This is the second book in the famous Lymond Chronicals by Dorothy Dunnett, exploring the intricacies of 16th century history through the exploits of the soldier Francis Crawford of Lymond. In Queens Play, Crawford is despatched to France and embarks on a nightmare game of hide and seek in the court of Henri II...
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Such a shame!
Author definitely, narrator - not if I had any choice in the matter.
Having come to these books after listening to the 'Niccolo' series, I can't say strongly enough what a poor choice of narrator has been made here. While I understand the thinking behind wanting someone with a Scots accent to narrate these books, Napier's attempts at other accents, his pronunciation and his tempo are awful. His attempt at Irish accents (of which there were a lot) was truly appalling, at times veering from Scouse to Brummie to completely unintelligible. So bad in fact that I found myself shouting at the recording for him to shut up! Was there no quality control when they were pumping these things out? It really does take away from very enjoyable tales and having just checked who narrates the remaining books in the series - I am seriously wondering if my desire to see where the author takes the story can outweigh my dread at having to listen to his performance of them.
Who chose this narrator?
Not if it's narrrated by Andrw Napier. I've read all the books several times.
Dorothy Dunnett is in a class of her own when it comes to historical fiction in my opinion, you can't compare her to anyone else. If you want to try more by this author, then listen to The House of Niccolo series, which have a better narrator as well as a brilliant plot-line
The first thing any narrator should do is to make sure he can pronounce words, especially names. The main character's name 'Lymond' is not pronounced 'Limmond' but as in 'Lie'mond
The pace of delivery was too fast so some words were difficult to hear with the Scottish accent, especially if listened to in the car. It was almost delivered in a monotone, with not enough differentiation between characters and the accents were not good. It was dire!!
None - everything matters. Not necessarily in this book, but something will happen later that links back to Queens' Play.
I shalln't bother buying the rest of this series with Andrew Napier as narrator as he has completely spoiled my listening.
I prefer Samuel Gillies who narrated the first book 'The Game of Kings', although he did sound a little too old for the young Francis Crawford. The overall enjoyment of that book was much greater.