The Unicorn Hunt: The Fifth Book of the House of Niccolo

By Dorothy Dunnett

With the bravura storytelling and smelly authenticity of element she dropped at her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett, grande dame of the historic novel, offers the home of Niccolo sequence. The time is the fifteenth century, whilst intrepid retailers grew to become the hot knighthood of Europe. between them, none is bolder or extra crafty than Nicholas vander Poele of Bruges, the good-natured dyer's apprentice who schemes and swashbuckles his strategy to the helm of a mercantile empire.

Scotland, 1468: a kingdom on the fringe of Europe, a civilization at the threshold of the fashionable Age. retailers, musicians, politicians, and pageantry fill the courtroom of King James III. In its midst, Nicholas seeks to avenge his bride's declare that she contains the bastard of his archenemy, Simon St. Pol. while she flees prior to Nicholas can ascertain even if the rumored baby is his own—or exists at all—Nicholas provides chase. So starts off the lethal online game of cat and mouse that might lead him from the infested cisterns of Cairo to the misted canals of Venice at carnival. Breathlessly paced, gleaming with wit. The Unicorn Hunt confirms Dorothy Dunnett because the genre's most interesting practitioner.

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Prior to even her uncle exclaimed, earlier than Anselm her brother had moved, she had trigger to scamper again throughout the sand to the hyperlinks. the guy in black, fixed, arrived ahead of her, scattering the few grazing heifers and inflicting the half-dozen foot-players to stumble other than the outlet over which they have been poring. of them shouted, and one lifted his stick on the horse. the guy in black plucked it out of his grab and broke it over his knee. Then, accumulating his reins, he swept his personal stick in a low, sleek arc, and settling it outdoors the ball, whipped it showily out in their achieve, whereas the mare among his knees swerved and undefined, in visibly excellent keep an eye on. The ball, chipped into the air, fell forward and was once securely stuck, with a smack, among the 2 open hands of Katelijne. For a second, she stood her floor because the rider swooped to her aspect and drew rein. She permit him start to lean down, earlier than she lifted her palm and threw the ball again the place it had come from, on the toes of the shouting, hurrying golfers. They regarded down at it, and at her. the guy in black stated in French, ‘You wish to take part the sport? ’ He was once at the least as outdated as her brother. His sleeve smelled of brine, and horse, and odor, and his doublet used to be made up of undeniable black silk, sewn, embroidered and pleated. less than the brim of his hat, his eyes have been as huge as these of swan-seduced Leda in a portray she had no longer, while a toddler, comprehended. ‘Isn’t it over? ’ she stated. ‘Do you know,’ he acknowledged, ‘I worry that it really is. ’ He had hardly ever shifted his gaze. She whirled. in the back of her again, the guy in rubies, the fellow Julius in purple, had ridden up and, bending, had scooped the ball back from its proprietors. toes disputed, and voices. Then Julius, giggling, grew to become his horse, and comfortably punted the ball throughout to the black rider back. This time, she used to be at the improper aspect to capture it. She picked up her skirts and ran ahead none the fewer because the purple rider thundered at the back of her, and the golfers, silent and dogged, pounded after. forward, the guy with the whistle performed a cadenza of notes with one hand and, whilst the black rider glanced over, beckoned. The black rider, his horse in movement, bent in a mist of chilly odor to dispatch the ball in his path. The stick had simply attached while his horse pecked, staggered, and all yet threw him. The ball, knocked awry, flew in its place in the direction of the kid Margaret. The black rider, with a muted exclamation, righted himself. The golfer who had thrown the stick at his horse ran to his aspect, hooting with righteous pleasure, and squealed as Katelijne reached up and thrust her arm in his and held him tight. ‘Long stay the sport. No region! ’ she known as to the black rider. And ducked like he did because the ball, hit by way of the kid, got here hurtling again to the hyperlinks. It was once stopped in mid-air by means of the membership of one other golfer. The formative years Albany jerked his stick upwards in rage after which decreased it sulkily. get together, spreading out, lobbed the ball giggling to each other, to the cheers of the spectators.

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