Friday 17 March 2023

Book Review: The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas (Classic)

Title: The Vicomte de Bragelonne
Author: Alexandre Dumas
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2009 (1847)
Pages: 658
Format: Paperback
Genre: Classic
Source: Xmas Gift

It is May 1660 and the fate of nations is at stake. Mazarin plots, Louis XIV is in love, and Raoul de Bragelonne, son of Athos, is intent on serving France and winning the heart of Louise de la Valliere. D'Artagnan, meanwhile, is perplexed by a mysterious stranger, and soon he learns that his old comrades already have great projects in hand. Athos seeks the restoration of Charles II, while Aramis, with Porthos in tow, has a secret plan involving a masked prisoner and the fortification of the island of Belle-Ile. D'Artagnan finds a thread leading him to the French court, the banks of the Tyne, the beaches of Holland, and the dunes of Brittany.

The Vicomte de Bragelonne opens an epic adventure which continues with Louise de la Valliere and reaches its climax in The Man in the Iron Mask. This new edition is the only one in print and is fully annotated with an introduction that sets Dumas's saga in its historical and cultural context.

While The Vicomte de Bragelonne was still an enjoyable read, I did find it the least entertaining of the D'Artagnan series. It was fun to see the Musketeers take part in historical events (with the occasional anachronism), but the story in this book was not as captivating to me as the action that takes place in other volumes. But it's a middle book in many ways and is really just helping to set the scene for the final two books, thus it forms an important part of the series as a whole even if it doesn't stand up as well on it's own. As such, I am giving it four stars.

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