The Lymond Chronicles:
-- Vol. 1 --
The Game of Kings

Francis Crawford/Arrow Paperback Cover
"...Lord Culter, armed, with a long scratch across one cheek from his scrambling chase after Scott, was sitting still on his horse at the edge of the trees.
Amid deathly silence, Buccleuch rode over to him. Within touching distance he halted and, leaning across, gripped Culter's reins close to the bit, so that the other could not move.
"So I see. You're having a bonny revenge for the cattle raid?"
Culter shook his head. "I only want Lymond."
"You only want Lymond," repeated Buccleuch, and flung the reins from him so that Culter's horse jumped and reared, neighing. "You only want Lymond and you're ready to sacrifice everyone and everything for it. Your mother - your wife - the folk who used to be friends. How many friends have you got now? Tell me that."
"Enough to yap at your heels while you trample busily back and forth over the rest of us in this panic-stricken muddleheaded harrying you're launched on! ..."
In 1547, just as an English army is invading, Francis Crawford of Lymond, Master of Culter, sets foot once more in his homeland of Scotland. Five years earlier he had been accused and sentenced as a traitor. Now he is the head of a reivers' gang, playing one warring side against the other.
Will Scott, the heir of Buccleuch and an adept of moral philosophy, joins this troop. Fascinated at first by the unscrupulous leader, he soon begins to have doubts about what Lymond really wants. Is he out to prove his innocence, to help the English, or perhaps even to ruin his own family?

No one can quickly outmatch the cynical hero of this historical novel. The plot is also full of unexpected twists: the uncertainty about the real nature of the main character, taking in one person the part of villain and romantic hero; the feud between the brothers Francis and Richard; and the endgame, where the setting alternates between a trial and a card game.

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