By Dorothy Dunnett
With the bravura storytelling and smelly authenticity of element she dropped at her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett, grande dame of the ancient novel, provides the home of Niccolò sequence. The time is the fifteenth century, while intrepid retailers grew to become the hot knighthood of Europe. between them, none is bolder or extra crafty than Nicholas vander Poele of Bruges, the good-natured dyer's apprentice who schemes and swashbuckles his method to the helm of a mercantile empire.
In 1461, Nicholas is in Florence. sponsored by way of none except Cosimo de' Medici, he'll sail the Black Sea to Trebizond, final outpost of Byzantium, and the final jewel lacking from the crown of the Ottoman Empire. yet hassle lies forward. Nicholas's stepdaughter--at the smooth age of thirteen--has eloped together with his rival in alternate: a Machiavellian Genoese who races prior to Nicholas, sowing catastrophe at each port. And time is of the essence: Trebizond might fall to the Turks at any second. Crackling with wit, breathtakingly paced, The Spring of the Ram is a pyrotechnic combination of scholarship and narrative shimmering with the scents, sounds, shades, and flamable feelings of the fifteenth century.
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Extra info for The Spring of the Ram: The Second Book of The House of Niccolo
Julius acknowledged. “Father Godscalc the following, in fact, is serving for romance, and I’m to get first shot of the Byzantine girls. You’ll be alright. He’s received the simplest cook dinner in Florence. ” He thought of Astorre with anything nearly coming near near affection. Julius had served with the military in Italy. He had spent a great deal of time and hassle discovering those quarters, good clear of the eyes of the curious. Astorre’s gaze had lightened, then narrowed. He acknowledged, “You glance as slack as a sackload of horse feed. Is he operating you, then? ” “He is,” stated Father Godscalc. “And I won’t say i believe at my hottest, both, so i'm hoping there's no heavy burden of sin mendacity over that team that they need me to accommodate this night. there's one mercy forward. when we locate ourselves at the send, even Nicholas should decelerate. ” “We’ll all decelerate, thank God,” acknowledged Astorre, eyeing his squaddies. “Well, no longer them,” stated Julius. “They’re going to row us. ” The ruffled Astorre used to be restored later through Nicholas, who brought John le provide to him, after which sat actually at their toes whereas the 2 males exchanged combating men’s gossip. Astorre, along with his half-ear and his livid eyes and his scimitar of a beard, had fought in Albania with Skanderbeg. Le furnish had noticeable Constantinople fall. The dialogue lasted until suppertime, attended via growing to be numbers of Astorre’s corporation who joined in with gusto. Nicholas listened with servile curiosity whereas the hot prepare dinner despatched in spiced veal and beef jelly and beneficiant pitchers of wine. Then the 3 males went off companionably to envision over the armour and guns. The weapons for the ship—one huge bombard and 4 smaller cannon—were already ready to be fixed at Pisa. They spent an afternoon with Astorre. earlier than returning to Florence, Nicholas took the opportunity to make a few thorough enquiries approximately Doria’s cog and its shipment. concerning the around send, his new sailing-master was once informative. The send used to be new, and equipped to the Bay of Biscay layout with additional sails and flush planking, which was once undesirable information except you have been keen on Pagano Doria, since it intended that she may possibly manoeuvre. And to paintings her, Doria had employed Michael Crackbene, a magician from a recognized dynasty of cruising magicians identified through the North Sea. but if Nicholas repeated expectantly, “The North Sea? ” John le supply shook his pink head firmly and acknowledged, “And the center Sea. He’s been out and in of Chios extra instances than you’ve pissed in a dye vat. ” John le furnish stood in no awe of his current organisation. What Doria used to be already loading into his very new send used to be now not tough to tell apart. in contrast to the galley, he could promote and purchase as he travelled. Crates of capers and strings of cheeses made their visual appeal, sure for Sicily. He had got loads of olive oil, and a few cleaning soap, and pipes of tallow and calfskins. Of the shipment he had introduced with him to Italy, a few had already been offered off in Pisa and Florence. He was once rumoured to have tin and lead. As with the Charetty, the remainder of the unique shipment remained within the warehouse, sure on the market extra east.