The House of Niccolò Books

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House of Niccolo is a series of historical books written by Dorothy Dunnett. The series is set during the mid-15th century European Renaissance and features a protagonist named, Nicholas de Fleury, a boy who rises to the heights of international political intrigue and European merchant banking.

Order of The House of Niccolò Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Niccolò Rising ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1986 Description / Buy
2 The Spring of the Ram ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1987 Description / Buy
3 Race of Scorpions ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1990 Description / Buy
4 Scales of Gold ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1991 Description / Buy
5 The Unicorn Hunt ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1993 Description / Buy
6 To Lie with Lions ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1995 Description / Buy
7 Caprice and Rondo ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1997 Description / Buy
8 Gemini ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 2000 Description / Buy
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The series shares many locations with the author’s earlier six-volume series, England, Lymond Chronicles, France, Ottoman Empire, and Russia. The House of Niccolo extends geographically further to take in the vital urban centers of Venice, Bruges, Geneva, Florence and the Flanders, Hanseatic League, Burgundy, Iceland, and Poland, etc.

House of Niccolo series consists of eight volumes, and it is a part of what the author termed as a larger fourteen-volume work including the six books of the Lymond Chronicles series. Dunnett wrote Lymond Chronicles before House of Niccolo, but the story is set chronologically later narrating the tales of the descendants of characters in the House of Niccolo. On the other hand, the Lymond Chronicles features several historical persons, and both the fictional and the historical characters are taken from a wider variety of social classes and occupations. There are notable differences between the narrative writing style and approach between the two series, thus reflecting the very distinct personal journey taken by each protagonist.

On the first few pages of the first novel in House of Niccolo series, the main character, Claes is introduced as a friendly and cheerful dryer’s apprentice. He was taken in by his relatives after his mother died and brought up as an apprentice and a companion to the heir of Charretty Company in Bruges. However, it soon becomes apparent that Nicholas is a polyglot, a polymath and is transforming himself into a player of great games and leader of men as he loves creating and solving different puzzles. He is numerate and is ambitious to learn whatever he can, ranging from Warcraft, languages, engineering, philosophy and courtly manners for the sake of learning and practical purposes. From a mere apprentice, he climbs up the ladder to merchant, banker an advisor to kings and a master of Warcraft.

Nicholas believes that he is the legitimate son of the charming Simon de St. Pol of Kilmirren having been told so by his mother before her death. Simon is a Scottish champion jouster, Lord and merchant and he denies the allegations brought up claiming that Nicholas is a bastard. Nicholas desire for acceptance from what he profoundly believes that is his father family and their disrespect for him are the driving forces for this series, which sees Nicholas, his friends, and enemies through most of the known world.


These are two best books in the House of Niccolo series by Dorothy Dunnett, Niccolo Rising (1999) and Caprice and Rondo (1997).

Niccolo Rising: The first novel in House of Niccolo series by Dorothy Dunnett. It is a story of Nicholas, aka Claes aka Niccolo van der People and his painful and meteoric rise from a dryer’s sidekick to one of the most prominent businessmen of the 16th century Europe. Nicholas is a fascinating, hilarious; he is a toymaker, dryer, a fighter, a natural mathematician, a cheat, and a man of complicated and mostly alarming motivations. He is the backbone of this tale alongside his lovers, friends, and enemies.

The first series installment is set primarily in Burgundy, Flanders, and Italy in 1460 and introduces the readers to the world very distinct but yet similar to the present times. Through the narratives, there are ambitions rivalries with class, and most judgments are made based on bloodlines while the impermeable class barriers ensure that the society is spared from having to tolerate with the inferiors.

Caprice and Rondo: This one starts off as Niccolo various businesses are trying to recover after the revelation of his activities in Scotland and their effects on the country’s economy. He is also exiled from Western Europe for having made these activities public. Therefore he goes to Poland where he begins a life of debauchery until the arrival of his good friend Julius distracts him. After Niccolo accidentally almost kills Julius, he sets off on a journey of atonement, joins Julius wife and Brother Ludovico de Bologna on his mission to begin trouble for the Turks who are a threat to the Christian Europe.

Caprice and Rondo is a brilliant series installment in House of Niccolo series. Dorothy Dunnett has done an excellent job when it comes to character creation and description. The site descriptions are wonderfully done and will give you a glimpse of the world during the 16th century.

What Is The Next Book in The House Of Niccolò Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The House Of Niccolò Series. The newest book is Gemini and was released on January, 1st 2000.

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