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 thelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to throw a spear into the north. As would-be kings line up to claim the throne, one man stands in their way. Dunstan, a fatherless child raised by monks on the moors of Glastonbury Tor, has learned that real power comes not from God, but from discovering one's true place on Earth. Fearless in pursuit of his own interests, his ambition will take him from the courts of princes to the fields of battle, from exile to exaltation. For if you cannot be born a king, or made a king, you can still anoint a king. Under Dunstan's hand, England may come together as one country - or fall apart in anarchy . . . From Conn Iggulden, one of our finest historical writers, Dunstan is an intimate portrait of a priest and murderer, liar and visionary, traitor and kingmaker - the man who changed the fate of England....
|Number of Pages||:||464 pages|
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Iggulden fleshes out in spectacular detail the ambitious, often ruthless 10th century man called Dunstan, builder of Glastonbury Cathedral and Archbishop of Canterbury. England isn't yet England as it will become, but rather a collection of little kingdoms all in contest with one another for power. Dunstan is sent with his brother to be educated at the Abbey and readers will quickly appreciate the brilliance of Iggulden, who uses Dunstan's own voice to tell his story as he rises in rank, influen ...more
This was such an out of the blue decision to read but a bloody good one!
I was enthralled by this book and the story of the saint, Dunstan. I had never heard of him before but he is such an intriguing character. Many characters throughout with book were wonderfully fleshed out and complex.
I really am a sucker for bildungsroman stories and the continuation of a person's life too. It is interesting to see the character change and the world around him change too.
It isn't a work of art but I honestly ...more
thanks to the publishers and netgalley for free copy in return for and open honest review.
enjoyed this historical fiction novel about an important person in the early days of the creation of England and how the author makes you believe that you are there in Saxon England amongst the monks at Glastonbury or the Royal court at Winchester. As we follow the trials and life of Dunstan as well of those of the emerging nation of England and battles with the Danes. Felt the only downside was more the no ...more
Before I read this book,I knew three things about Dunstan. Firstly, he was involved in raising monies and designing Glastonbury Cathedral . The second and third things came from my father who was a blacksmith and farrier, namely that Dunstan was the patron saint of blacksmiths and Dunstan caught the Devil by the nose with a pair of red hot pincers, and having seen this last item straight from the forge, could almost sympathise with the unlucky Devil!!
However, men can be Devils too and the autho ...more
*I would like to thank Netgalley for my ARC for my honest and unbiased opinion*
Set in AD 937, when England is not a unified country. It is ruled by minor kings and is under attack.
It is a period of unrest, war, power struggles and rebellions. I was aware of variuos names of the period but not much other detail.
The author states that there are sections that he has filled in to make it work as a piece of historical fiction. Effectively using artistic license to create a story of what "could have ...more
Heard about this through the excellent History Hit podcast and have really enjoyed it. Not an era of particular familiarity, apart from Michael Wood's 'In Search of the Dark Ages' (still have my signed copy complete with Anglo-Saxon salutation), but Iggulden spins a rich tale featuring the complex and fascinating character of Dunstan. Although a cleric, first a monk, bishop and later archbishop, Dunstan is also a wily politician much in the mode of the much later Thomas Wolsey who lives through ...more
This was an excellent retelling of the life of St. Dunstan who was both Archbishop of Canterbury and Abbott of Glastonbury and who served under seven Anglo-Saxon kings in the century before the Norman invasion of England. Like many people I always think of the period between the end of Roman Britain and 1066 as the Dark Ages, when, in truth, it was a vibrant period for the burgeoning nation. Several English cities prospered with trade with the Continent, massive cathedrals were built and much of ...more
Well, I think it pretty obvious that Conn Iggulden relished breathing life into this complicated creature called Dunstan. What a joy it is to read books that are so clearly a work of pride by the author. And he should be proud. This was a bloody good book. The best I have read of him so far… but of course, I have not yet read everything he has written.
Now, Dunstan of Glastonbury is not your typical feel-good protagonist. Don’t expect to go into this book backing him to the hilt throughout his j ...more