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Lymond Chronicles - really struggling, shall I persevere?

(6 Posts)
AKAmyself Sat 06-Jan-18 16:53:51

I downloaded the first of the Lymond books as it was recommended by so many people here in response to my request for great historical fiction. It generally seems to be a cult read among so many people on MN, so I had really high expectations.

100 pages in, I’m really really struggling to get into it! I am finding it really hard to follow, the prose and vocabulary is really arcane, and the plotting/characters so dense i keep having To go back to remember who is who.

Does it get betteto/easier? Is it one of those books that somehow magically starts to make sense 1/3 of the way in and then you’re so invested in the universe you can’t put it down?

Or should I just admit defeat and move on to something else?

ShutUpLegs Sat 13-Jan-18 13:29:54

It is VERY dense and hard to get going. I think it took me three goes to get through the first one.

1st time - aged 18. GOt a third n and just abandoned.
2nd time - late 20's. Finished and never went on. I thought I had understood it but hadn't.
3rd time - late 30's. Bazinga - loved it and went on the read the whole series AND then went on to the even-longer Niccolo series.

If it gets you, it gets you - and there are scenes/plot twists like no other series ever. BUT it always is complex and sometimes tricky to keep hold off all the characters/developments in your head. I think the politics are hard to keep clear. Lymond himself is also a very tricksy character and is possibility at his most opaque in the first book. Once you get to grips with him, he is easier to handle. All of the books are an incredibly log set up, but the pay-off at the end are worth the time and investment.

I now re-read the whole series every few years.

What are you finding hardest going?

ShutUpLegs Sat 13-Jan-18 13:31:03

log set-up? LONG set up!

post Sat 13-Jan-18 13:45:44

The Niccolos are among my favourite ever books but I have never managed to persevere with Lymond, despite my mum's grief-stricken face and constant reminders over many years that Lymond is so much better. But even she says that the first book only really makes sense when you've read further. And I've not got further than half way through the second one. But I will - I honestly adore the Niccolo series so much.

pollyhemlock Sat 13-Jan-18 18:15:42

I came to Lymond late via a recommendation on here, and am just about to finish the second book. I absolutely love them, but I can see they’re not for everyone. The plots are incredibly complex, but she does generally make everything clear eventually, and I find the best thing is just to go with the flow and enjoy the set pieces, trusting that at some point things will make sense. However if you’re really not enjoying the first book I would leave it and try again some other time.

Lucked Mon 15-Jan-18 21:51:51

You got further than me, I wondered if I had got the wrong book. I'm Scottish and I'struggled with the dialogue, I just couldn't get the book to flow.

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