Synopses & Reviews
Winter, 1474: In the frozen port of Danzig, Nicholas de Fleury, one-time soldier, merchant, and banker to kings, leads his raffish companions on frivolous, drunken adventures that give little indication of the dark and complex events that have brought him among them--his activities as a spy; his shifts of allegiance from the Duke of Burgundy to the Holy Roman Emperor, and back; the mischief-making at the court of Scotland so vicious that his disgusted friends cast him into justifiable exile.
In six vivid novels (synopsized in an introduction to this volume), the peerless Dorothy Dunnett has shown us Nicholas's progress from humble dyeworks apprentice to merchant prince with his own private army, consultant to duchies and kingdoms--even as he strives to understand his origins and to come to terms with his independent, contrary wife, Gelis. And now, as the ice melts in Danzig, Nicholas must decide his own future: Will he make a new life working for the Italian colonies of the Levant? Or assist the great Muslim prince Uzum Hasan in his stance against the Turks? Will he remain in Poland, trading and fighting, or lose himself in the secret, scented gardens of the Crimea? In fact, he could appear to be doing any or all of these things while engaged in his private search for a lost fortune in gold . . .
Nicholas has an unmapped future as Caprice and Rondo begins, yet whatever he chooses to do, he is still bound, as if by an invisible thread, to the men and women he has left behind. As always, he obliquely tries to protect them from their enemies and his own . . . and they in turn begin to learn more about his past. Nicholas will choose, and he will act. But as the military and political lines form and the great battle is launched to decide the dominance of Europe, his personal struggle for redemption and return will also be resolved--if it is not already too late.
Caprice and Rondo, like its predecessors in the House of Niccolò sequence, offers a rare and perfect evocation of the fifteenth century, with all its pageantry, excitement, and brutal reality. The intricately twisting narrative challenges and absorbs the reader-- as England's Birmingham Post said of an earlier volume: "You move into another world: one of beauty and intrigue, love and hate, wit and breathtaking adventure." In short, from an author beloved by legions of readers, everything one could want in a novel.
In six robust novels, Dorothy Dunnett has chronicled the life and times of Nicholas de Fleury, the audacious merchant-adventurer whose exploits illuminate the tumultuous changes sweeping through 15th-century Europe. As Caprice and Rondo opens, Nicholas has exiled himself to Danzig, having willfully brought down shattering ruin on his family and associates, the "House of Niccolo". But his history soon catches up with him, as the demands of princes and churchmen and the secrets of the de Fleury clan seem destined to send him farther away from them than ever -- to the Crimea, Persia, Russia -- in the dangerous East.
Lady Dunnett's devoted fans -- growing daily in number, thanks to the recent republication of her Lymond Chronicles -- will be thrilled by Caprice and Rondo, in which she gives the first clues to the mysteries that surround Nicholas. For longtime readers and new converts, Dorothy Dunnett once again works her magic, re-creating the complex world of the early Renaissance in scenes of cinematic vividness, through characters imbued with all the faults and virtues of authentic men and women.
About the Author
Dorothy Dunnett is the author of many novels, including the six-volume Lymond Chronicles; King Hereafter; and the ongoing House of Niccolò sequence, of which Caprice and Rondo is Volume VII. Lady Dunnett and her husband live in Edinburgh.
Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles (The Game of Kings, Queens' Play, The Disorderly Knights, Pawn in Frankincense, The Ringed Castle, and Checkmate) are available in Vintage paperback.