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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mr. H. D. Durant on 21-09-17

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!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 16-05-17

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.

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15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ji Gittins on 22-07-18

Really enjoyed this!

Really enjoyed this book, it was really interesting and the story seems like it was quite close to historical fact (or legends). it took me a while to get used to the narrator, I preferred the narrator of Conn Igguldens War of the Roses series, but I did get used to Geoffrey Beevers voice after a while and think he did a really good job. Well worth listening to

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5 out of 5 stars
By Gvido on 20-06-18

Great read... or listen

I really enjoyed this one. It's very well written and capturing story. The historical setting is intriguing and action packed background for this book, and well combined with the life of the main character, Dunstan. The characters have great depth. The choices taken on some few name changes from factual historical names and some other decisions by the author are logical, and improve the story without damaging the historical background.

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