Sunday, July 09, 2006

Queen's Play by Dorothy Dunnett

Sequel to Game of Kings, and I haven't read the other 3.

Lymond, Lymond, Francis Crawford of Lymond... Eh.

Compelling read for the political machinations, even if I don't quite believe in the protagonist. It's the superhero aspect I can't identify with. Brilliant fencer, wrestler, best musician ever heard, linguist, lover, leader, strategist, charismatic, gorgeous... It's all a bit much, understand? In the first novel there was enough of a temper of error and self-doubt, and his best-at-everythingness wasn't quite so much on stage.

And yet I suppose there were such people. The proverbial renaissance man: Da Vinci, Francis Bacon, and Henry VIII was a musician and athlete, before he went to fat, it's said (or flattered), and there were others... I suppose someone has to be the best, though usually it isn't the same person being the best at everything.

I have the same problem with the Miles Vorkosigan books. He's a bit much. I think it's the charisma again. I suppose that sort of overwhelming personal magnetism doesn't penetrate the book-brain barrier for me very well.

Maybe it's inadequacy: I'm not charismatic, brilliant, or good at most things, so reading about someone who is makes me feel deficient. I can't relate.

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