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The Path of the King

John Buchan

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .But Philip is true child of mine, and sprung on both sides of high race. Nay, I name no names, and before men he is of my husband's getting. But to you at the end of my days I speak the truth. That son of wrath has rare blood in him. Philip..."

The old face had grown kind. She was looking through the monk to some happy country of vision. Her thoughts were retracing the roads of time, and after the way of age she spoke them aloud imperiously she had forgotten her company.

"So long ago," came the tender voice. "It is years since they told me he was dead among the heathen, fighting by the Lord Baldwin's side. But I can see him as if it were yesterday, when he rode into these streets in spring with April blooms at his saddle-bow. They called him Phadbus in jest, for his face was like the sun.... Willebald, good dull man, was never jealous, and was glad that his wife should be seen in brave company. Ah, the afternoons at the baths when we sported like sea. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A very interesting book, and somewhat different from the other John Buchan books I have recently read. This is actually a series of stories, loosely connected, starting in Scotland before the Normans arrived and involving the people who where in conflict with their Scandinavian cousins. It ends in A

Some stories better than others, but on the whole, very good.

oh man I could read so much more fun stuff into this if I knew more about post-medieval history

Kate Macdonald, author of John Buchan: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction (McFarland, 2009) describes The Path of the King as a ‘connected sequence of short stories’ and I think that is a very apt description. The book certainly reads more like a collection of short stories than a novel but there is


Can be a bit verbose in parts but by in large a good book on the effect of legacy. A nice way to spend a quiet autumn s beggining

A brilliant story moving through generations of the same family through their ups and downs looking at how some people are born to greatness. A surprisingly easy read, given some of the language used.

A ring is passed along the line of families throughout the ages, not always through the first born or the male line until the final chapter which took me completely by surprise. The action starts in Viking Scotland, through Norman England, Flanders, the Crusades of the Middle East, France (Joan of A

Well done.

I'd heard of Buchan years ago (39 Steps), but never came across a copy until recently. The author, an English nobleman, wrote this in 1921. It is a series of short vignettes tracing the descendants of a Viking king down to almost modern times. Forest Gump-style, each descendant has close r