Just an update on the buddy read that started over on GR because BL was down on our intended start date of last Sunday!
There are four of us reading - myself, BrokenTune, Lillelara & Themis-Athena.
The Game of Kings is divided into four parts:
Part One: The Play for Jonathan
Part Two: The Play for Gideon
Part Three: The Play for Samuel
Part Four: The End Game
I'm currently in the last section of Part Two, called French Defence. All of the titles and subheadings relate to chess moves. I don't play chess, so they are more or less meaningless to me, although even I am not such a savage that I don't know that chess has historically been called "the game of kings." This is the first in the six book series that centers on Francis Crawford of Lymond, swashbuckling Scot of dubious morality (or so it seems at this point).
I think everyone is enjoying the book. It's not an easy read, though. Dunnett has basically tossed the readers into the middle of an ongoing political intrigue without an ounce of backstory, and I'm just scrambling to catch up. It's a remarkably effective technique - she is definitely not an author who is willing to dole out information in predigested info dumps - although it takes work to read. Lymond is constantly showing up in different guises so every time a new character is introduced, my antennae start quivering. Is it him? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes I still don't even know.
So, the overarching question is what is going on here? Is Lymond a traitor? Is he not a traitor? Is he being framed? Is he not being framed? Is he good, bad, or just terminally self-centered? Is he hero or anti-hero? I don't know.
Anyway, because it is fairly hard work to read, I'm not gulping it down in a single reading. I'd like to get to the end of Part Three tonight, but that might be too ambitious.