Gemini (The House of Niccolo, 8)
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Scotland, 1477: Nicholas de Fleury, former banker and merchant, has re-appeared in the land that, four years earlier, he had brought very close to ruin in the course of an intense commercial and personal war with secret enemies--and, indeed, with his clever wife Gelis.
Now the opportunity for redemption is at hand, but Nicholas soon finds himself pursuing his objectives amid a complex, corrosive power struggle centering on the Scottish royal family but closely involving the powerful merchants of Edinburgh, the gentry, the clergy, the English (ever seeking an excuse to pounce on their neighbor to the north), the French, the Burgundians. His presence soon draws Gelis and their son Jodi to Scotland, as well as Nicholas's companions and subordinates in many a past endeavor--Dr. Tobias and his wife Clémence, Mick Crackbene, John le Grant, and Andro Wodman among them. Here, too, Nicholas meets again with others who have had an influence, for good or evil, in his life: King James III of Scotland and his rebellious siblings; the St. Pols: Jordan, Simon, and young Henry; Mistress Bel of Cuthilgurdy and David de Salmeton; Anselm Adorne and Kathi his niece. Caught up in, and sometimes molding, the course of great events, Nicholas exhibits by turns the fierce silence with which he masks his secrets, and the explosive, willful gaiety that binds men, women, and children to him. And as the secrets of his birth and heritage come to light, Nicholas has to decide whether he desires to establish a future in Scotland for himself and his family, and a home for his descendants.
Gemini brings to a dazzling conclusion Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolò series (synopsized in this volume), in which this peerless novelist has vividly re-created the dramatic, flamboyant world of the early Renaissance in historical writing of scrupulous authenticity and in the entrancing portrait of her visionary hero. Now, in a book infused with wit and poetry, emotion and humor, action and mystery, she brings Nicholas de Fleury at last to choose his heart's home, where he can exercise all his skills as an advisor to kings and statesmen, as a husband, a father, and a leader of men--and where, perhaps, we will discern a connection between him and that other remarkable personality, Francis Crawford, whose exploits Lady Dunnett recorded so memorably in The Lymond Chronicles.
Ordour to his king. IN THRALL TO their purpose—that the kingdom of Scotland should be made and kindly wrought, as if it were a pair of gloves—the statesmen took note, or failed to take note, of the news that now came, filtered by distance, from the outside world. First of the great rulers to leave, that tall old man Uzum Hasan, Prince of Diarbekr, Lord of High Mesopotamia, chief of the White Sheep Tribe of the Turcomans, took to his bed and died on the Eve of Epiphany, upon which three of his.
Nicholas de Fleury, the man who holds that unholy wand, and who dare not let you see the true, the evil thing that it tells. By his fellow wizards, Andreas and the Italian Tobias and even this counterfeit man of the Church, who still brings you your drugs. And by the man who has befriended them all, and instructed the poisoner to kill you; the man whose name I dare not speak. Look about you, my lord. Those who are sick are your friends. The rest wish you dead.’ The King said, ‘Who is their.
Edinburgh that April, Parliament passed the statutes necessary to put the Scottish nation on a footing of war, to counter the known resolution of England. The King’s castles and Dunbar and Lochmaben were to be provided with food and artillery, and the same was to be done in coastal castles of power north of Berwick. Towards victualling Berwick-upon-Tweed itself, the Three Estates had bound themselves to raise seven thousand marks in special taxes, one-fifth from the burghs, two-fifths from the.
About Venice, and my visit to Montello, where my brother is buried, and where your maternal grandfather was then being nursed. I saw the vicomte de Fleury at the time, but he could not speak, and I had nothing to add to what Gelis and Tobie learned later. Julius did also ask, however, whether I had sent a servant back to ask further questions, as someone claimed. I had to confirm that I had not. Then he asked me if I had heard any rumours about the old lady called Tasse, the retired servant who.
Any rate, Kathi can leave the Hamilton household forthwith, and be excused from all further operations. You did prodigiously well. A coup, by God.’ ‘De foudre, by God,’ she said, with a certain grimness. ‘I wish I could believe you. I was meant to overhear?’ Nicholas said, ‘They were probably weaving in and out of booths all the time, trying to find one you’d stop at. Andreas may even have noticed.’ She said, ‘Jamie wasn’t acting. He hadn’t been told it was a ruse.’ ‘He may know now,’.