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.
I've always loved that phrase in the very first scene of Niccolo Rising - "a good astrologer would have taken Julius by the hand..." and told him to keep well away from Simon, Katelina etc. It's a very amusing line.
But now having read the whole series, the line takes on a whole new context. How Julius' life would have taken a very different path if he'd just walked away from the St Pols.
BTW, is it ok to talk openly about spoilers for the later books in this thread? I saw someone who only had read the first book comment and I don't want to spoil them.
As for Tobie...I liked him from the scene where he finds Nicholas crying after he's been stabbed by Simon. Something in Tobie's reaction to that made me like him instantly - maybe it's that he's very compassionate still tactful enough not to intrude.
I've always loved that phrase in the very first scene of Niccolo Rising - "a good astrologer would have taken Julius by the hand..."
Same! It is a wonderful line and takes on so much more resonance once you read to the end of the series.
I fear my original post was not clear--I've edited it. I think we're safe to talk about the whole series now, as I've warned dionusia above that this is what I'd meant it for.
Something in Tobie's reaction to that made me like him instantly - maybe it's that he's very compassionate still tactful enough not to intrude.
I think you're right--I warmed to him very early on too and that seemed a very balanced, compassionate response. I like the way Tobie strives to understand N but also respects his boundaries.