Race of Scorpions by Dorothy Dunnett – 20 Books of Summer 2023

Race of Scorpions by Dorothy Dunnett was first published in 1989 and it’s a while since I read it, it was way back in June in fact. It’s quite a difficult one to write about I think, especially from such a distance! It’s the third book in the Niccolo series.

The year is 1462 and Nicholas van der Poele is now a widower and his step-daughters see him as their enemy, they have booted him out of the Charetty family business despite the fact that he has done so much work to build the business up. He’s not aggrieved though, he has moved on and travels in Europe with his band of mercenaries, sailing the Mediterranean, and being attacked and boarded by enemies. He ends up being caught between rival siblings, Carlotta and James, both of whom are vying for the throne of Cyprus.

As ever there’s an awful lot going on in this series, and you have to keep your wits about you, they’re not ideal bedtime reading for that reason and it’s probably getting on for two months since I read this one, I always find them difficult to write about because they’re so convoluted. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the two previous books, but I already have the others in the series so I’ll carry on with it.

This one was on my original list of 20 Books of Summer.