Review: The Iron King by Maurice Druon


‘This is the original game of thrones’ George R.R. Martin

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.

My Review

I just discovered a new author! This is the first book I ever found about King Philip the Fair, mostly known as the French king who destroyed the Knights Templar for their money (with the connivance of the Pope). The head of the order, Grand Master Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake for alleged heresy, but before he perished Jacques laid a curse on the Pope, the King, and his tormenter, foretelling their death within the year. What a story! And this isn’t all; we have two wives of Philip’s sons caught for committing blatant adultery—all with the assistance of Queen Isabella of England, Philip’s daughter (I am reminded):

“Don’t you know to whom you have married me?” she said with some force. “Can he be called a husband who deserted my bed from the very first day? From whom all my care, all my respect, all my smiles, cannot get a single word of response? Who shuns me as if I were ill and confers, not upon mistresses, but upon men, Father, upon men, the favours he denies me?”

Isabella plays a relatively minor role, but I suspect there is more to come. This is a very complicated era, and this is book one of a seven-book series, so I have a lot of catching up to do! I felt lucky to find this historical novel, translated from French, in a library book sale, of all things. I heartily recommend Maurice Druon.


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