First published in 1850, "The Man in the Iron Mask" is a historical fiction novel, written by Alexandre Dumas, that takes place in the 1600s in France.
"The Man in the Iron Mask" continues the tale of our four heroes from "The Three Musketeers", Dumas's wildly popular introduction to the mischievous Musketeers – D'Artagnan, Aramis, Porthos, and Athos. In this dark sequel, we track their lives many years after the prodigious moment when D'Artagnan receives a commission to be a lieutenant in the Musketeers. We find in "The Man in the Iron Mask" that things have changed quite a bit from the seeming happy days of swashbuckling adventures.
In "The Man in the Iron Mask", D'Artagnan remains in the service of the corrupt King Louis XIV after the Three Musketeers have retired and gone their separate ways. Unbeknownst to D'Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos plot to remove the inept king and place the king's twin brother on the throne of France. Meanwhile, a twenty-three-year-old prisoner known only as "Philippe" wastes away deep inside the Bastille. Forced to wear an iron mask, Phillippe has been imprisoned for eight years, has no knowledge of his true identity, and has not been told what crime he's committed. When the destinies of the king and Phillippe converge, the Three Musketeers and D'Artagnan find themselves caught between conflicting loyalties.