The Spring of the Ram: The Second Book of The House of Niccolo
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With the bravura storytelling and pungent authenticity of detail she brought to her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett, grande dame of the historical novel, presents The House of Niccolò series. The time is the 15th century, when intrepid merchants became the new knighthood of Europe. Among them, none is bolder or more cunning than Nicholas vander Poele of Bruges, the good-natured dyer's apprentice who schemes and swashbuckles his way to the helm of a mercantile empire.
In 1461, Nicholas is in Florence. Backed by none other than Cosimo de' Medici, he will sail the Black Sea to Trebizond, last outpost of Byzantium, and the last jewel missing from the crown of the Ottoman Empire. But trouble lies ahead. Nicholas's stepdaughter--at the tender age of thirteen--has eloped with his rival in trade: a Machiavellian Genoese who races ahead of Nicholas, sowing disaster at every port. And time is of the essence: Trebizond may fall to the Turks at any moment. Crackling with wit, breathtakingly paced, The Spring of the Ram is a pyrotechnic blend of scholarship and narrative shimmering with the scents, sounds, colors, and combustible emotions of the 15th century.
from her lying about somewhere. She sent it to Trebizond to await your arrival. It came on a Genoese ship, and the merchants kept it until you got here. I took the liberty,” said Doria rapturously, “of opening it. I let Catherine read it as well. She couldn’t understand some of the words, although she could do it all right, I can tell you…Mother and daughter. We are fortunate, you and I, to have the use of them.” To the east, you could see clear across the ravine and the town to the sea. Near at
marks of weals, but not, he thought, from fighting. When he came in, only one or two glanced up, and then only briefly. The rest paid no attention. Then he saw the boys. They were all young, between ten and fourteen, and well bred, or else well tutored. They didn’t appear to be slaves. There was nothing untoward, either, in their behaviour. Sometimes one shared a couch with an older man, either in silence or in gentle discourse, the treble voice muted. Man and boy did not touch save on greeting;
shrouded with food, and sat twirling it idly between thumb and finger. “I meant what you thought. For whom will child Niccolò fight?” Michael Alighieri said, “Brother, all his resources are committed to the Emperor and the Medici. I am sure he is a man of good faith. But even if he is not, what other option has he?” “He could fight for himself,” said Fra Ludovico. “Abandon the company. Take the money and go somewhere safe. Venice, perhaps. I’m sure Messer Prosper de Camulio is uneasy. I’m sure
Characters Introduction Overture Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28 Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32 Chapter 33 Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36 Chapter 37 Chapter 38 Chapter 39 Chapter
sisters don’t want me. Not yet, at any rate. I take it you’ll come?” “Stop me if you can. And John. You need an engineer.” Le Grant said, “Too recent. It wouldn’t be fair. I don’t know if I’d get on with you.” Godscalc smiled. Gregorio saw it and said, “I’m going to count you in just the same. Or come, and take a partnership later. Unless they all make you too nervous.” “It’s the other way round,” Godscalc said. “Will you employ me? I won’t be a partner.” “I thought not. Yes. Tobie?” “He