Teaser Tuesday – Queen’s Play by Dorothy Dunnett


Surprise surprise! Another Tuesday Teaser from Dorothy Dunnett. It was between this and another book, but I’ve only just started reading the other one, so I don’t know what would make a good teaser yet. Next week, perhaps.

Meanwhile, remember the way it works: you take your current read (or one of them), open it to a random page, and pull two (2) sentences from it. I like to be quite literal, apart from exceptional circumstances, and really take only two sentences.

Post the sentence to tease others into reading the book, but don’t include any spoilers! (That is, don’t include anything that would give away something important in the story.)

This meme is hosted by MizB at the Should Be Reading blog, so head over there and leave your teaser, and click through to other people’s.

Mine today takes place as a big procession is marking the grand and official entry of King Henri of France into the city of Rouen. Several people are late getting to the special box where their own seats are, and have hitched a ride in a cart where several costumed people who will participate in the procession are riding. They are just approaching a bridge.

I am cheating today, and including three sentences. Just because it all helps provide the setting. And, again, demonstrates Dunnett’s humour:

On the far shore Orpheus waited by the Triumphal Arch chatting to Hercules. Beside them on the beach Neptune, a cloak over his blue robes, was sitting huddled beside a Seven-Headed Hydra which was lying on its back and eating a sausage. Beyond that sat three men next to a plaster whale.

– p. 83, Queen’s Play, by Dorothy Dunnett (1984 Warner Books edition)

(Those Dunnett fans who have already read this book will know the significance of one of the things mentioned in these sentences, but I’m not telling! 🙂 )


    1. Sounds like Mardi Gras. Never read anything by Dorothy Dunnett, but her books do sound interesting. Love the teaser!

    2. Freda says:

      Not usually my thing, but actually sounded interesting.

    3. Oh, I love Dunnett’s humor. I read King Hereafter for the first time a few months ago- she’s so dry and has just the right knack for a funny detail that doesn’t distract you from the story. I know you’re going to enjoy this. 🙂

      • Phyl says:

        Oh, I’ve enjoyed this already, six or seven times. 🙂 Dunnett’s wonderful humour and her depth of storytelling (not to mention the marvelous history) is what keeps me coming back, again and again. Well, and Francis above all, of course.

        King Hereafter is the one Dunnett book I’ve never managed to get through, or like. I’ve got it, and may grit my teeth and read the whole thing eventually, but from the chapters I did read, it just couldn’t compare — for me, at least — to the Lymond or Niccolo books. (Or, for that matter, her wonderful Johnson Johnson series.)

        But yes — it’s the humourous touches that just make me squeal in glee in the middle of the serious books.

    4. I like it when the passage is descriptive and shows us what’s happening.

      Thanks for visiting my blog.

      I was here last week, and I was meaning to tell you then…I really like the blog header!

      • Phyl says:

        Oooh, thank you! It was sort of accidental: I needed a quick avatar for a blog advertising program I was on for a while. (Entrecard), so I took a picture of one of my bookshelves and cut it down. I loved the colours and the persona it presented, so when I made this blog, it was just natural to use the original bookshelf photo. Now that avatar is what I use pretty much everywhere on the net, except Facebook. 🙂

        Anyway, thanks for visiting! I always enjoy encountering you, and should do it more often!

    5. That’s great! I have to go read more about this book!

      Thanks for visiting Rose City Reader.

    6. pussreboots says:

      Haha. Sounds like the Percy Jackson books. My teaser is from The Language of Bees.

    7. Alita says:

      Sounds like an interesting collection of characters!

    8. Novroz says:

      a Greek Myth? I’ve never read one. Maybe I’ll start with this one, if I can find it.

      Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 I’m going to find that mini series you are talking about

      • Phyl says:

        Heehee! Well, these sentences only described the figures from a parade that included mythical figures, so this isn’t exactly a Greek myth. (It’s a wonderful historical novel.)

        If you really are interested in Greek myths, though, you might check the library for the book Metamorphoses, by Ovid. He was a Roman writer who collected many myths of a certain type, so he doesn’t include all the myths that we know. But there are a lot of great ones in his collection.

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