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The Man in the Iron Mask (The D'Artagnan Romances #3.4)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  42,888 ratings  ·  547 reviews
The Musketeers are back in another exciting adventure! This time a terrible
secret threatens to bring down the throne of France. Aramis, Athos, Porthos,
and d'Artagnan must rally once again to serve their king and save the country!
Paperback, 656 pages
Published October 22nd 1998 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1845)
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Sesana
Perhaps the most surprising thing about The Man in the Iron Mask, to me, was just how quickly the title subplot was dealt with. Then again, this was not originally called The Man in the Iron Mask. This is the last chunk in a larger book. I can see why it gets cut up like that. This part alone was over 400 pages. And the introduction gave a coherent enough synopsis of what came before that I could follow. Maybe I should have read it all, since I do like reading Dumas the elder.

Back in the 90s, I
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Bridgette Redman
It pains me to write this because I am, at heart, a print person. My paycheck depends on people wanting and buying printed materials. But this is one instance where the movie far outshines the book and I'm glad there was a screenwriter with a vision to see beyond this dismal book.

I had just read Three Musketeers by Dumas when I read this book. Perhaps it was the pleasure I took in this early book that spoiled Man in the Iron Mask.

Man in the Iron Mask starts out well. There is all the chivalry an
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Ensiform
Edited and annotated by David Coward, from an older translation. Well, the mammoth saga of the once-invincibles comes to a rather sad end. Porthos dies because his strength gives out. Aramis flees France in disgrace because his schemes come to ruin. And Athos dies because the one thing dearer to him to God, his son, leaves his company to go die in the Africa campaigns under the Duke of Beaufort. And d’Artagnan – well, d’Artagnan’s star does not decline under the sun king, but that’s only because ...more
Christina
I wish I could give this three stars, but this book truly was "just okay." The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After must be read before this book, otherwise you will be very confused. I'm surprised that The Man in the Iron Mask is more famous than Twenty Years After (although neither are good stand-alone novels; they really require reading the previous novels first) because I found TYA to be much more humorous, more exciting, and more engaging all around. The only thing I liked more about TMi ...more
aPriL eVoLvEs (ex-Groot)
Everyone in the book lives behind an iron mask-built of honor first and foremost. Honor is first before riches or political place or family or work. I am torn. As much as I am in love with the Musketeers I cannot accept the code of honor they live by. Because they adhere so religiously to their honor code they are led into life threatening and adventurous episodes which entertain in reading but left me mystified by the underlying dismal outcomes in most cases. The characters who followed the fas ...more
Adam
Magnificent, incredible, et cetera. I can't overstate how much I loved this story. I think Dumas is among the most entertaining of the classical writers. A huge cast of character and an epic story full of love, hate, friendship, betrayal, politics and actions. A favorite of mine.
Jim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joya Martin
Excellent story, but I was a bit disappointed that the Hollywood version is only loosely based on this book. The man in the iron mask turns out to be a side plot, and not the centerpiece of this final Musketeers novel.
Erika
I didn't know how to review this book and just started writing randomly until some thoughts about the book illuminated me and I could write some a proper rant about this book review.

So, here it is.

First, I never really figured out it was part of a series "The D'Artagnan Romances", so when I found this book free for being public domain I couldn't stop myself and got it immediately. I was really excited to start this book. I don't really remember the movie but I remember I liked it, that's why I
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Emi
i really loved this book, but was severely disappointed at the end,which while did its job felt very rushed and quite lacking compared to the thrilling and very well-written middle and climax.
there were areas at the beginning and at the end that were really rather weak and even a little bit boring. aramis played a much larger part in this book, and it's interesting to see him portrayed as almost an antagonist in his ideals and attempt at dethroning louis xiv. i was really sad that my favourite c
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Scoats
As I advance on my quest to read all the books I have obtained over the years, I have come to this.My copy of this book most likely came from a thrift store or flea market and cost almost nothing. I may well have had this in my possession for over 20 years; who knows.

From what I've read, this is the final book of Dumas's Three Musketeers saga. There's a reason why the Three Musketeers have had such staying power.

Wow. Dumas was a quite a writer. The plots and intrigues, mostly advanced through c
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Fiona
Since I seem to be giving up books at the moment. I probably will come back to this at some point, but the friend I've been reading it with agrees that the Frenchmen are not sassy enough for our readalong, and the whole thing lacks the charm of Musketeers, so we are swapping it out for the Scarlet Pimpernel as soon as either of us can get our hands on a copy. Decent book, but not fit for current purpose.
Justin
I am not sure where to begin with this one. I have not read any of the other Three Musketeer books, this was my first foray into them, and I was very much not impressed.

For starters; what I have grown up thinking the Musketeers were, are not what was portrayed in this book. Aramis was a deceiving usurper who only had political intrigue and advancement in mind. There was barely any mention that the king did not care about his subjects. And other than being an ungrateful brat the king had done no
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Leslie
I never thought I'd ever say it, but I have finally met a book whose movie I like infinitely better. Before I begin my list of complaints, I must say that I respect Dumas as a great classic writer, and I did try to just write off his style as something in the revered past. However, I could find no excuse to explain the lack of interesting plot or story. As I slogged through the 700 + pages, I kept hoping for Dumas's sake that the story would pick up, but the characters just kept talking to each ...more
Grace Viray
I would have given this 4 stars if not for the ending. It was just full of deaths and losses that I couldn't help but compare this book to the famous loosely based adaptation Man In The Iron Mask circa 1990s which ended with the usurper Philippe being king, and only D'Artagnan sacrificing his life. Here, in the original, [spoilers below] only Aramis survived and he, too, was surprisingly almost painted as the antagonist in this story with his greed and ambitious ascent to papacy. Porthos, with h ...more
Abigail Hartman
I came to The Man in the Iron Mask with no more experience with Dumas than what The Count of Monte Cristo could give me - that is to say, with no experience at all with the three musketeers. Naturally, this left me rather confused in the early days of this last D'Artagnan romance: I knew the history of "the squirrel" (which constitutes a massive spoiler, but what are you to do when writing a historical novel?), but none of the intrigues that the characters would keep referring to. In fact this m ...more
Tifnie
Well at this rate I should average about 12 books this year.

I enjoyed The Count of Monte Cristo so much that I went and bought The Man in the Iron Mask and started reading it almost immediately.

However, I have to say it took about 250 pages into the book to start enjoying the story and thus expediting my reading speed.

The Man in the Iron Mask has very little to do with the man in the iron mask. In fact, it doesn't reveal itself until well past 200 pages and then it is so short lived I couldn't h
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Chris
First I must admit that even though I've seen a few movie renditions, this is the first time I've read this book. Furthermore, this is the first book I've read by Dumas…and it is kind of a strange place to start considering this is the ending of one of his famous series.

The first thing I noticed about the writing was that it was VERY detailed. Not only in terms of descriptions but also in terms of the character and political development. I quickly found myself overwhelmed with dozens of names, r
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Liz
I really, really wish I had known before I started reading this that it was actually the last book of a four part series. I had no idea, but as I began reading I started to have the sneaking suspicion that I was missing something. I did some quick research and…sure enough…found out about the other three books. I had heard of Twenty Years After, but I didn’t know it was part of a series, and the middle two books were completely obscure to me. It begs the question as to why The Man In The Iron Mas ...more
Zana
Finally, the book in which things actually happen!

(view spoiler)
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Robyn Blaber
The Man in the Iron Mask is a little like a Wikipedia page on French history that jumps out of your monitor and dances around on your desk. The characters are well known to us as we get into this story as we see the return of the three musketeers and D'Artagnon who has now become the captain of the company.

The intrigue surrounds a fabled twin brother of Louis XIV and gives an insight into the reign of the said king. The story of Fouquet, which leads to the creation of the Palace of Versailles wa
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Lori Anderson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff Collett
Well it is all over. The journey of the four musketeers is done. Obviously it would have to come to an end at some point but none the less I am disappointed that I will no longer have the superb writing and witty characters to journey through every day. For six months I have read through them all and even to the end the quality of Dumas' writing still impressed me to the end.

The actual story line in this one disappointed me a little. I guess I expected the man in the iron mask to achieve more a
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Silvana
Another boring work from Monsieur Dumas after The Three Musketeers.

Okay okay, not that boring. Perhaps I'm not accustomed in reading "royal conversations" or whatever high level language used by Dumas, but I find it really dull. It was a struggle for me to finish that book, with more than 350 pages. I can read Victor Hugo's 1000-pages (at least) Les Miserables, but this book? There's just too many descriptions and the dialogues made me kinda dizzy.

Why I do not give only one stars in this review
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BJ Rose
This book was not at all what I expected - how could I have gone so long being unaware that The Man in the Iron Mask is only the vehicle for everything else that happens to the musketeers? Poor Philip was content/resigned to his imprisonment until Aramis decided to try to use him to unseat the corrupt King Louis - when that failed, Philip ended up in the iron mask and then disappeared from the story.

There was a sad inevitability to everything that happened to Aramis and poor Porthos after the fa
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Alyson
I loved the Count of Monte Cristo, so I thought I would like this. It was exciting for the first 1/3, then I had to force myself to finish it. There was no real plot, just a lot of french politics that I didn't understand. Maybe there was something in the story that I completely missed--I've done that before, but in my defense, the novella was in German. This book should be called "How the Musketeers Die," because the man in the iron mask is hardly part of the story at all. I guess it didn't hel ...more
Lablover
I have never found Dumas to be an easy read but there is something I like about his work. (I don't how friggin' long he is that's for damn sure.) However, I love the action packed adventure, the internal struggle involving values such as loyalty and friendship For example, D'Artagnan disagrees with his king so will he remain loyal to him or to his friends that fought beside him?
Many people don't feel that this book is appropriately titled because the man in the iron mask is a secondary story. Ho
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K.
Very good ending to the series. It was very fun. This book actually had quite a bit more sentiment and purpose than the others.

I got a little sick of Raoul's life-threatening love sickness, but other than that it was great. It actually had some nice lines in it, but I don't have time to add them like I would like.

I found the ending to be a bit of a let-down, but I don't know how else Dumas could have done it. I guess it was fitting, but all the same, it seemed a bit rushed.

All in all, great s
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Ramon Ruiz
"The Man in the Iron Mask" by Alexandre Dunas is an exciting tale of an attempt to over throw the king. As well as it's a continuation of the book "The Three Musketeers". Throughout the book it shows many themes of: love, friendship, family, and loyalty. But from all of those loyalty is a major theme.
The book start of in one of Frances most feared prisons the Bastille. Where we are greeted by a former musketeer Aramis, who is there to hear a prisoner's confession. The prisoners only crime was th
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John Taloni
Curiously unengaging. The "Man in the Iron Mask" is dispensed with in the first half of the book. I read the other D'Artagnan Romances following Three Musketeers so that I could approach this book fully informed. I expected a juggernaut. Well, Count of Monte Cristo delivered on its promise, but this book did not. The action largely trails off unsatisfactorily. Porthos is presented for comedy except for a moment of tragedy. The action is largely French against French. Louis XIV seems to be a comp ...more
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4785
This note regards Alexandre Dumas, père, the father of Alexandre Dumas, fils (son). For the son, see Alexandre Dumas.

Alexandre Dumas, père (French for "father", akin to Senior in English), born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. Many of his no
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More about Alexandre Dumas...
The Count of Monte Cristo The Three Musketeers Twenty Years After (The D'Artagnan Romances, #2) Robin Hood The Black Tulip

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“I am strong against everything, except against the death of those I love. He who dies gains; he who sees others die loses.” 80 likes
“Does the open wound in another's breast soften the pain of the gaping wound in our own? Or does the blood which is welling from another man's side staunch that which is pouring from our own? Does the general anguish of our fellow creatures lessen our own private and particular anguish? No, no, each suffers on his own account, each struggles with his own grief, each sheds his own tears.” 30 likes
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