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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.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful
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