We’re guessing just the very mention of the Three Musketeers gets your heart racing. Then, once you realize that we’re not talking about the candy bar, your heart races even faster. Let’s face it, these sword-fighting, pistol-packing cavaliers set the standard for action heroes back in the day. To a certain extent, that’s still the case for modern audiences, too.
So, yes, we get cannons and armies and plotting and evil kings in The Man in the Iron Mask, but we also get so much more. In a lot of ways, Dumas’s work can be appreciated as a political thriller. There’s just a ton of intrigue and ambition to savor here, much like in a Sopranos or A Game of Thrones. Who will gain the crown? Who will end up in the Bastille? As with any good thriller, we’re need to know these things. They’re the kinds of questions that keep us turning all those pages, Shmoopers, just as it did for readers back in eighteenth-century France.