Tuesday Teaser: Queen’s Play, by Dorothy Dunnett


Time again for the Tuesday Teaser! And yes yes, I’m on a Dorothy Dunnett kick lately. You get that way, when you’re immersed in one of her series.

Anyway, the Tuesday Teaser involves our grabbing the book we’re currently reading, opening it to a more or less random page, and taking two sentences from it to be teasers for the book. And above all, we should avoid including spoilers that give too much of the plot away, in case someone wants to read the book themselves.

This meme is hosted by MizB, at the Should Be Reading blog. Head over there and check out other people’s Teasers, and leave your own.

My current book (well, one of them) is Queen’s Play, the second book in Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles. It takes place in France, when the seven year old Scottish Queen, Mary (yes, that Mary), is living there and about to be officially betrothed to the Dauphin. My Teaser comes from very early on, as a ship bearing some Interesting People is on its way to France from Ireland.

These two sentences are a couple of lines apart in the narrative. I chose them to give you an idea of Dunnett’s wonderful descriptions. In this scene, the escort of the Interesting People is looking around the deck to locate a couple of them:

At his side, the Prince’s secretary was still asleep, in a poisonous aura of wine, his black head bound like a pot roast by the sliding shadow-pattern of the rigging…Further off, Piedar Dooly the Prince’s servant was just visible, fitted into a recess, like something doubtful on the underside of a leaf.

Queen’s Play, p. 16

Whenever I read descriptions like that I just laugh and laugh and laugh. The “pot roast” remark just sets me up perfectly for the “something doubtful” description.


    1. Oh my , a intriguing teaser. I hope that you enjoy your book. Here’s mine.

    2. Freda says:

      Thank you for coming by my blog. Great teaser! I follow your blog now!

    3. Jennifer says:

      I like the prose! Definitely adding this to my TBR list.

      • Phyl says:

        This book can stand alone, but it’s good to keep in mind that it’s Book Two of the series. If you’ve already gotten familiar with Francis Crawford in the first book, some of his attitudes in this book are a little bit easier to understand. I’d say this is the last book in the series that you can really read without having read anything previous to it.

    4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by DDRA. DDRA said: And the good stuff just keeps on coming. A Queens' Play teaser by #bookishgal. http://bit.ly/bc26bf #Dunnett […]

    5. Wonderful teaser! I’ve always intended to try something by Dunnett. This one sounds like a great read.

      • Phyl says:

        It’s a lot of fun. It does help to have acquainted yourself with the main character in the first book, “the Game of Kings,” but you can get away without that to read this book.

    6. Natalie says:

      Intriguing indeed! Bound like a pot roast hahaha what a picture!

    7. pussreboots says:

      Enjoy your book. Thanks for stopping by my TT.

    8. Wow! Those are two very unique sentences that convey interesting visual/sensory images!

      Thanks for visiting my blog. Yours looks interesting, and this is my first visit! I’ll be back.

    9. I do love Dunnett’s imagery- she can be quite wicked when she wants to be!

    10. Bryan Terry says:

      Never heard of this author … I’ll have to poke around and learn some more.

      My Teaser is HERE

    11. Lisa says:

      Good descriptions – that sounds like a great series!

    12. Harvee says:

      That potroast head description is funny:)

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