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Publisher's Summary

'I have broken my vows. I have murdered innocents. I have trod down the soil over their dead face with my bare heels, and only the moon as witness. I have loved a woman and she ruined me. I have loved a king and yet I ruined him.'

The year is 937. England is a nation divided, ruled by minor kings and Viking lords. Each vies for land and power. The Wessex king Æthelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, is readying himself to throw a spear into the north. Behind him stands Dunstan, the man who will control the destiny of the next seven kings of England and the fate of an entire nation. Welcome to the original game for the English throne.

©2017 Conn Iggulden (P)2017 Penguin Books Ltd.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 05-16-17

Dunstan Isn't quite a Caesar

Conn Iggulden has made a name for himself as a star in the world of historical fiction by taking massive icons such as Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan and doing their legends full justice. Dunstan, might not have quite their fame and notoriety but his story is definitely worth hearing. He's a different kind of character, not a front man but a man of influence and power of various levels across a long period of time.

He's also not as admirable or easy to like, in fact some of his character traits are definitely more flaws rather than strengths. He was however a great mind and a big influence on a formative part of British history. The story begins with a harsh early monastic education at Glastonbury, a place which holds sway over Dunstan throughout his life. I found it fascinating and engaging but possibly not quite as gripping as Iggulden's other works. Towards the end, as many life stories tend to it felt as though it petered out just a little.

In Audiobooks Iggulden has famously made the odd poor choice of narrator but I don't think anyone could fault Geffrey Beevers and his treatment of Dunstan's story.

At the end of the book there are some excellent historical notes which give a comprehensive overview of how the author has woven historical fact, as far as we know it from those times, into his tale. I always appreciate it when authors take the time to do this.

So, a fine effort from one of the premier writers of historical fiction. It's more fascinating than exciting but with that proviso aside I'd recommend it to people who have enjoyed his other books.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. H. D. Durant
  • 09-21-17

Fantasy story about a truly great man

This book and story should be know by everyone. Dunstan was an amazing man and hugely important to the founding of England. First heard about him from the Rex Factor podcast (definitely worth a listen too) and great to see Iggulden has brought him to life. Everyone loves Dunstan!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • KAH
  • 09-12-17

Modern Classic

This is an epic story. It is incredibly well read.
I loved every minute of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • tim
  • 09-11-17

Brilliant

I was thrilled to hear Conn Iggulden had a new book out, but then disappointed slightly that it wasn't about a great leader or campaign.
I bought it anyway based on the previous enjoyment I found in the trilogy's and was very glad I did.
it's equally fascinating and well told as all the rest but with a different type of leader on a very different kind of personal, national and religious campaign all of his own, I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves rich history and intrigue.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Gyp
  • 05-19-17

Work of art

Full of wit, charm and a vein of malice. A book and reading to savour.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Craine
  • 11-12-17

Dunstan: a true story..... Mostly.

A really good book with great descriptive narration throughout the book, allows you to see Abbey & characters clearly. My first Conn Iggulden book, but not my last.
Let's see what else he has in store?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ms
  • 11-07-17

excellent

wonderful read credible characters and good history narrator is brilliant. Really enjoyed this book. Thank you

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-12-17

Dunstan

Reiterated my view of the church, full of greedy, ruthless, manipulative, ambitious men. Thoroughly enjoyed the book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 09-11-17

Great book which I wish had gone on.

Great book which I wish had stretched just that little bit further to cover the whole life of Dunstan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Uhtredson
  • 05-12-17

My bad

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Conn writes a great story and I am sure that people interested in a devious priest and his schemes will love the book

Who was your favorite character and why?

dunstan i guess

What does Geoffrey Beevers bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

it was a good performance by the narrotor

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

i was dissapointed as the synopsis led me to believe this was a book about a warrior not a priest ,,, I guess it was implied by the title of the book .. but i had no knowledge of Dunstan

3 of 5 people found this review helpful