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Queens' Play Audiobook

Queens' Play

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Publisher's Summary

This is the second book in the famous Lymond Chronicals by Dorothy Dunnett, exploring the intricacies of 16th century history through the exploits of the soldier Francis Crawford of Lymond. In Queens Play, Crawford is despatched to France and embarks on a nightmare game of hide and seek in the court of Henri II...

©1992 Dorothy Dunnett (P)2001 W F Howes

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Suzanne
    Burlington, WA United States
    18/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "A wonderfully complex, satisfying story"

    One of my all-time favorite books, now in Audible. Terrific! Listening to this really makes you hear everything. Dunnett is an amazing writer, and Francis Crawford of Lymond is an amazing character. Subtle, smart and flawed, you never get bored. Queen's Play is a detailed look at the French Court and Lymond's time with them is mesmerizing and at times, hilarious. I found I got more out of the story by listening to it, because it forced me to hear every word. Although I've read this many times, I was hearing parts of this complex story that somehow I'd missed previously!

    Dunnett's use of language is remarkable, reminding me at times of Shakespeare. It was fascinating to hear it read, with all the complexity of the quotations, accents, and languages.

    Napier's narration was wonderful. At first I thought that he was too fast, as the action moves so quickly, it can be hard to follow. Yet as the story moved on, I found him to be perfect, as I got into the rhythm of his cadence. His accents, and his French, just added to the story.

    Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series, and hope they add 'Game of Kings'.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Grace
    Lexington, SC, United States
    11/12/13
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    "Lymond's back but where's Book 1 THE GAME OF KINGS"
    Would you listen to Queens' Play again? Why?

    Having anxiously waited for what seems to be forever, finally The Lymond Chronicles!

    Audible, please make the The Game of Kings (Book 1) available as quickly as possible! These books should be savored in the order they were written and as I have read them in the "old-fashioned" way atleast once a year since they were originally released in print.

    It is so wonderful to have the books currently available read by such an accomplished narrator. Beautiful inflexion; realistic and measured pace just as I would have imagined Ms. Dunnett to have meant.

    So very pleased!! I will keep these books in "My Library" for always!


    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Kimberly
    Pocatello, ID, United States
    1/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Bear with it"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The Lymond Chronicles has been my favorite series for years and has, as trite as it sounds, become a part of my soul. Dorothy Dunnett is a master of intrigue and builds each of her characters with personality, individuality, strengths, weaknesses and a soul.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Francis Crawford is obviously the favorite character. The author takes the reader subtly through his private pain and emotional growth from what is initially viewed as a selfish, rich young man to see his hidden sensitivity and real concern for people which he necessarily buries under the guise of disinterest.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Unfortunately the narrator did not read the whole series through before he began and did not understand Lymond and so I feel some of the lines are not delivered as they were intended. The real problem for me was the accents were so realistic that my untrained ear was unable to understand a large portion of what was said.

    All this said, as the series progresses, the narrator lightens up on the accent, and more importantly begins to understand Lymond and the delivers the narrative in a manner more sympathetic to Lymond's personality and emotional state.


    Do you think Queens' Play needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    In the scheme of things, this book is very little without the entire series, and Audible, by not having the first book to set it off does a disservice to all the listeners.


    Any additional comments?

    I noticed most people gave this a 5 stars across the board. I think this is because they love this series as I do and like I, would put up with anything to listen to it all.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Bronwyn Soell
    Illinois, United States
    1/04/14
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    "Wonderful to finally have Dorothy Dunnett here!"

    This is such a wonderful series to read and the audio version is superlative. Andrew Naiper's narration is authentic, his accents are excellent and his characterization is totally believable. I am thrilled to finally be able to get this author's work in audio form. Her understanding of history and ability to narrate historical events in a way that makes them exciting and relevant while including fictional characters that catch your imagination and keep you listening/reading through long series and then going back to read them again makes Dorothy Dunnett the greatest author of historical fiction, IMO. I was fortunate enough to meet her in person before she passed away, and she was personally gracious and charming as well as being a fascinating speaker.

    HOWEVER, I have to note that the first book in the series is NOT available on Audible. This is the second book of the series and although the quality of the writing, performance and production is so high that I think even a new listener could enjoy it, you will definitely not have the whole story of Lymond or the other characters in the book and their relationships to one another. I hope Audible will have the first book soon, because I would hate for anyone to get discouraged and not continue with this extraordinary series because they were a little lost from having to start with the second book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Elaine
    1/08/15
    Overall
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    "Poor performance"

    Probably a book that ought to be read rather than listened to, I am sure reading these is quite demanding and challenging, keep on trying!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Peggy
    Livermore, ME, United States
    15/02/15
    Overall
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    "Accessible at last!"

    This book, in print form, has languished on my bed stand for years, but I went through the audio version like a stoner with a (patty size) bag of Doritos.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Laurie A. Bobskill
    Western Massachusetts
    28/11/16
    Overall
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    "Just exquisite."

    No spoilers here. More memorable characters. Lessons learned. And the hand of Fate becomes more apparent. Just read it. Read Game of Kings first. Just don't miss this treasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jonthan C. Cons
    Porter, ME USA
    1/01/16
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    Performance
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    ""Limmond?""

    Is the pronunciation correct? Is everyone else wrong? The reading is hard to wade through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pat Sibley
    10/08/15
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    "a great way to get into Lymond Chronicles."

    I love Du nnett's books. The narrator is okay, especially if one has trouble reading her books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cheryl Hamrick
    Ft. Pierce, FL United States
    1/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "The best in historical fiction!"

    I fell in love with Francis Lymond in high school and eagerly awaited each new installment. Fifty years later, I still feel the same. I have always been in awe of Dunnett's genius in creating so many layers of plot and counterplots. It has taken many readings to fully comprehend and appreciate the complete story. If you are a history junkie as I am, this will lighten and enlighten your love of history,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • F. Alice Rogers
    29/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, but narration spoils it"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I love the book, and so listen to it, despite the narration which I find unsatisfactory.


    What other book might you compare Queens' Play to, and why?

    This is book two of a series; it builds to a climax in the sixth volume.For erudite historical fiction I think that, while not quite up with War and Peace and Wolf Hall and sequels, it is vastly better than most and it deserves to be much better known than it is.The books, while on one level serious, have a wonderful comical streak.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I find it hard to listen to, read rather fast and not very audibly and in a flat manner. To me the accents are over-characterised. If I didn't love the books themselves I would return them (apart from Game of King's, read by a different and excellent narrator).If the first narrator, Samuel Gillies (Game of King's), could record the other five in the series, I would buy them.


    Could you see Queens' Play being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    Yes, it would make a good TV series (as part of the full set of Lymond Chronicles).I have long thought that this is an opportunity being missed.


    Any additional comments?

    Please take more care in selecting narrators.If I were blind and unable to read, and had to rely solely on the narrated version, I would find this one really hard. Also, it sells Dorothy Dunnett short.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Julia Probyn
    25/02/15
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    "Wonderful book but unbearable narrator"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book was very much for me, but the narration is appalling. I can't imagine who would enjoy it: terrible mispronunciations really marred my ability to listen to the prose.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator could have troubled himself to find out how to pronounce the names of the characters, as a start.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The question format for this review is putting words in my mouth. I love Queen's Play, but I strongly recommend that people read the book rather than listening to this extremely disappointing recording.


    Any additional comments?

    Please re-record with someone else!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tuppence
    Dorset, UK
    18/08/14
    Overall
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    Story
    "What a shame the narrator ruined this book"
    What disappointed you about Queens' Play?

    The narrator is appalling, not sure his reading aloud is up to this story, sorry he was awful. I adore this series and I wanted to have them to dip into whenever I was walking the dog.
    Sad he wrecked it


    What did you like best about this story?

    I adore this series please find someone to read them who stands a chance of making sense of Dorothy Dunnett's prose


    Would you be willing to try another one of Andrew Napier’s performances?

    NO


    Any additional comments?

    Please , please find someone else to read this wonderful series

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ms G. Lovell
    UK
    5/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reader lost listener"
    Would you try another book written by Dorothy Dunnett or narrated by Andrew Napier?

    I couldn't stand this recording. It was read so quickly that it was impossible to follow. When I did catch some of the story the beautiful prose of Dorothy Dunnett was mangled. So no I wouldn't want to hear this narrator again but I m hoping the next in the series isn't read by Andrew Napier.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Andrew Napier’s performances?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a complex novel of relationships, intrigue and Scottish history complete with a hero that was the James Bond of his time. This book really does weave the tapestry of history in vivid plaid.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fodon
    30/11/15
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    "Such a shame!"
    Would you try another book written by Dorothy Dunnett or narrated by Andrew Napier?

    Author definitely, narrator - not if I had any choice in the matter.


    Any additional comments?

    Having come to these books after listening to the 'Niccolo' series, I can't say strongly enough what a poor choice of narrator has been made here. While I understand the thinking behind wanting someone with a Scots accent to narrate these books, Napier's attempts at other accents, his pronunciation and his tempo are awful. His attempt at Irish accents (of which there were a lot) was truly appalling, at times veering from Scouse to Brummie to completely unintelligible. So bad in fact that I found myself shouting at the recording for him to shut up! Was there no quality control when they were pumping these things out? It really does take away from very enjoyable tales and having just checked who narrates the remaining books in the series - I am seriously wondering if my desire to see where the author takes the story can outweigh my dread at having to listen to his performance of them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Marianne
    17/08/15
    Overall
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    "Found the narration difficult"

    I love this story but found the narration clumsy. Try asking David Tennant if he would record it, I think he would make a brilliant Lymond.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Edwina
    Exeter, United Kingdom
    17/04/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Who chose this narrator?"
    Would you try another book written by Dorothy Dunnett or narrated by Andrew Napier?

    Not if it's narrrated by Andrw Napier. I've read all the books several times.


    What other book might you compare Queens' Play to, and why?

    Dorothy Dunnett is in a class of her own when it comes to historical fiction in my opinion, you can't compare her to anyone else. If you want to try more by this author, then listen to The House of Niccolo series, which have a better narrator as well as a brilliant plot-line


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The first thing any narrator should do is to make sure he can pronounce words, especially names. The main character's name 'Lymond' is not pronounced 'Limmond' but as in 'Lie'mond

    The pace of delivery was too fast so some words were difficult to hear with the Scottish accent, especially if listened to in the car. It was almost delivered in a monotone, with not enough differentiation between characters and the accents were not good. It was dire!!


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Queens' Play?

    None - everything matters. Not necessarily in this book, but something will happen later that links back to Queens' Play.


    Any additional comments?

    I shalln't bother buying the rest of this series with Andrew Napier as narrator as he has completely spoiled my listening.

    I prefer Samuel Gillies who narrated the first book 'The Game of Kings', although he did sound a little too old for the young Francis Crawford. The overall enjoyment of that book was much greater.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ronald J Savege
    4/07/15
    Overall
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    Story
    "Almost Unendurable"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Any other narrator associated with Dorothy Dunnett perhaps for a start.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Dorothy Dunnett again?

    Yes, I have listened to and enjoyed all the House of Niccolo and the Game of Kings.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I think the story line was thin......


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Queens' Play?

    Well I don't know.........


    Any additional comments?

    No.........

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • June
    Bushmills, United Kingdom
    21/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining read"

    Colourful language. Lovely to listen to narrator. Ok to read books out of order. Dunnett has great way with words

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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