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The Iron King (The Accursed Kings, Book 1) Paperback – March 26, 2013
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*Starred Review* Sporting an enthusiastic introduction by George R. R. Martin (in which he calls the book “the original game of thrones”), this is the first U.S. publication of the first volume of French novelist Druon’s seven-volume historical saga, collectively known as The Accursed Kings. Originally published in 1955, the novel is set in the year 1314. Philip IV, the king of France, has disbanded the Knights Templar, arresting, torturing, and executing most of them. Relations between France and England are as strained as they have ever been. Philip’s increasingly desperate search for money to pay his massive debts has virtually bankrupted the country. Against this sprawling backdrop, Druon tells the story of Robert of Artois, a French lord whose lands have been taken from him by his greedy aunt and whose efforts to reclaim his birthright will lead to all-out war between France and England. Unlike Martin’s multivolume Song of Fire and Ice, Druon’s saga is based on real history and features real people as its central characters. It’s historical fiction on a grand scale, full of political intrigue, family drama, and characters who, while drawn from life, are larger than it. Fans of historical epics who have not yet discovered Druon’s saga will be thrilled with this one. --David Pitt
‘Iron kings and strangled queens, battles and betrayals, lies and lust, the curse of the Templars, the doom of a great dynasty – and all of it (well, most of it) straight from the pages of history, and believe me, the Starks and the Lannisters have nothing on the Capets and Plantagenets. Whether you are a history buff or a fantasy fan, Druon's epic will keep you turning pages. This was the original game of thrones’ George R.R. Martin
‘Blood-curdling tale of intrigue, murder, corruption and sexual passion’ The Sunday Times
‘Dramatic and colourful as a Dumas romance but stiffened by historical accuracy and political insight’ The Sunday Times
‘Barbaric, sensual, teeming with life, based in wide reading and sound scholarship…among the best historical novels’ The Times Literary Supplement
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There's intrigue, betrayal, romance and knightly deeds. A fascinating mosaique of characters and plots.
It made me read more about that period of French history, about the trial of the Templars and the English Queen, the daughter of Phillip the Fair.
I seriously recommend it to all Martin fans, history geeks and low fantasy fans. You will not be disappointed!