Scales of Gold: The Fourth Book of The House of Niccolo

By Dorothy Dunnett

With the bravura storytelling and smelly authenticity of element she delivered to her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett, grande dame of the ancient novel, offers 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 solution to the helm of a mercantile empire.
      
The 12 months 1464 reveals Nicholas again in Venice. laid low with enemies bent on dissolving his resources and smearing his personality, he units sail for Africa, mythical situation of the Fountain of minor, domestic to a descendant of Sheba and Solomon, and the resource of gold in such abundance that males wish to barter in shells. he'll examine firsthand the brutality and grandeur of the darkish Continent, from the horror of the slave exchange to the austere the Aristocracy of Islamic Timbuktu. he'll observe, too, the charms of the attractive Gelis van Borselen--a girl whose ardour for Nicholas is rivaled in basic terms by way of her wish to punish him for his position in her sister s dying. Erotic and luxurious with aspect, Scales of Gold embraces the complexity of the Renaissance, the place mercantile experience with extra own quests at the back of the silken curtains of the Age of Discovery.

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One other, in worn helm and cuirass, bellowed orders less than him. The knight was once unknown, yet Nicholas acknowledged the helm and the voice of the grasp. They belonged to Mick Crackbene, the fellow he had fought and removed at Lagos. removed for ever, he’d was hoping. Nicholas began to run. Seized and dragged into darkness, Diniz was once swinging the inventory of his handgun earlier than he observed his assailant. ‘Get down,’ Nicholas acknowledged. ‘Or disguise your face. Crackbene’s there. Crackbene’s crusing that send. He mustn’t see us. ’ He pulled his personal neckerchief from his jerkin and held it out. The boy jerked to his knees. The deck swayed. Ochoa’s voice and the mate’s shouted hoarsely. Diniz glared on the Fortado. Ignoring the kerchief and Nicholas, he lurched to his toes along with his weapon, paused, and introduced himself at once into the sunshine. It wasn’t remarkable. Prisoner of his grandfather, Diniz were wrested from Cyprus at the similar roundship on whose deck he now stood, and Michael Crackbene have been his gaoler. Nicholas scrambled after. The Fortado used to be already slanting away, her mainsail adapting, her blue starboard flank commencing to carry as she used to be set to veer west and north. whatever glittered alongside the road of her rail. the guy in armour nonetheless stood on the stern, however the different had replaced his place. Judging Diniz simply nearby, Nicholas obeyed a roll of the send and flung himself on him. because the boy crashed, collapsing underneath him, Nicholas realised what he had visible: a line of swivelling cannon, hitherto coated. Then he understood what Ochoa was once shouting, and heard the comito repeat the command, and observed that during the moments he had overlooked, the 3 nice bombards and breechloaders alongside the Ghost’s starboard rail have been all status prepared and manned, the fits able to contact. He suggestion afterwards that he shouted an order, but when so, it had no influence. In explosion after thundering explosion, the Ghost’s leeside bombards fired one after the other at each one heave of the send; fired on the Portuguese caravel Fortado, authorized by way of her monarch to alternate off the Guinea coast. the 1st three-hundred-pound ball shredded her mainsail. the second one raked her from rail to rail simply above the good of the deck, in order that of her cannon sprang into the ocean. The 3rd pierced the pavilion of the poop, and went directly to holiday her mizzen in part. there has been no fourth, for Nicholas had obtained to the swivel-gunner via then, and knocked him again from his put up. the guy rounded on him; others loomed; the mate leaped ahead, his hand on his sword, and Nicholas whipped out his blade. excessive at the poop deck Ochoa held again initially and stated not anything. Then he shrieked a command, after which one other, in his mumbling, livid voice. the boys stood panting, their fists doubled, yet at the moment invitation they jumped as though he had flayed them and, forsaking the weapons, scampered to set their arms to the toil of having the send on her manner. nevertheless, the ship’s lash got here out sooner than the sails have been drawing to Ochoa’s delight, for it used to be undeniable that his males had no take pleasure in for operating off from a prize, and particularly one who have been prepared, through God, to tempt them around and rake them with a broadside.

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