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Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 FIC IGG Adult Fiction Book
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Cuba Circulating Library Association 1 FIC IGG Adult Fiction Book
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Elmira - Steele Memorial Library 1 FICTION New books
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Horseheads Free Library 1 FICTION New books
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Summary

Summary

In the year 937, the new king of England, a grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to go to war in the north. His dream of a united kingdom of all England will stand or fall on one field--on the passage of a single day.At his side is the priest Dunstan of Glastonbury, full of ambition and wit (perhaps enough to damn his soul). His talents will take him from the villages of Wessex to the royal court, to the hills of Rome--from exile to exaltation. Through Dunstan's vision, by his guiding hand, England will either come together as one great country or fall back into anarchy and misrule . . .From one of our finest historical writers, The Abbott's Tale is an intimate portrait of a priest and performer, a visionary, a traitor and confessor to kings--the man who can change the fate of England.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Once again, best-selling author Iggulden (Wars of the Roses: Ravenspur, 2017) burnishes what might appear to be dull historical fact into shiny fictional gold. Taking a seemingly minor historical character, Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury (later Saint Dunstan), and intertwining his personal story with the tenth-century struggle to unite the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms into one nation, he provides both a compelling fictional biography and an epic overview of the birth of England. As it reaches back into Dunstan's childhood, we observe how both his personal goals (to build great cathedrals) and national ambitions (to crown kings and forge a dynastic juggernaut) inform his less-than-pious, often-brutal actions through the decades. Witness to and involved in the reigns of seven different kings during his lifetime, Dustan's influence extends from the spiritual to the political as he wends his way from the crumbling halls of Glastonbury Abbey to the powerful back rooms of the Royal Court. A natural companion piece to Bernard Cornwell's megapopular Saxon series, Iggulden's page-turning narrative provides another piece to the often-challenging puzzle that is tenth-century England.--Flanagan, Margaret Copyright 2018 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Having already taken on Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, and the War of the Roses, Iggulden (The Dangerous Book for Boys) successfully dramatizes the life of Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury and confidant of King Aethelstan, the grandson of Alfred the Great. At Aethelstan's side, Dunstan takes part in the Battle of Brunanburh in 937 CE to protect England from Viking and Scottish invaders and is rewarded with the Benedictine monastery at Glastonbury, to which he is named abbot. Over the years, Dunstan will serve several of Aethelstan's descendants, be named treasurer of England, become involved in court intrigues, and undergo banishment to Ghent. Upon his recall from exile, he travels to Rome to meet Pope John XII, is named archbishop of Canterbury, and helps build a cathedral there. Purported by the author to be a "found" document, this tale is narrated by Dunstan in wittily modest fashion. There are more than enough holes in the historical record for Iggulden to fill out Dunstan's life story imaginatively. And though this is less dramatic than Iggulden's novels about other historical figures, it nevertheless immerses the reader in 10th-century England. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Dunstan of Glastonbury, a bright but selfish young man, finds himself hanging from a cliff. Encouraged to fall by his tormentors, who are crushing his fingers as he dangles, Dunstan requests a priest for a final confession. Pulling this "man of the cloth" over the edge with him, he uses the cleric's body to break his impact. Such perceived miracles inform the course of his life until a childhood chum, a grandson of Alfred the Great, suddenly becomes King of England through an untimely death. Visions of a future united England come quickly once Dunstan has the king's ear. Now, a well-placed abbot, Dunstan can unleash his ambitions and raise the funds to build empires for God. However, perpetuated lies come with a consequential price. Best-selling historical novelist Iggulden ("War of the Roses" series) offers a well-paced, believable peek into the brutal and often outright cruel world of tenth-century Europe. His attention to detail is illuminating and never tedious. VERDICT This gripping saga will appeal to historical fiction buffs, fans of Bernard Cornwell's "Saxon Stories" series, as well as anyone who yearns for a compelling, well-told story.-Russell Miller, Prescott P.L., AZ © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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