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House of Niccolo Books In Order

Publication Order of The House of Niccolo Books

Niccolo Rising (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Spring of the Ram (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Race of Scorpions (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Scales of Gold (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Unicorn Hunt (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
To Lie with Lions (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Caprice and Rondo (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gemini (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


The House of Niccolo is a series written by one of the most reputed authors in Scotland, Dorothy Dunnet. The House of Niccolo series has the plot mainly rotating around the main character Nicholas Vander Poele of Burges. Being quite a reputed writer, the rich amount of detail in the series does not come as a surprise. The setting of the novel is in the 15th century, an era where merchants were the knighthood of Europe and as compared to all of them, Nicholas stands out as the boldest and most cunning. The first series in the novel was written in the year 1986 and the final one in the year 2000. As you delve into reading the series, it is strongly advised that under no circumstance should you take any of the details I the series for granted

In Niccolo Rising, the first book in the House of Niccolo that is also considered one of the most successful as an opening novel, the author enlivens the characters quite vividly and in this way does definitely captures the reader in the warmth of human relationship. If you have already read the series Lymond Chronicles, then you will definitely be swept off your feet by the House of Niccolo. One thing that is for sure for those who have read the Lymond Chronicles is that you may find it quite hard not to compare Nicholas to Francis Crawford. Taking into comparison the writing style of the two series, it is sad to say that House of Niccolo may not turn out to be as interesting as Lymond Chronicles but it will be simultaneously interesting enough for you to always have the urge to turn the next page. From the book title Niccolo Rising, we can see Nicholas transforming from the naïve powerless and good-natured bloke, Claes to the powerful, well-poised man. This will then leave you wondering whether or not you do know who he truly is or not just as his allies in the novel do, more so, he had won the good will of all the characters that had beaten him in the past. as you approach the end of this novel, about the last 50 pages, it is filled with quite an interesting turn of events and as you reach the end, you will definitely find it quite difficult to resist the urge to sought out the next book in the series.

In the second book of the House of Niccolo series, you will expect to get rid of the anxiety that you will experience after the completion of the first book, Rise of Niccolo. Unlike in the first series that commences with us seeing Nicholas as being just a non-influential young 19-year old bloke, he turns out to have already made an enemy, a Scottish noble man Simon. Owing to his adventurous nature backed up with his taste for trade and profit, he heads on to Florence. At Florence, Nicholas ends up making new friends (a troop of soldiers and powerful backers). Though the period that Nicholas has in Florence is quite brief, we are able to get a bittersweet feel of his time at the city from which we are able to get to know of Nicholas’ nature as being one who observes free-will and is also quite reckless in the decisions that he makes.

Spring of The Ram is considered as being one of the most interesting novels in the series. This is not only because of the fact that it is in it that the adventures of Nicholas really do begin but also owing to the dramatic and unexpected turn of events such as his stepdaughter eloping with his rival merchant who spurs disaster at every port he is at and is unfortunately sailing ahead of Nicholas. As for the setting in the novel, Dunnet did take her time to set all the pieces right at the right taste which you will definitely marvel at if you are a patient reader. On every page of the novel, you’ll definitely get the vivid description employed by the author that will then definitely give you the feel of the foreign world -color, smell, texture as well as the distant feel of both time and place-. You can for instance get to see the match in crimson color of the standards as well as the standard bearers who in this case are in the Trebizond empire.

Whereas we may see Nicolas as a raw and rather naive enterprise at the beginning of the, we will get to see the complete opposite of his initially portrayed character when we reach the climax of Spring of the Ram. With the siege of the Ottomans in the year 1461, we will get to see what our hero’s true colors really are whereby he takes the mantle as one of the most not only influential but also one of the most prophetic leaders in the series House of Niccolo. It is worth taking note that the novel mainly revolves around the personal life of our protagonist Nicholas. Dunnet hints of Simon, his malevolent rival being his father and also does shed some light on Nicholas’ unlikely love for his wife who he left behind but ironically does risk everything for her company not leaving aside his wayward stepdaughter who elopes with his rival. While still at that, we’ll get to see his nature as a spy, business person and banker and also concur to the fact that all the decisions he makes as to where he bestows his faith, gifts and loyalty are not only influential to himself, his business or for the people he loves but also to the rise and fall of empires and faiths such as the roman empire.

Whereas some characters in the series are fictional, it is worth taking note that some of them actually did exist and some of the events did occur. For the sake of spoilers, let’s just leave it at the fact that most have found the ending of the novel to be quite sad.

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