The Lymond Chronicles Books

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The “Lymond Chronicles” is a series written by author Dorothy Dunnett, it stars a main character (who is named Francis Crawford of Lymond) that she says is based on her own husband (who is Sir Alastair Dunnett, who was an editor). Francis Crawford is a soldier of fortune, has quite a lot of charisma, and has been exiled as an heir of Scottish nobility. He can inspire strong loyalty or sometimes even love from those that are attracted to him.

Order of The Lymond Chronicles Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Game of Kings ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1961 Description / Buy
2 Queens' Play ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1964 Description / Buy
3 The Disorderly Knights ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1966 Description / Buy
4 Pawn in Frankincense ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1969 Description / Buy
5 The Ringed Castle ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1971 Description / Buy
6 Checkmate ( By: Dorothy Dunnett) 1975 Description / Buy
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The series is set between the years if 1547 until 1558 in the Mediterranean and Europe areas. The series is from the genre of historical fiction (with elements of adventure, suspense, and romance) and many historical figures are characters in the books. Historical events appear in the books too, after a lot of research on Dunnett’s part was done.

She wrote the first novel in this series, that was released in the year 1961 with the title of “The Game of Kings”. It was a result of her running out of books to read, and wrote this first novel in response. The book’s central mystery of this book is who Francis is and whether or not he will be to prove himself innocent. A woman named Lois Dwight Cole, who is an editor, found the novel; she is the same editor that once upon a time found “Gone With the Wind”. The series has six novels to it, as well as a book of poetry set in this universe.

Another series written by Dunnett is called “The House of Niccolo” (which is set before this one and features some of Francis’ ancestors), which has eight books to it, and she views both series as an entire fourteen volume work of fiction. She also believes that readers should read the books as they were published, “Lymond” first, and then “Nicolo” second; in “Nicolo”, some things foreshadow events that take place in the “Lymond” stories. This part of the series was finished in 1975, when “Checkmate” was released.


For those readers looking to get into the “Lymond Chronicles” series by Dorothy Dunnett, this section will help with that. It will go over the novels “Pawn in Frankincense”, “The Ringed Castle”, and “Checkmate”.

Pawn in Frankincense: This is the fourth novel in the “Lymond Chronicles” series and was released in the year 1969. There is a child hidden within the large and jewel encrusted Ottoman Empire. Francis Crawford, the boy’s father looks for him; all while working on a mission off to the Turkish Sultan.

Three continents’ political order is at stake here, while Lymond’s kid is just a pawn in a dangerous game where the people stoop to things like killing, treason, and enslavement. The game’s final move takes place inside Topkapi palace, and Lymond is going to stare down his most unforgiving enemy.

The Ringed Castle: This is the fifth novel in the “Lymond Chronicles” series and was released in the year 1971. Francis has gone to Muscovy, and he starts playing adviser as well as general to the tsar (called Ivan, and is known as the Terrible) that is half crazy.

He tries to make the court more civilized, even though it is stuck in many of the attitudes left over from the Middle Ages. Forces in England get together to try to get this very useful man to take part in their own plans. Francis has to go back to his homeland one final time, where he faces his family that he rejected, and the woman that calls herself Francis’ wife.

Checkmate: This is the sixth novel in the “Lymond Chronicles” series and was released in the year 1975. This story takes place in the year 1557 and Francis is now in France and leads an army against the English.

Even as he succeeds in battle, the past that haunts him becomes something that interests the forces that work on both sides of this fight.


You may also enjoy the “Welsh Princes” series by Sharon Kay Penman. This series chronicles the medieval princes from Gwynedd. The series is set in the thirteenth century in Wales. It finds itself at the mercy of King John, the hungry for power and ruthless English monarch.

Fans also love the great “Lord Peter Wimsey” series by Dorothy L. Sayers. The prototype for the “Gentleman Detective” stars in this mystery series that began being published in the 1920s. The lead in these novels is a lord and solves mysteries just to amuse himself.

What Is The Next Book in The Lymond Chronicles Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Lymond Chronicles Series. The newest book is Checkmate and was released on January, 1st 1975.

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