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I read the sequel to The Three Musketeers, called Twenty Years After. It's a big fat book, and it isn't in a hurry to get started, but in the second half things speed up and I got the adventure story that I was hoping for.

It's assumed that you know something about the characters and the plot of the previous book, which is occasionally confusing. I found that it took a long time for d'Artagnan's three friends (Athos, Porthos and Aramis) to resolve into individuals, particularly as they have a variety of names.

It's also assumed that you don't question the musketeers' loyalty to royalty. Perhaps that's just historical accuracy, and it only now seems in need of explanation.

There's a section in England. Can the musketeers save Charles I from execution? Knowing a tiny bit of history was a spoiler here, although I wondered if they might postpone the axe somehow. One thing that bothering me throughout the book was that I didn't know what was history and what was fiction. Did the Scots really betray King Charles because they hadn't been paid? (Yes) Was the French rebellion, the Fronde real? (Yes) Silly me, I suppose, for being so historically ignorant.

The book helped many train journeys pass quicker, and now I'm curious about the third part, but that's so long that it's usually split into three.

Finally, d'Artagnan was a real person!

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