In this first book in the legendary Lymond Chronicles, Francis Crawford of Lymond, traitor, murderer, nobleman, returns to Scotland to redeem his reputation and save his home.

It is 1547 and Scotland has been humiliated by an English invasion and is threatened by machinations elsewhere beyond its borders, but it is still free. Paradoxically, her freedom may depend on a man who stands accused of treason. He is Francis Crawford of Lymond, a scapegrace nobleman of crooked felicities and murderous talents, posessed of a scholar's erudition and a tongue as wicked as a rapier. In The Game of Kings, this extraordinary antihero returns to the country that has outlawed him to redeem his reputations even at the risk of his life.
“[Lymond] is arguably the perfect romantic hero.”
The Guardian

“Vivid, engaging, densely plotted. . . . Dunnett is a master of suspense and misdirection.”
The New York Times


“Exciting, dangerous, fascinating.”
The Boston Globe

“A masterpiece of historical fiction.”
The Washington Post

“First-rate . . . suspenseful. . . . Her hero, in his rococo fashion, is as polished and perceptive as Lord Peter Wimsey and as resourceful as James Bond.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Dorothy Dunnett is one of the greatest talespinners since Dumas . . . breathlessly exciting.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Dunnett is a name to conjure with. Her work exemplifies the best the genre can offer.”
—The Christian Science Monitor

“Ingenious and exceptional . . . its effect brilliant, its pace swift and colorful and its multi-linear plot spirited and absorbing.”
—Boston Herald

“Dunnett evokes the sixteenth century with an amazing richness of allusion and scholarship, while keeping a firm control on an intricately twisting narrative. She has another more unusual quality . . . an ability to check her imagination with irony, to mix high romance with wit.”
—Sunday Times (London)

“A very stylish blend of high romance and high camp. Her hero, the enigmatic Lymond, [is] Byron crossed with Lawrence of Arabia. . . . He moves in an aura of intrigue, hidden menace and sheer physical daring.”
—Times Literary Supplement (London)

“With shrewd psychological insight and a rare gift of narrative and descriptive power, Dorothy Dunnett reveals the color, wit, lushness . . . and turbulent intensity of one of Europe’s greatest eras.”
—Raleigh News and Observer