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on 13 June 2000
The beginning of the end. This is the final instalment of the musketeers trilogy, and this is no doubt where much confusion arises. After the completion of The Three Musketeers in 1844 and Twenty Years After in 1845 Dumas once again returned to the musketeers for one final outing. Published in serial form between 1847 and 1850 The Vicomte De Bragelonne is a massive work. So massive in fact that it is normally not published as one edition (as is the case with the current Oxford edition). Instead it is split into three parts, the first part of which is, confusingly, normally called The Vicomte De Bragelonne. The second and third parts are given the titles Louise De La Valliere and The Man in the Iron Mask respectively. Thus while the first part can be read alone it will feel incomplete, also the second and third parts should not be read out of order as they will not make sense.
Once again Dumas grounds his action is history. The time is ten years after Twenty Years After; D'Artagnan and Athos both wish the restoration of the English monarchy, Cardinal Mazarin is falling ill and Louis 14th is coming of age.
This is the brilliant story we have come to expect from Dumas however it is worth pointing out that the musketeers play a much smaller role than they have done previously, indeed Porthos barely appears in the first instalment. However the book is as gripping, vivid, thrilling and entertaining as ever.
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on 12 April 2015
The first 2 Musketeer books are full of swashbuckling adventure. In this third book, they are 30 years older than when we first met them as young guys, and they aren't swashing too much, but that doesn't matter unless the swashing was all you enjoyed earlier, and you don't want to see them as very mature men. The later 3 books are full of intrigue and Court goings-on, the selfish and often silly young Louis XIV being too often a pest, and most importantly the start of Aramis's exciting and grand scheme that comes to finality in The Man in the Iron Mask. Aramis is really the main character rin the later three books from my point of view, but those who prefer d'Artagnan may see him as the No.1. For me, Aramis is the best because he is a free spirit, he has grand ideas and he plans them and carries them through. D'Artagnan is "merely" in my view a servant to the King, tied to his oath to always uphold the King's interests no matter what those interests may be, which sometimes are not beneficial, and admittedly then d'Artagnan does try to get around his orders rather neatly. The last three books show us two opposing sides - Arams on one side with his often mysterious activities and influential friends (he was always mysterious and with important secret contacts, even in the first book), On the other we have Cardinal Mazarin who has his own agenda which usually drags Anne of Austria along with him. Whether you like her or not, it's seriously hard to like anything about Mazarin. He's no substitute for the great Richelieu whose interest was always for the best for France, even if having to oppose the King sometimes. But Mazarin.... urk.

The book is named after Athos's young adopted son Raoul, but he doesn't feature all the time. He has fallen for a young neighbour, Louise de la Valliere, and we watch that progress as she grows up and in the next book goes to Court. Athos is a restrained and upright nobleman. Porthos is as he always was though now a rich country gentleman, and hoping to get a Barony somehow.
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on 29 June 2010
this is an excellent book, the 1st part of three. while not as action packed as the three musketeers or indeed 20 years after, it is still a rollocking good read that allows for more character development that the previous books didnt have, also we are allowed to see that the musketeers are getting older and dont have as much of the youthful drive that they once had.

i recommend this book and look forward to reading the next two
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on 28 March 2013
the layout on the Kindle version is not brilliant - the text isn't properly justified and the chapters run into each other. Can't complain too much as it is free though. Also if you have your Kindle set to file books alphabetically it will file it under 'P'!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 July 2007
This book is part one of a three part series, the next two being the Louise de la Valliere, and the final being the more well known Man in the Iron Mask. I understand this was originally one HUGE book, but is now more commonly broken up into these three books.

This book starts about ten years from where Twenty Years After ended. Although the book is titled the Vicomte de Bragelonne (who is the son of Athos), we don't see much of him except for the first and last parts of the book. The rest is filled with the adventures of D'Artagnan and Athos while they separately scheme (unbeknownst to the other) to aid Charles II of England to claim his throne. LOL, D'Artagnan's scheme in regards to General Monk. Aramis and Porthos are up to something mysterious and make only the briefest of appearances. The rest of the novel is filled with the mysteries and intrigues of the French court, and ends with the marriage of Henrietta (Charles II's sister) to Louis XIV's younger brother, Phillip.

If you loved the musketeers, history and intrique it is well worth your time to spend on these books.
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on 21 September 2000
As this is the first book in the trilogy, and as the all three were originally published as one book, the overall direction of the series is just beginning to emerge towards the end of this part. That said, the bubbling and boiling tensions are starting to mount. The sub-plots and schemes can stand alone, but the sum of the whole will be greater than that of its parts.
There is not as much swash-buckling hero fights as in earlier musketeer stories; there is much more political conspiracy, and a touch of romance.
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on 3 April 2012
I have read the entire d'Artagnan series and it is well worth it! Each book is as good as the last (none are as good as The three Musketeers) and I genuinely felt sad when I finished the last!

Please do read them all, so worth it!
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on 6 January 2016
I found this a bit hard to get into at first but, if you like french history then you will love reading this book.
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on 28 December 2012
very easy to buy and download and a thoroughly enjoyable read, if you like dumas you will love this book
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on 21 September 2015
This book was as described and I was very happy with it and I enjoyed reading it very much
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