Dunstan by Conn Iggulden

 Dunstan cover

Dunstan by Conn Iggulden was published in 2017 and I was given my copy by a friend who had managed to buy it twice, it’s good to know that other people do that too!

The setting is 10th century England. The king is Athelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, but the book is Dunstan’s account of his life beginning with his first memories and going on to tell how he and his younger brother were taken to a monastery by their father and left there to get an education. The money paid over by their father is desperately needed by the religious order, but that doesn’t mean that they get special treatment by the brothers. It’s a rough and brutal upbringing, but Dunstan manages to impress the abbot and it’s believed by most in the religious community that Dunstan has been touched by an angel.

He has huge ambition and a love of learning, especially when it comes to architecture and construction and nothing is going to stop him from getting what he wants out of life – but that means he has to become a monk/priest which isn’t something that he’s really cut out for. On the other hand he does have a dislike of women and that ends up impacting on the lives of the other monks who had been allowed to marry in the early Christian Church. It doesn’t make him popular but as Dunstan is happy to sin grievously through his life, being a bit unpopular isn’t going to bother him.

Dunstan ended up being close to kings, seven of them in all and according to this book which appears to be well researched he was very much a flawed character, and that seems very likely to me.

This is a great read, my first by the author but not my last.

6 thoughts on “Dunstan by Conn Iggulden

  1. I loved this one too. It was my first Iggulden as well, and I get the impression it’s a bit different from his usual style. But one of these days I’ll get around to trying something else of his…

  2. I’ve only read one book by Conn Iggulden – Stormbird – and didn’t really enjoy it, but that could just be because I’ve read a lot of other Wars of the Roses books that I thought were better. I know very little about 10th century England, though, and this book does sound great, so maybe I’ll give Iggulden another try!

    • Helen,
      As it happens, I’ve just finished reading Stormbird, I really liked it – even more than Dunstan, but it’s the first book about the Wars of the Roses that I’ve read and I felt I learned a lot. I’ll have a look to see which other books from that era you have read and enjoyed.

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