From the publishers that brought you A Game of Thrones comes the series that inspired George R.R. Martin’s epic work.
The King is dead. Long live the King. With King Philip IV dead, and the Kingdom left in disarray, as the fatal curse of the Templars plagues the royal house of France. Imprisoned in Chateau Gaillard, Marguerite of Burgundy has fallen into disgrace. Her infidelity has left her estranged husband, Louis X King of France, with neither heir nor wife.
The web of scandal, murder and intrigue that once wove itself around the Iron King continues to afflict his descendants, as the destruction of his dynasty continues at the hands of fate.
"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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Factual and entertaining
I listened to and read a lot of historical novels. As this book was written in the 1950's and is a translation of the original French, I was bit nervous about whether this would live up to the modern historical novels I have read. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed. Its a different style of novel but I found it easy to get sucked into the story.
I don't think I can pick out one scene that is the most 'memorable'. The best thing about this book is that its historically informative while still being a entertaining story. There isn't too many dry facts and dates. Its written so you understand the time and the history behind the story but doesn't make you feel like you are listening to a history textbook. It also doesn't go too far the other way and try and give you a heart stopping tale at the neglect of the facts.
I have now moved onto the next book in the trilogy and Peter Joyce is narrating this one as well. I really enjoy his narration. His captures the different emotions of the characters with a smooth style.
Again, there wasn't a moment that particularly moved me, but the plight of the queen, Marguerite of Burgundy who was imprisoned in Chateau Gaillard really draws you in and makes you think about her life. She is powerful by the nature of her position and yet powerless to do anything in the face of the revenge and ambition of those who were closest to her.
This is a great book. It ended too soon and left me wanting to find out more about lives of the people written about. Thankfully there are others in the series and I am already listening to those. I would recommend this book to all fans of historical fiction.
Lost in translation
- M Poole