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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,092 ratings  ·  274 reviews
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, h
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Michael Joseph
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4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,092 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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Emily May
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 realizing his ambitions. Through the church, he climbed
Louise Wilson
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 Conn Igguiden for my ARC in exchange for an honest
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
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, a liar, a cheat, and a murderer. Given the time
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Wonderful. Now I plan to read more historical fiction. An engrossing novel. Iggulden has made Dunstan, a remarkable and intriguing man; come alive to us as a vivid, convincing character. Dunstan's achievements were epic. He also played a vital role in safeguarding England. I had forgotten what an incredible writer Iggulden is: I really felt as though I was reading a 9th century person's account if their life: while admitting to their shortcomings, sins and pride. NB this book has also been publi ...more
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 about my own sins, confessed or not. Dunstan used ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 different levels in the reigns of 7 kings over hi

Laura Tenfingers
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 case of ambition. It's a fascinating time period
Susan Johnson
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Dunstan of Glastonbury was an important figure in England in the 900's. He first came to power under King Aethelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, in 937. He was extremely young and had a vicious temper. He was quite mentally gifted and a master craftsman who dedicated his life to building the Abbey into a place of beauty. It lasted until Henry VIII dissolved it in his dissolution of the monasteries. I have actually been there and even the ruins are a thing of beauty.

In spite of his many tale
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 quarter of the book that was front and center.

Here's m
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is historical fiction featuring a real individual, fascinating on many levels with richly imagined detail of life in early England under King Athelstan. Dunstan of Glastonbury is followed from youth when his father deposits him along with younger brother Wulfric at the abbey where cruel lessons mark him for life. It is a difficult, dangerous path chosen by a young man who survives to build the abbey of his visions.
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 the first few chapters, the main character, Dunsta
Robin Carter
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing

So 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
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 at the abbey in his teenaged-years, and the more time s
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was beautifully written. It grabbed me from the first. Recommended for all those who love historical fiction!
Daphne Sharpe
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
*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
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 arrangements for Dunstan and his younger brother to
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
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
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rated-5
When it comes to reading about historical figures, Iggulden's books are the best.
Sham Issa
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
الشخصية تاريخية وعاشت في بدايات تكون انچلترا كرجل دين ارتفع وانخفض نجمه بحسب الملك الذي تعاقب على الحكم، ولكنه بالتأكيد عاش طويلاً وغزيراً، ووضع بصمته ليذكرها كتاب صدر في القرن الـ 21. أما عني فأنا أرفع القبعة للكاتب لتخيله 'دنستان' بهذه الصورة، رجل دين ببواطن قد ابتلي بها. اضحكني تناقض ظاهره وباطنه، وتنازع رغباته كإنسان أولاً، ورجل دين صارم ثانياً. لا نختلف كثيراً إذاً...
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 sometimes.
Christine Hancock
This book is about Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury, Bishop of Worcester and London, ultimately Archbishop of Canterbury - and Saint. He lived through the period when England moved from a collection of minor kingdoms to the country it is today. Some might say this process began with Alfred and completed by his grandson, Æthelstan. Dunstan played his part by reforming the church.

It takes a strong man to do this and the Dunstan we see in this book was certainly strong. I was reminded of the Thomas C
AudioBook Review:
Stars: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5

I’m an unabashed fan of intrigue and power games played in search of power, and while I admit to a favoritism for the Tudors, the oppoertunity to jump back into the nascent time of the Britain we all know was too good to pass up. Much like the flavor of a Wolf Hall or The White Queen, Iggulden takes us to Britain of long ago, 937 in fact, with the story of Dunstan of Glastonbury, and his rise to power and sainthood in bringing together a divi
Dee Arr
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-novel
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 impossible not to become tangled in the webs of intrigu
Nicholas Parsons
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 island me now now is England.

One thing that sets this
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought Dunstan by Conn Iggulden on a whim as it was an Audible deal of the day, and that turned out to be a wise decision.

The eponymous Dunstan was a leading churchman and statesman of the 10th century in England. Dunstan sees seven kings come and go during his long life and, as well as relating the tale of Dunstan's life, it is also their story too.

Using what little historians know of Dunstan from the early chroniclers, Conn Iggulden has created a fascinating and exciting tale full of intrig
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one, I got on one of the (Audible — it sales books that speak to you!) Daily Deals. It tells the story of Dunstan of Glastonbury, one of England’s most beloved saints. It’s a fictionalised account of the patron-saint of blacksmiths, a man who saw and served in one capacity or another seven kings of England, put the crown on the heads of several of them, and supposedly even held the devil by the face with the help of his tongs.

Wild stuff! This fictionalised account of his life
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Ancient & Medieva...: MAY 2018: THE ABBOT'S TALE/DUNSTAN by Conn Iggulden 91 158 Sep 18, 2018 10:43PM  
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Also publishes under author name C.F. Iggulden.

I was born in the normal way in 1971, and vaguely remember half-pennies and sixpences. I have written for as long as I can remember: poetry, short stories and novels. It’s what I always wanted to do and read English at London University with writing in mind. I taught English for seven years and was Head of English at St. Gregory’s RC High School in Lo
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