Caprice and Rondo (The House of Niccolo, 7)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
With the bravura storytelling and pungent authenticity of detail she brought to her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett, grande dame of the historical novel, presents The House of Niccolò series. The time is the 15th century, when intrepid merchants became the new knighthood of Europe. Among them, none is bolder or more cunning than Nicholas vander Poele of Bruges, the good-natured dyer's apprentice who schemes and swashbuckles his way to the helm of a mercantile empire.
Winter 1474 finds Nicholas exiled in the frozen port of Danzig, Poland. His Machiavellian exploits in Scotland have cost him friends and family--not to mention countless riches. As the ice melts, temptations arise. Will he assist the Muslim Prince Uzum Hasan against the Turks? Will he lose himself among the secret, scented gardens of the Crimea in the arms of a close friend's bride? As Nicholas pursues his future, his estranged wife, Gelis, seeks the truth about his past, only to discover the secret identity of his latest comrade in arms--a tantalizing ghost from the past poised to deal him the crowning death blow.
Shimmering with detail, alive with intrigue, Caprice and Rondo is Dorothy Dunnett's quicksilver evocation of a world where joy is fleeting, love is unexpected, and truth the rarest commodity of all.
For him. Two centuries and more after Ghengis Khan and a hundred years after Kublai, the high-boned Mongol face, broad and gold-brown and seamed, with its almond eyes forever narrowed against the winds of the steppes, remained true to its blood, as did the fashions of hair and of dress: the long limp moustaches and beard, and the sashed robe over tunic, trousers and boots. In winter, the Khan’s robe would have been lined with sables, and his conical hat trimmed with deep fur which would cover.
Would bestow on her property, and then returned her gaze to Squarciafico and the Governor standing before her. ‘Do I hear aright? I permit my servant to come and help you with some pitiful difficulty over a prisoner; the prisoner escapes, and rather than admit to ineptitude, you attempt to implicate an unfortunate Muslim? Offending, of course, the whole race on which you will depend to agree to your choice of Tudun?’ ‘We have explained,’ said Squarciafico. ‘The poisoned sweetmeats …’ ‘You have.
John,’ Nicholas said. ‘You heard Ochoa died?’ He emptied and filled his own cup, to keep level. ‘He was always going to die. Like Benecke,’ Julius said. ‘You should be glad Anna made you see sense and go east with her. She’s all right? She’s a good business-woman. You’ll have noticed.’ ‘I’m surprised she let you come to Tabriz on your own,’ Nicholas said. ‘What are you supposed to be doing? Supervising my deals with Uzum Hasan?’ ‘Have you made any? Anna reckons,’ Julius said, ‘that he’s going.
Nicholas, with brevity. He did feel unwell. The room rocked and the face of Julius, lowering at him, was blurred. ‘She is not dead. She will do. Come,’ said the Greek sympathetically. ‘Leave the explanations to others.’ ‘The wine,’ said Nicholas crossly. They were the last words he uttered that evening; and the last fragment he remembered, apart from Acciajuoli’s cursory chuckle. ‘SO YOU FIND YOURSELF back at the Troitsa. My dear Nicholas, you would make Ahasuerus feel depressed,’ remarked.
Because of—’ He broke off, too late. ‘Because of Jordan de Ribérac?’ Gelis said. He lost his breath. Then he said, ‘What do you know?’ Her smile was one-sided, and wry. ‘What Tilde told me. That when I was working against you, I was working for Diniz’s grandfather. I didn’t know. I never knew who the head of the Vatachino was. That doesn’t excuse it.’ ‘I have done worse,’ he said. He had come close, and was looking down at her, painfully. ‘I wanted to tell you myself, at the right time.’.