Out this week: The Iron King by Maurice Druon (Harper Collins £14.99). Druon’s novel has been translated from the French into English by Humphrey Hare; and the book also includes a Foreword by George R R Martin.
“’Accursed! Accursed! You shall be accursed to the thirteenth generation!’
The Iron King – Philip the Fair – is as cold and silent, as handsome and unblinking as a statue. He governs his realm with an iron hand, but he cannot rule his own family: his sons are weak and their wives adulterous; while his red-blooded daughter Isabella is unhappily married to an English king who prefers the company of men.
A web of scandal, murder and intrigue is weaving itself around the Iron King; but his downfall will come from an unexpected quarter. Bent on the persecution of the rich and powerful Knights Templar, Philip sentences Grand Master Jacques Molay to be burned at the stake, thus drawing down upon himself a curse that will destroy his entire dynasty…”
In his Foreword, Martin says that fantasy and historic fiction often overlaps and that The Iron King was “…the original game of thrones.”