From the publishers that brought you A Game of Thrones comes the series that inspired George R.R. Martin’s epic work.
France became a great nation under Philip the Fair - but it was a greatness achieved at the expense of her people, for his was a reign characterised by violence, the scandalous adulteries of his daughters-in-law, and the triumph of royal authority.
©1955 Maurice Druon (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"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)
The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.
This was good - historical fiction like it used to be. I read it because George Martin recommended it as "the original Iron throne." I was not disappointed! It intrigued me and taught me some things, while making me feel like I was right there, exactly what I want from historical fiction. This story begins in the reign of Phillip the Fair, when he is killing off the last of the Templars; it is essentially the prequel to the War of Roses.
Good companion reading to Rutherford's new historical fictional exploration of Paris ("Paris"). There is a time period in that book very close to this one. Also, remember the beautiful Isabella, Queen of England in the movie Braveheart? She is Phillip's daughter and is featured in this.
I am halfway through, and I just saw you added the second of the series. I am SO happy this is the case. My parents are huge fans of the books, but I don't have so much time to sit down to read them. If they weren't on audible, I'd be missing out completely, so THANK YOU to the makers of the audio version! and please don't stop until they are all done!!! <3!
Those interested in historical fiction and know/understand French.
This is the first I've tried. I was curious because of an article on the BBC website that hinted that this series was an inspiration for the Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire) series.
I understand the book was originally written in French. However, the English version did not have some French phrases translated so there were a lot of things that you miss out on if you don't understand French.
"GUARDS!" is the first thing that comes to mind. Then there's Philip and the deer, Philip and Nogaret's papers, Philip on his deathbed, and also quite a few scenes that don't involve Philip. Almost any death scene is memorable.
All of it. How he narrates the text, delivers the dialogue, voices the characters... as far as I'm concerned he does it all perfectly.
Oh, yes. Midway through writing this review, I opened a second window and bought The Strangled Queen.
Although I can't point to any one aspect of this book as being brilliant, everything here is solid, even above-average. It's a good novel and, combined with a first-class reading, is well-worth what I paid for it.
I read these books when I was younger, and I honestly was surprised to find them on here after many years not being released or being out of print these books were always hard to find in English. I know in both French and Russian they were very popular for many decades (and were recently made into mini-series with Gérard Depardieu in the role of the last Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay).
Having listened to them now, I also have a whole new perspective of the Game of Throne books (another favorite), while these are very different genre the similarities between middle ages Europe and Westeros are amazing. I think the debt George RR Martin owes to historic fiction like this underlines a generation of writers for whom history was/is a source of inspiration.
The performance is solid four stars, the only person I can think would sound better is Roy Dotrice.
This Series focuses on the events leading up to the 100 year was and the end of Capetian dynasty of France. For most people that's not exciting I suppose, but if you need a fix for Westeros while George is taking his time, this can be a touch of methadone (minus dragons and elaborate banner descriptions).
Additional value of this genre it actually opens you up to experience history through actions and character traits of real historical personages, even if embellished for fiction.
This particular book shows the France at a time when the feudal system was being dismantles for the sake nation states. When visionary kings began to centralize their authority from the feudal lords and consolidate it by relying on commerce and rising middle classes.
Maurice Druon wasn't just a historian and writer but also a member of the French government and I think he brings much of his own perspective on power and role of personalities and motivations in the events that change the course of countries.
The feeling of reality in the plot, because it is partly based on historical event and also because the characters act the way real people would.
When the adulterers are confronted with the evidence by the king, it came slowly but it was pretty intense.
Tone, emotion, diversity from the way he alters his voice alone I could tell which character he was voicing.
I was truly sad for the princesses and truly angry at the king for the treatment of the Templars… what he suffered at the end, he absolutely had it coming.
This is a series I have to finish… my type of adventure.
I didn't like the characters, the language, the dialogue--name it and I didn't like it.
I'm going back to thrillers, mysteries, and spy stories. My favorite author writes historical fiction and I've yet to find anyone who lives up to her incredibly beautifully written novels and characters.
None of them--it was just awful.
I'd delete the whole book
If you want to read really terrific historical fiction, read anything by Dorothy Dunnett. Her novels are complicated and intelligent and so are her characters.
My Goodreads group selected The Iron King for our April read. A little side note on the Iron King- George RR Martin has stated this series inspired his Game of Thrones.
The Iron King is based on Philip the Fair, King of France. It is medieval historical fiction. I love Medieval history, so it was very exciting. My issues with the story: there are soooooo many characters that I had a hard time keeping who was in (in my defense someone who read the literal book had the same problem), there was too much constantly going on, and there wasn't enough treachery/double cross/excitement for me. The story was TOO factual. Never thought I would say that. I was hoping that the author would take the history lesson and give it a fun spin to it, since it is supposed to be fiction. And though he did give it life, it wasn't a very good life. Not to me anyways. I found myself constantly checking how much time I had left.
I thought the narrator was good. Some of his voices for characters cracked me up. I have not had experience with the narrator Peter Joyce. I may give him another shot if he narrates books outside of this series.
All in all, this has just been an okay read for me. Part 2 was the best section of the whole book. The rest was just slow.
I never felt compelled to write a review before but Peter Joyce's narration of this books is so awful that I think it needs to be highlighted. I simply could not enjoy the book at all due to his ponderous and pretentious narration.
The story itself could have been quite entertaining, but the narration was far too distracting in it's awful pompousness for me to really enjoy the story at all.
Anybody at all would be better than he is! Take your pick!
"The worst narration I have ever heard on audible"
I have been a Audible customer for a number of years and to be fair this is the first book that I have purchased that I have not liked.
I only managed to get 40 minutes into the book before the narration was irritating me so much that I had to turn it off and start on another book instead.
Peter Joyce's reading of the book is stilted with overly long pauses (of up to a second) in places that should be flowing
Really enjoyed this book
the narration was very good and I look forward to the next in the series
"Very Good Story"
I can see where George R R Martin gets his inspiration from after listening to Maurice Druon's books.
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