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 NiccolO 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. NiccolO Rising, Book One of the series, finds us in Bruges, 1460. Jousting is the genteel pastime, and successful merchants are, of necessity, polyglot. Street smart, brilliant at figures, adept at the subtleties of diplomacy and the well-timed untruth, Dunnett's hero rises from wastrel to prodigy in a breathless adventure that wins him the hand of the strongest woman in Bruges and the hatred of two powerful enemies. From a riotous and potentially murderous carnival in Flanders, to an avalanche in the Alps and a pitched battle on the outskirts of Naples, NiccolO Rising combines history, adventure, and high romance in the tradition stretching from Alexandre Dumas to Mary Renault.
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by C.J. Sansom
by Clare Morrall
by Samantha Harvey
by Robert Goddard
by Paul Sussman
by William Brodrick
by Hilary Mantel
by Dorothy Dunnett
"The first in DunnettÕs richly detailed eight-volume series set in fifteenth-century Bruges boasts an alarming number of characters. This might confuse listeners if it werenÕt for Gordon GriffinÕs stellar performance. Griffin gives each new character a distinctive voice and identifiable mannerism. Nicholas vander Poele, known as Claes, begins as a buffoonish merchantÕs apprentice, but by using wit and daring, he manages to build a great fortune through trade. Dunnett paints beautiful word portraits of exotic fragrances and textures, and Griffin takes listeners into cargo-rich galleys and ports as bizarre and glamorous as Majorca and the African coast. Griffin also handles the heroÕs complex maneuverings smoothly. However, noticeable editsÑpauses in odd placesÑinterrupt the flow of this sweeping historical fiction and prove distracting. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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