vendredi 22 août 2014

Le Roi de Fer (The Iron King) by Maurice Druon


When Philip the Fair, King of France, sentences the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay to be burned at the stake, he thinks he is removing an obstacle from his path. When the Grand Master curses him, though, Philip discovers that he may have placed his entire dynasty on a dark and dangerous path to destruction. While he continues to rule the realm with an iron hand, his family begins to fall apart: his sons are weak and their wives adulterous, his cousins fight and conspire to gain power. As a web of scandal and murder weave around him, though, it is the Templar curse that may signal his ruin…

I had heard about Les Rois Maudits a few years ago when French television released a mini-series adaptation. It wasn’t until I saw this review on Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist that I discovered the link between the series of novels and George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. I decided to go and dig out the novels in French and found a good Kindle version. Starting on the first volume, I quickly found myself dragged into the story of Philip the Fair and his family. Full of the same vast cast of characters as Martin’s fantasy epic, Le Roi de Fer (or The Iron King) begins the tale of the downfall of the Capetian line, rulers of France since the 10th century. Weaving together adultery, intrigue, conspiracy and a dark curse, Maurice Druon sets up his series with aplomb, painting a picture of a different time with great skill. The characters are fantastic creatures, full of honour and malice and dark desires, and the Starks, the Lannisters and the Targaryens are their worthy successors. It is a well paced book that truly brings history to life. Definitely worth checking out!

I gave Le Roi de Fer 4 stars.

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