Caprice And Rondo: The House of Niccolo

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9780140252309: Caprice And Rondo: The House of Niccolo

January 1474, in the deep cold of an ice-bound Danzig: a man is spending a frivolous winter not facing up to his responsibilities ... It is the merchant Niccolo, diviner, soldier, banker to Kings; shunned by all who know him after revelations of hismurderous mischief-making. But his talents are too great to be squandered, and a subtle political dance ensues as rivals in Poland, Venice, and Persia bid for his services in trade and war and diplomacy. Niccolo has lost his family; but he will discover a new purpose in life...

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From the Publisher:

Mistress of several languages, both ancient and modern, and of many literatures and philosophies, Dunnett produces writing that is informed, formal and flawless . . . Opulent descriptions, witty repartee, gripping duels and battle scenes, ebullient practical jokes, and smoldering sexuality crowd the chapters with a life so full of color and intensity that it leaps off the pages . . . Dunnett has been called "the finest living writer of historical fiction" by the Washington Post, and it is not an exaggeration.
--Nora Marsh, New Orleans Times-Picayune

From the Inside Flap:

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.

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