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The Poisoned Crown (The Accursed Kings, Book 3) Hardcover – 26 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (26 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007491301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007491308
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Review

‘Iron kings and strangled queens, battles and betrayals, lies and lust, the curse of the Templars, the doom of a great dynasty – and all of it (well, most of it) straight from the pages of history, and believe me, the Starks and the Lannisters have nothing on the Capets and Plantagenets. Whether you are a history buff or a fantasy fan, Druon's epic will keep you turning pages. This was the original game of thrones’ George R.R. Martin

‘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

About the Author

Maurice Druon was a French resistance hero, a Knight of the British Empire and a holder of the Grand Croix de la Légion d'Honneur. He was also a member of the Académie française and a celebrated novelist, best known for his series of seven historical novels under the title of The Accursed Kings, which were twice adapted for television. A passionate Anglophile, he was a great expert on all things English, including its medieval history, which provides great inspiration for the series. His many and diverse fans include George RR Martin, Nicolas Sarkozy and Vladimir Putin.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Arynth VINE VOICE on 1 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I devoured this as soon as possible after its release. It is a great addition to a great series and if you're this far along, you probably don't need any extra convincing. Fear not, the writing, even through translation, is as good as it has been in the previous two and the plot is full of intrigue. The pace is a little slower in the first half of the book than it was in the previous novels, but this sets the scene for a cracking second half.

It is an absolutely riveting page-turner. Druon has a knack for taking issues long resolved, characters long dead, events long decided, and, despite the 'end' effectively known, being able to continually excite and grip with the journey there. The characters are living, multi-dimensional human beings. Easy to love, hate or sympathise with> Crawling inexorably to success, failure or death.

If you're a fan of The Accursed Kings so far, don't hesitate. If you've chanced upon this book somehow without reading its predecessors, please go right ahead and acquire The Iron King as soon as you can! If you're wondering when the next novels in the series are due, I contacted the Publisher, Harper Voyager, on Twitter and the release dates for subsequent books are as follows:

The Royal Succession - 2/01/14
She-Wolf - 10/04/14
The Lily & the Lion - 25/09/14
King Without a Kingdom - 8/01/15
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Smith on 12 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One problems in writing historical fiction that keeps faith with events, as Maurice Druon does in his “The Accursed Kings” series, is that some people are more interesting, and some periods more eventful, than others. After a rather flat patch in the second book, the pace in the third book, “The Poisoned Crown” picks up. It covers the last year or less of the eighteen-month reign of France’s headstrong and incompetent king, Louis X. Louis has agreed to the killing of his adulterous wife Marguerite, the strangled queen of the second book, but this was only one of the many problems facing the kingdom.

As with the other books, the action is divided into three parts. The first is dominated by Louis’ wish to marry princess Clémence, her journey from Naples to France and on toward Paris, which is accompanied by terrible weather and signs of famine, ending with their hastily-arranged marriage. In between, Louis undertakes a disastrous campaign against Flemish rebels that peters out in the rain and mud of continuing bad weather.
The second part centres on the conflict between Robert of Artois, supported by Charles of Valois, the king’s uncle who manipulates his weak nephew, and Robert’s aunt Mahaut, Countess of Artois, who occupies the county Robert thinks he should be his. Of Louis’ two brothers, the elder is Philippe, Count of Poitiers, Mahaut’s son-in-law who tries to act justly and initially gives her only qualified support. The younger, Charles of la Marche, is also under the influence of his uncle Charles, and the pressure of uncle and one brother push Louis into supporting Robert against Mahaut. When Mahaut is later excluded from Artois, she decides to kill Louis.
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The Poisoned Crown - the not entirely accurate English translation of “Les poisons de la Couronne” - is book three of Maurice Druon’s The Accursed Kings series. Most of the action of the six books that make up the initial Accursed Kings series takes place between 1314 and 1328 in France. During this short period of time, five Kings occupied the throne in quick succession, with the three sons of Philip the Fair dying after short reigns with no adult male in a position to succeed them, something that had not happened for well over three hundred years.

This volume follows the Iron King (Philip IV the Fair), which focused on the last year of the reign of this strong, hard and capable King, and the Strangled Queen, which was about the murder of Louis X le Hutin’s (an unflattering nickname which meant headstrong and argumentative in old French) first wife and the power struggle between his uncle Charles de Valois and Enguerrand de Marigny, respectively the younger brother and the chief minister of the Iron King.

The Poisoned Crown picks up the narrative where the end of the Strangled Queen left it. It tells the story of the last ten months or so of Louis X’s (the eldest son of Philip the Fair) very short and yet disastrous reign. It also shows to what extent he was weak, easy to influence, incapable, cruel and almost entirely unsympathetic and pathetic.

As you will see in this instalment, this incompetent King accumulates blunders during his short reign, with his Treasury permanently empty and royal expenses paid by borrowing ever more from the Lombard bankers. His attempt at chastening the rebellious Flemish ends in waste and ridicule.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Pattinson on 9 July 2014
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Yet another fine instalment of these fantastic historical royal stories. More murder and intrigue than one can shake a stick at.
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By Silverfish on 15 July 2014
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Great!
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By mrs m massey on 10 July 2014
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great book
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