battlefield, he is haunted by his troubled past - chiefly the truth about his origins and his marriage (in name only) to young Englishwoman Philippa Somerville.

As the French offer him a way out of his marriage and his wife appears in France on a mission of her own, the final moves are made in a great game that has been playing out over an extraordinary decade of war, love and struggle - bringing the Lymond Chronicles to a spellbinding close.

©1999 Dorothy Dunnett (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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  • Snisky
  • 22/11/2020

As perfect as a series can get

I have read these books only this year, despite the author having written them decades ago, and sadly, she is now deceased. I am amazed at the complexity of the characters, the plots, the overarching story. I actually love the fact that many times in the story, the main character (particularly) speaks Latin or French, quoting poetry, and I have no idea what he said. I feel like I could listen to this series again and again and still find more layers. These books won't suit readers who want to have an easy listen and a predictable storyline, or even grasp the nature of the characters in the first meeting. You'll only like them, if, like me, you like mystery, and complexity, and being stretched beyond what you know. I loved the main protagonist, Lymond, who initially I was sure I would dislike. He really grew on me when I came to understand what he was about. I so wish there were more of these kind of books. The narrator was perfect for them, skilled at accents and languages, and imbuing the stories with life. Happy sigh.