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Approaching the End of Lymond, Once More

I've been re-reading the Lymond Chronicles, that huge, superb six-volume historical adventure epic by Dorothy Dunnett. I hadn't re-read it for several years, and besides, I've persuaded Sanada to take a crack at it as well, so I decided to keep her company on the long trip.

I'd thought of writing a post about my favorite scenes in each book, and I may yet do that. But I'm having an odd problem with the last volume, Checkmate .

I'm about halfway through, and I know I'm getting to the horrible bit. Lymond has already made his sad confession to the woman he loves, the one where he compares himself to a hunchback - the implication being that he wouldn't want anyone he cared about to marry such a cripple - and she has said she doesn't care. And he replies "I know you don't ... but you must excuse the hunchback, who does." There's about 90 pages until things get really, really wretched, and they're going to stay at that level until the climax of the book - which is also the culmination of the series, of course.

It's like I can see the crows circling (usually I'd have said "vultures," but something - probably Saiyuki - has made me think crows). And I don't want to go see what they're circling - because I know exactly what it is, without looking.

This is odd. I'm not the world's biggest fan of angst in stories, but when it resolves itself well, it's worth it. Food tastes best when you let yourself get hungry first, a cool swim is most pleasant on a scorching hot day, and a happy ending is all the more enjoyable when the characters and the reader both earn it. I know this will be worth it. Why am I having such a hard time pushing on?

It may be because I've been reading in sips. Sanada, reading the series for the first time with a busy RL schedule, has only just started The Disorderly Knights (vol. 3), so I have taken to reading only on the Metro, and in the morning I usually read the Post Express instead, too. I don't think I want to read this portion of the story that way. I may just have to sit down sometime this weekend and read the whole last half of the book at one swoop, and maybe have a good cry at the end.

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