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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Ringed Castle

***** The Ringed Castle by Dorothy Dunnett. Historical fiction.

This fifth and penultimate volume of the Lymond Chronicles has Francis Crawford in Russia, where he becomes an advisor and general for Ivan the Terrible. Once again, he has his trusted men with him, but after the events in the previous book (#26), Lymond no longer engages in light-hearted camaraderie or invites confidences. Instead, he's hard and bitter, yet as much, or even more, of a diplomatic and martial genius as before.

His still-virgin wife, Philippa, is back in England, a rising star in the royal court, with several suitors awaiting the annulment of her marriage.

In addition to the further development of the characters, heart-stopping suspense, and heart-wrenching emotion that are common to all the books in this series, there's also the fascinating look at Russia during the 16th century.

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