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)
Lawyer, reader, writer, performer. Just love listening to books and talking about it!
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
Druon brings you into that time period with wonderful and deadly characters. Peter Joyce provides one of the great readings I have encountered. You aren't "listening" to a actor ...you are listening to the character speak.
It has a complex but a straight forward, logical and understandable historical plot. The major characters are sketched beautifully. They do not have extraneous side adventures to fill in blank space. Martin said it was the basis for his Game of Thrones series. Too bad he didn't copy Druon's masterful ability to write concisely.
The Grand Master of the Templar Knights
What the Grand Master has to endure.
I couldn't stop listening ...my wife wasn't able to talk to me for long periods. OK with me ... but not OK with her. I'll have to make sure she doesn't start heating a hot pincer on the stove ... or buy a torturers "Boot" at Bed Bath and Beyond. (Lot's of Torture devices in the novel)
The time period was ripe for intrigue and cunning by all those involved. I want to learn more about this time and am exited to know what happens in this series
I look forward to reading the next in the series. The author brings to life the historical figures with excellent detail.
The death scene of Phillip the Fair was both well-written and well-acted.
Mister Joyce utilized a wide variety of "voices" to give the characters life-like qualities
Jacque de Molay of course.
I couldn't get into it. The language is terrible. This work was translated by a native French speaker with high test scores in conversational English. A street vendor in Paris would sell crepes, not pancakes. Even if I could let the pancakes slide, neither pancake nor crepe is made with paste. Its batter people. Its batter.
They should have given this work to a native speaker of English for the American market, to translate it into a work that flows with a story- teller voice . This doesn't have any kind of voice. Its bad.
More story... less dialogue
It just did not seem to go anywhere..
It needed a much stronger story.
Really enjoyed this book
the narration was very good and I look forward to the next in the series
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
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