To help you, this is a reposting of links and sources that I posted in my journal. Just be cautious of spoilers. In most cases, there are spoiler warnings, but it would also be good to tell people which book you're on so they can avoid spoilering you.
- lymond is our affiliate community here at LJ for both the Lymond and Niccolo books. It's somewhat small, but the members are knowledgeable and enthusiastic when discussions arise (as is true of all DD readers.) Most people there have read all the Lymond books and many have also read all the Niccolo books, which gives them a different perspective on things, as can be expected. But it also means you can ask them questions that other newbies might not be able to answer. Join it too!
- marzipan is a Yahoo!Group that is very active and incredibly knowledgeable. And incredibly detailed. For instance, the most current discussion is about the grammar of one verb in one sentence of one of the books. The files section is particularly fabulous, full of resources (and the most amazing family tree - for after you've read all of Lymond and Niccolo. Probably my single favorite piece of Dunnettiana ever. I keep printing out and using and losing it. I should just paste a copy inside the cover of each of the books.) And the people there know everything. Really. They're amazing. I believe that marzipan is the original DD fan group, THE fan group, from back in the days when everything was sent out by newsletter (have you heard of letters, children?) so there are some people there who really do know it ALL, patriarchs and matriarchs of the fandom. Respect the marzipan! It really is the best.
- GameofKings is another Yahoo!Group that's more like a book club, where they steadily read through one book at a time and discuss it in microscopic detail. Be warned, though, that it's described as a re-reading of the Lymond chronicles. Most people have already read all the books. DD readers are usually extremely discreet about spoilers, but beware anyway. (Oooh, and in their files, they have a Game of Kings introductory cheat-sheet for newbies. I've downloaded it, in case anyone needs that extra help.)
- Claes is a third Yahoo!Group that's about the Niccolo series, which is sort of a prequel to the Lymond series (but which was written after it, and it's better to read it after Lymond. And then you can read Lymond again to pick up all the things that the Niccolo series explains, and then read Niccolo again when you more fully understand what's going on, and then Lymond again, and...) The group also discusses other Dunnett works, including Lymond, the Dolly (Johnson Johnson) mysteries, King Hereafter (her novel about Macbeth), and even a modern short story, "A Proving Climb" which I personally adore because it's set on the tiny remote Scottish island of St. Kilda, and I've been there! You can download the story in the files section there.
- The Dorothy Dunnett website and Bill's Dunnett Blog (also viewable on LJ as dunnettblog ) are both run by Bill Marshall, one of the great patriarchs of the fandom (and a very nice man. I emailed with him a few times when I ordered the beautiful CD of The Musical Worlds of Niccolo and Lymond.)
- And last but certainly not least - indeed, usually my first stop for information - are the two volumes of The Dorothy Dunnett Companion. You can look up the historic personages who appear in the books, obscure words, foreign language quotations, lines from poetry and songs, battles, political events, traditions, etc. And fear not: they are highly discreet about spoilers.
Now read and enjoy! That's an order!