Dunstan by Conn Iggulden


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, 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 ...

Details Dunstan

Release DateMay 4th, 2017
PublisherMichael Joseph
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Literature, 10th Century

Reviews Dunstan

  • Emily May
    There is never one truth, one love, or one enemy. I wish it had been so simple. The Abbot's Tale is just an example of really great storytelling. Conn Iggulden recreates the life of an important but lesser known figure from history - Dunstan of Glastonbury - in a story filled with action, careful manipulations, and grim humour.Dunstan was a great mind and, as great minds tended to do in the Middle Ages, he turned to the church as a way of realizi...
  • Louise Wilson
    Set in the days of Anglo-Saxon England in the year 937. England is a nation that's divided. It's ruled by minor Kings and Viking Lords.Conn Igguiden was an English teacher before he started writing full-time. He has a talent in writing history that makes you feel you are living through the parts he is writing about. This is a beautifully written historical fiction novel.I would like to thank NetGalley, Penguin UK - Michael Joseph and the author C...
  • Margaret
    It seems to be my week for reading books about unlikeable characters."Dunstan" by Conn Iggulden is a stand alone novel in the autobiographical novel category. The Dunstan in question is Saint Dunstan, builder of both Glastonbury Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral and spiritual advisor to several early English/Wessex kings.Iggulden interprets some events from the life of Dunstan in very interesting ways! His Dunstan is far from a saint - being a bully...
  • Terri
    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 i...
  • Kate
  • Fiona
    4.5 stars. I have always forgiven my enemies, but only when they have been punished. Thus spake Dunstan!Conn Igguilden is to be admired for creating such a memorable character. Very little is known of St Dunstan other than the bare facts, e.g. his clerical career, family relationships, and his rebuilding of an abbey in Glastonbury where he was Abbot and a cathedral in Canterbury (not the current version) while Archbishop there. He was involved at...
  • Laura
    Very entertaining and very informative. Written with great acerbic tongue lashings and humor. Dunstan is painted as quite the unchristian monk, abbot, bishop and archbishop. I have always forgiven my enemies, but only when they have been punished. I will turn the other cheek, but I prefer my enemies to be dead when I do, so they cannot strike at me. He accomplished some amazing feats and played the game of kings quite well, fueled by a serious...
  • Stephen
    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...
  • Jeanette
    3.5 stars rounded up for the historical record feel. To me the reading experience was varied. It started out quite slow, almost a coming of age type of tale. But within 50 more pages became enthralling. The rise and path of Dunstan was beyond interesting, and not only for his intrepid personality. The bond he feels with the forged metals, the signs of math and physics principles of form- in this age! That aspect I just loved. And in the 2nd quart...
  • Linda
    Do you think the author had fun writing this book? I had fun reading it. I confess I initially thought I was reading a book by a minor prophet from THE HOLY BIBLE. The action took place in the tenth century A.D. when the small kingdoms of England evolved into one kingdom with one high king. The main character, Dunstan, was a rascal--but a good one. Reader, take that comment any way you choose. He confessed his sins so well that I started to worry...
  • Megan
    2.5 stars.Look, it wasn't bad by any means, but once my interest began to wane, I just found it really hard to get back into it properly in the last half of the novel.Dunstan was a figure that I hadn’t come across before, and I was completely unfamiliar with his story and this time period, so I was looking forward to exploring it. I really loved the first part – the writing was incredible, and I got so sucked in. …And then Dunstan got stuck...
  • Robin
    Sadly, I am going to have to not finish this autobiographical novel of the historical Dunstan, a 10th century Abbot of Glastonbury who was canonized as a saint. I hate doing that with an ARC because I feel like by receiving a free ARC, I'm obligated to finish it, but I know that's not actually a part of NetGalley's rules or expectations so I'm doing it.The beginning of The Abbot's Tale just did not grab me. The prologue was sort of rambling, and ...
  • Robin Carter
    ReviewSo far from Conn Iggulden we have had Caesar, Genghis, Margaret of Anjou and the other major players in the War of the Roses…. So whom would he pick next, which shining light of history would he dazzle us with?Dunstan? who the heck is Dunstan?Full Review: Click link
  • BluePhoenix5
    This book was beautifully written. It grabbed me from the first. Recommended for all those who love historical fiction!
  • Daphne Sharpe
    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 De...
  • Yvonne
    *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 artis...
  • Aaron
    It is the Year of Our Lord 937, and England has just started coming together as a nation as the Vikings continue to hammer its coastal cities. History is not just the story of events, but also of the people who live them. Dunstan is actually one such person who helped guide the era. He started his life as the eldest son of a minor noble with his second wife in his years of retirement in Wessex.As his father was growing older and older, he made ar...
  • Sean
    Received from Netgalley and Penguin UK for honest review.The premise of this book was good and it thoroughly lived up to the hype. A wonderful tale of growing up and living life in 937 AD.Centres around Brother Dunstan as he grows into being the abbot of Glastonbury.A really entertaining and enjoyable read,that showed Dunstan having his ups and downs,as Vengeance is a fine thing.Really enjoyed this one
  • Connie
    I enjoyed this book though I have to admit I'd never heard of Dunstan of Glastonbury before. The story is told by Dunstan from when he and his younger brother Wulfric are sent to Glastonbury to be schooled by the monks, to his friendships with kings, his rise to power and of course no man rises to power without enemies.Dunstan is ambitious, sometimes ruthless to get what he wants, he's an anti-hero but you can't help but like him... well sometime...
  • Dee Arr
    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley.“I have always forgiven my enemies, but only when they have been punished.” These are the thoughts of Dunstan, Abbot of Canterbury. A biting wit colors his world, and though the book makes readers wish to cheer for good to happen to him, we also see the stain of darkness that colors his soul. When one dabbles in the political world of the 10th century, it seems it is i...
  • Nicholas Parsons
    Iggulten has found a great character who gives us an intriguing insight into an offten overlooked period of history. The character and the period appeared to be well researched. It's hard to identify what makes this period intriguing. In many ways, it's primitive, brutal, and confined to one miserable little island in the backwaters of Europe. But it is fascinating to see how order emerged from the vacuum the Romans left behind in this little isl...
  • Phoebe
    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 vo...
  • Lynne
    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 ...
  • Christina McLain
    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 Co...
  • Jennifer (JC-S)
    ‘What is a first line, but a door flung open by an unseen hand?’England in 937 CE is a divided nation. Several minor kings and Viking lords rule, each looking to expand his own power and territory. Æthelstan, the king of Wessex and grandson of Alfred the Great, is looking to the north. Can one man unite the country?And Dunstan, a fatherless child raised by monks, will play a part.‘I was just an empty sheet, waiting to be bitten deep.’Who...
  • J. Jones
    Big fan of Conn Iggulden and own all of his books so when I heard he had written a new novel about a favourite period of history of mine, Anglo Saxon times, I was really excited. This is an era of history that usually gets overlooked in favour of Roman or Greek history.I'm not a huge fan of books written in first person although some carry it off very well like Bernard Cornwell's Last Kingdom series, but this one seems to work.There is not as muc...
  • Cheryl
    I was quite surprised that I enjoyed this book, with such an unlikable main character. This book is an autobiographical fiction, where Saint Dunstan tells his life story. This time period has a lack of records and to piece together histories, some liberties must occur. I think the author did a good job in telling a fictional story of the real life Saint Dunstan. Although fictional, the character is very believable and I would think very much in l...
  • Kennethkiffer
    I started out reading the first few chapters not particularly liking Dunstan very much. By the end of the book, though, I wanted to read more about him. I guess he's an anti-hero, not too dissimilar from Wilbur Smith's Taita but a lot more malicious, selfish and self absorbed; he somehow became someone we could root for despite not being particularly heroic. I guess that's the beauty of this book: he's definitely not an angel, but he triumphs thr...
  • Simon
    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 hi...