Finally finished this. It took me some time to get into the story and its cast of often unlikable and/or confusing characters, but I ended up enjoying the last third a lot, and on that basis will read the next one. Though Lymond himself remained an epic woobie to the end*, circumstances made him less annoying and I found myself being interested in other people. I even managed to sort out most of the plot by giving up on the overarching politics and focusing on the characters, which it turns out allows one to follow the overarching politics (mostly) and indeed start having an idea what the characters are going to do. I do think that there is a bit of an issue with the trial, in which after several years of presumed treachery, rape, pillage, definitely generally annoying people, and as a result being a person of whom it is apparently not an obviously ludicrous idea to suggest blew up his sister to conceal she was pregnant with his bastard child, nonetheless almost everyone is willing at some point or other to say "Fair argument, you've not got any proof but we'll accept you're not guilty of this issue" until there are hardly any charges left. So really, why didn't he write to his Mum three years ago to seek assistance in proving his innocence, since a lot of people were evidently disposed to think well of him? (Answer: because he was suffering so much, of course.) The hurt/comfort excess in the last section is boggling (really, both at literally the same time?). Brilliant sword-fight, though, and I became rather fond of Richard. If expect that if Lymond were my brother I'd want to hurt him, too.
If you can keep your head when all around are losing theirs, your surname is probably Somerville.
*Literally, in that it finishes with a hug from his mother. Though the careful avoidance of indicating how old he is, flagged by Richard's comment about Will Scott, inclines me to think that he is in fact probably only meant to be about 20-22, which explains quite a lot.
He Who Reigns in Strelsau by el_staplador. AU The Prisoner of Zenda that starts from the premise that Rudolf Rassendyll meets Duke Michael's men in a Ruritanian forest, instead.
Various Sue Barton, Nurse books (Helen Dore Boylston), courtesy of antisoppist. Very engagingly written, with lots of fascinating historical detail about nursing in the north-east USA (and briefly New York) in the late 30s to early 50s (the one with no intervening war). Sue's eventual husband is really annoying, but at least the narrative isn't always on his side, and Sue's desire not to give up her profession in order to marry him is presented as an ongoing struggle. It was interesting just how many married women were shown working in the books, especially outside hospital jobs, though I don't think there were any women doctors.
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