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Accursed Kings series

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Accursed Kings series

Post  princess garnet on Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:49 pm

I mentioned the "Accursed Kings" series in a previous thread and thought it should have its own posting.  This series influenced George RR Martin for his best selling "Game of Thrones" novels.

French author and Anglophile Maurice Druon wrote his famed "Accursed Kings" (French: Les Rois Maudits) series between 1955-1960; the 7th and final novel was later published in 1977.  The series is set in 14th century France focusing on the Capets and Valois families.

Below are the titles in the series:

  1. The Iron King
    #2 The Strangled Queen
    #3 The Poisoned Crown
    #4 The Royal Succession
    #5 The She-Wolf
    #6 The Lily and Lion
    #7 When a King Loses France (Note: this one not available in English translation!)

The English translation of the novels by Humphrey Hare are being reissued with new covers with a forward by Martin. I found a (lengthy) article about the series:
http://h-france.net/fffh/classics/imagining-the-last-capetians-maurice-druon-the-accursed-kings/

Finally, the novels were adapted for French TV in 1972 and 2005.

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Re: Accursed Kings series

Post  Elena on Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:52 pm

Fabulous series! Thank you for mentioning it!! queen 

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Re: Accursed Kings series

Post  princess garnet on Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:26 pm

*Bumping up an old thread*

Last month the final novel in the series, The King without a Kingdom, was released. (Original French title: Quand un Roi perd la France)  English translation was done by Andrew Simpkin.  I'd read the previous six novel so I was eager to read this final installment.

Showing the time lapse since The Lily and the Lion, this novel opens shortly after the Battle of Poitiers and the capture of French King Jean le Bon in 1356.  Cardinal Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord is the lead narrator.  As the Cardinal is traveling with his nephew, he explains how King Jean's reign has been a troubled one and he has made his share of enemies at court.  Life during this time period is difficult--devalued currency, poor harvests, and widespread illness.  As if that's not enough, there's the Hundred Years War and the Avignon Papacy.

There isn't much action in the novel: primarily it's the Cardinal talking with his nephew with asides to minor characters whom he encounters on his journey.  (This is a departure from the previous six novels)  Many of the events already have taken place so you have a limited viewpoint. Characters who were in the earlier novels are mentioned. Frequently the Cardinal states that he has heard something by secondhand means or it's his own guessing.

Had Druon stayed with how he wrote the previous six novels, this book would've been stronger.

Overall this was a great series!

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