I'm making this post primarily so suffolkgirl and I have somewhere to record our thoughts on re-reading Niccolo Rising without spoiling those of you reading it for the first time.
One thing that I found so remarkable on re-read was how biased the point of view is in the early sections. We're in Julius's point of view in the first chapter! That's both creepy and wonderful. Dunnett was manipulating the reader right from the very start. And even though you can feel that she is doing so, you don't know how she's doing so, because you don't get all the reveals until the final book. Her plotting across 8 books is masterful!
I'm braindead tonight, so that's all I've got for now. But feel free to drop notes in the comments and I'll definitely come back and natter. *G*
ETA: Spoilers for the WHOLE SERIES in comments.
So I've just got to the bit in NR when they visit the de Fleurys in Geneva, and notice that Julius is definitely trying to stir up Nicholas against the de Fleurys - trying to get him as an ally against the St Pols? Some of his thoughts about Nicholas - that he would grow up and be useful - definitely imply this. I notice that Nicholas also mentions Adelina to Tobie (though not by name).
Ohhh, interesting! Yes, I remember being quite chilled by Julius on re-read of NR and suprised how much the signs were there--both that he was attempting to maniuplate Niccolo and that his view of him was very limited.
I don't remember the mention of Adelina, but in general I remember on re-read I noticed there were a lot more hints about N's childhood than I had noticed on first read.