By Dorothy Dunnett
With the bravura storytelling and stinky authenticity of element she dropped at her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett, grande dame of the ancient novel, provides 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 method to the helm of a mercantile empire.
The yr 1464 reveals Nicholas again in Venice. stricken by enemies bent on dissolving his resources and smearing his personality, he units sail for Africa, mythical situation of the Fountain of adlescent, domestic to a descendant of Sheba and Solomon, and the resource of gold in such abundance that males like 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 lady whose ardour for Nicholas is rivaled in simple terms through her wish to punish him for his function in her sister s demise. Erotic and luxurious with aspect, Scales of Gold embraces the complexity of the Renaissance, the place mercantile experience with extra own quests in the back of the silken curtains of the Age of Discovery.
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Extra info for Scales of Gold: The Fourth Book of The House of Niccolo
On their solution to the massive campaign at Ancona, to drop into his little campaign at the Barbary coast, and aid to unfastened a besieged Portuguese garrison. So, after opting for up a couple of additional ships –’ ‘Extra ships? ’ the priest acknowledged quick. ‘– this sort of being French, apparently the Burgundians have landed at Ceuta, followed between others by means of eighty-two volunteers from the town of Ghent wearing black with silver Gs on their backs, which i'm hoping the Barbary pirates can learn. experiences say they seem like staying for ever, however the Moors don’t appear to brain, and it’s most likely more affordable than going to Ancona, and well located if both the Pope or Duke Philip expires. ’ ‘Nicholas,’ Godscalc stated instantly. ‘A French send? ’ he additional. Nicholas smiled. ‘A roundship referred to as the Ribérac,’ he stated. ‘Found at Lagos, and commandeered for a year’s provider from its proprietor, who had simply introduced a shipment from Cyprus. the landlord being –’ ‘Jordan de Ribérac! ’ Loppe exclaimed. ‘You’ve chanced on the Doria? He restored her unique identify? There’s doubtless it’s the roundship he took from you? ’ ‘No,’ Nicholas stated. ‘But she’s now anchored off Ceuta? ’ ‘Awkward,’ Nicholas acknowledged. ‘But no longer with out probabilities. The honourable vicomte himself has been known as again to France. ’ ‘So who's with the send? ’ stated Loppe softly. ‘Crackbene? He used to be hired to deliver her from Cyprus; he may perhaps remain to sail her for Portugal? ’ nobody spoke. At each port, Nicholas had requested a few send, and a guy. Now the send have been came across. Godscalc stated, ‘I haven't any wisdom in any respect of the roundship; yet a sailing-master referred to as Michael Crackbene has been for a few weeks in legal for debt at Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Debt, and drink, and a killing. he's not likely to get out. ’ ‘I questioned in the event you knew,’ Nicholas acknowledged. ‘And if I hadn’t? ’ the priest stated. ‘It is our subsequent port of name. Or used to be to were. ’ ‘It nonetheless is,’ Nicholas stated. ‘Unless you need to purchase all of the shipment your self. ’ At Zibelterra, the strait that separated Spain from Barbary was once so slim that Gregorio, crusing previous, inspiration that yet for the mist he may have glimpsed the masts of the Portuguese fleet under Ceuta, and the excessive aspects of the Doria between them. The Doria, or the Ribérac, for which Nicholas had simply forfeited twenty-five thousand ducats, or its identical. Small ask yourself he intended to have the send again. Small ask yourself he was once looking Mick Crackbene, who had left his employment unexpectedly on Cyprus, and, taking agreement with Jordan de Ribérac, had sailed the outdated guy and his grandson and the boat out of everyone’s achieve. Or so he had inspiration. Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the port of Seville, lay within the chillier, unfriendly ocean west of Cádiz, and shut to the purpose the place the Spanish frontier met that of Portugal and buying and selling galleys certain for London or Flanders may organize for the lengthy trip north, previous Biscay and the wine ports of Gascony. From right here, galleys basically went north, or became again eastwards. as the trip upriver to Seville was once sluggish, the Ciaretti lay in Sanlúcar to dump and cargo, denying her passengers a glimpse of the effete and lovely nation of Castile, whose courtroom most well liked Saracen customs.