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Publisher's Summary

Bruges, 1460. Street smart, brilliant at figures, adept at the subtleties of diplomacy and the well-timed untruth, Nicholas van der Poele rises from wastrel to prodigy in a breathless adventure that wins him the love of the strongest woman in Bruges and the hatred of two powerful enemies.
Niccolo Rising combines history, adventure and high romance in the tradition stretching from Alexandre Dumas to Mary Renault.
©1986 Dorothy Dunnett (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Theresa on 05-05-13

A Classic Favorite Returns

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The answer is yes! Dunnett's first volume of her 15th century series is sublime, even if my heart belongs to Lymond. This digital production updates my venerable '90s audiocassette version, and I hope it will be followed with the other 7 volumes so I may add them to my collection.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Niccolo Rising?

On this "listen" I enjoyed the comic moments, too many to count.

What about Gordon Griffin’s performance did you like?

His reading brings an energetic pace that helps move the complex story forward. His variety of voices and accents, along with the challenges of pronunciation, kept me riveted.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Claes and Felix.

Any additional comments?

Run, don't walk, to your computer and order it.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful


By Heidi on 08-09-13

Sci Fi recommends Renaissance!

What did you like best about this story?

Loving the Sci Fi author Lois McMaster Bujold I was intrigued by her dedication of a Civil Contract to Jane (Austen), Georgette (Heyer), and Dorothy (Dunnett). I knew the former two but who was Dorothy Dunnett? Turns out she's written character-centered series set in historic Europe. Niccolo Rising, book 1 of a series is set in Rennaissance Flanders, France, and Italy and is a wonderful, engrossing tale with characters you grow to love. Any Bujold fan will love this first book setting up the series as will any fan of historic fiction. If you don't mind a few battles and narrow escapes, Austen and Heyer fans will enjoy the book as well. The characters are well drawn, the story engrossing, and the narrator is perfect. I hope Audible makes the rest of the books in the series available soon--I can't wait for the next one.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By MumsieWumsie on 05-31-13

Niccolo at last!

As a huge fan of all Dorothy Dunnet's novels I was delighted to seen 'Niccolo Rising' which is the first of eight novels in the 'House of Niccolo' Series.

The story, as always with DD's novels, is densely plotted, takes some concentration, is well populated with genuine historical characters and well-drawn fictional ones, immaculately researched so you get a good sense of life, both high and low in fifteenth century Europe, but most of all is a jolly good yarn!
It's well read by the narrator and although I've read the book three or four times I found there was much detail I'd missed which comes over well in the narration.

The eponymous Niccolo, introduced here as Claes, the dyeshop apprentice, is an extraordinary character who is not at all what he appears and will eventually become - amongst other things - a wealthy merchant. However, it's a long road before that and this, the first stage of it, is highly enjoyable.

I do hope that Audible will offer the other seven House of Niccolo books and also the Lymond Chronicles in future.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Alison on 12-02-14

Escapades of a bastard dye-shop apprentice, Klaas

Where does Niccolo Rising rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best. I read it twice. Dorothy Dunnett's style is most sophisticated. She is a brilliant writer. I want to read all 8 of the series now. The action flows fast, and there is not too much battle, but lots of adventure and romance, politics and diplomacy, trade and travel. The alum trade is fascinating and it is interesting to see the character of Klass develop into that of Niccolo, the Medici courier.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Klaas of course. Dorothy Dunnett portrays him in near death escapades right from the beginning, evoking one's immediate sympathy and hero-worship.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The attempt at his death in a barrel on the fire barge, and how he managed to escape and what it led to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it is far too long, but excellent value for my one monthly credit as there are so many listening hours.

Any additional comments?

I listened to it twice, after I had finished the 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the series, because there is so much in the first book that relates to future books in the series. I appreciated who was who much better the second time. Having started to learn Italian just over a year ago and been to Florence and Venice, I could relate more to the ancient city states in Italy. I had also visited Bruges so could imagine the beautiful city with its canals in the 15th century better.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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