Anyone who’s followed my work or this blog long enough know how much I love the Three Musketeers. My Musketeer movie collection is fairly extensive, though not complete (yet). So I was both excited and surprised when I came across pulp-fiction author H. Bedford-Jones’ book D’Artagnan: A Sequel to The Three Musketeers. He also wrote another musketeer adventure entitled The King’s Passport, which I’m currently reading, that has d’Artagnan and Cyrano de Bergerac teaming up in which I can only assume is the 17th Century France version of The Avengers.
Richelieu: “I’m putting together a team.”
As I said, I was both excited and surprised to find D’Artagnan but was also a little nervous. The Three Musketeers holds a special place in my heart, so to see someone other than Alexander Dumas pick up the pen to write some Three Musketeer adventures had me a little skeptical. I had read Death of a Musketeer by Sarah D’Almeida which was so-so. So I was a little unsure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised by H. Bedford-Jones take on the cast of Three Musketeers.
D’Artagnan: A Sequel to The Three Musketeers takes place shortly after The Three Musketeers ends. D’Artagnan and the Comte de Monteforge get into a duel after the count says some disparaging remarks against the queen, but the fight is short lived after Richelieu passes by and breaks it up. The cardinal then sends d’Artagnan off on a mission as a messenger that, of course, is laced with danger from start to finish. In the process, d’Artganan reunites with Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, and the simple mission from the cardinal turns into another grand adventure full of sword fights, duplicity, and intrigue. Meanwhile, rumors of the king on the verge of death spreads, and the queen mother plots to overthrow Richelieu from power.
H. Bedford-Jones writing is well constructed in this novel, and he even goes as far as even writing chapter headings like Dumas. My fav was “A Naked Man Has No Choice” and “The Astonishing Effect of a Kick on a Dead Man.” The forward from HBJ states that he and his publisher found a half-finished manuscript from Dumas and that he just filled in the gaps for D’Artagnan but I honest have no idea if this is true or not. Either way, it’s a solid swashbuckling adventure story that fans of The Three Musketeers can enjoy. It’s much shorter than Dumas’ original trilogy, but fits in well.
Highly recommended for my fellow Musketeer fans and swashbuckling adventure lovers.