Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles #4) by Dorothy Dunnett

 ‘To trace one man in Baden at the turn of the year was a strenuous but not a disagreeable task.’

Pawn in Frankincense opens in 1552, shortly after the end of The Disorderly Knights with Jerott Blyth and Philippa Somerville in Baden, looking for Francis Crawford of Lymond. Lymond is looking for his son, stolen by Sir Graham Reed Malett. This small blue-eyed boy is now a pawn in a dangerous game. Lymond, an emissary of France, aboard the royal galley Dauphiné, is bound for Algiers and Constantinople with gifts for Suleiman the Magnificent. Can Lymond use his position and resources to find his son?

Lymond and his followers become separated during the search: different clues point to different locations. And then we discover that there are two small blue-eyed boys: which one is Lymond’s, and where is he?

Eventually Lymond and his followers end up in Constantinople, where Sir Graham Reed Malett awaits him. This instalment of The Lymond Chronicles is packed with adventure and heartbreak and ends with a deadly chess game. Heartbreakingly difficult choices are required and must be made.

If you are new to The Lymond Chronicles, I strongly recommend reading the series in order. Both the main characters and the plot develop over the series.

Highly recommended historical fiction. I’ve read this series several times, and still find something new in each read.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith