Here’s the second of three planned book reviews. The last one will come tomorrow & then we’ll fall into our new schedule of posts 🙂
After fantasy, historical fiction is my favourite genre. History was always my favourite subject at school, because I was enthralled by how it played out as a narrative with motives and plots, causation and characters, conflict and resolution. A lot of stories I have running around were inspired by moments in history and a lot of stories I want to write are retellings of history.
I was first introduced to Maurice Druon’s The Accursed Kings series after reading A Song of Ice and Fire and learning that George R.R. Martin had been heavily inspired by the seven books, I was eager to try them for myself. I have thoroughly enjoyed them all thus far 🙂 Set during the 14th century, it follows the end of the Capetian monarchy and the start of the Hundred Years War.
Druon’s work is a well-researched one written with great detail. The cast of characters has changed drastically over the course of the series but some have remained steadfast, as each book covers a number of years. Those are the ones I feel most invested in and it is their perspectives I enjoy the most when reading. Most of the jumps between books haven’t been large ones, but the one between the fourth and fifth is much more vast, skipping through one king’s entire reign to begin the next.
While at first jarring, it is an easy surprise to get through as it allows for focus on a character I have been wanting to see more of since the first book. Having been relegated to a secondary position through most of the novels thus far, Queen Isabella of England, sister of the current king of France, comes to the forefront, making political moves that impact both England and France.
The longest book thus far, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the others that came before, marked as it was by a heavy shift in focus from France to England. It was still a tale of intrigue with that never left me bored. The prose is factual in its recounting which serves the narrative well, but does not drag as one might expect.
I look forward to reading the next one 🙂
May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,