The Iron King (The Accursed Kings, Book 1)
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‘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.
“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…
The two Cressay brothers, sound young men but not over-endowed with brains, who had never been more than thirty miles from home, gazed with envy and admiration upon this young man, their junior, who had already done and seen so much. Dame Eliabel, who was tending to burst out of her dress, and in whom good food awakened appetites unsatisfied in widowhood, allowed herself to look upon the young Tuscan with a certain tenderness; her massive bosom heaved with sensations that surprised even herself
told them merely that she wished to see her father, and they realised that for the moment, at least, they would be told no more. She said that she was somewhat tired with the journey, and, dismounting from her white mare, took her place in the great litter carried by two mules harnessed in velvet trappings, one placed between the forward shafts and the other between the rear. Both cavalcades moved off again towards Clermont. Taking advantage of the fact that Poitiers and Valois had taken their
fact it became evident that he was already regaining favour. It was a small supper; almost a mourning supper. In the long narrow room, next to the King’s chamber, where the repast was served, there reigned a heavy silence. Even Monseigneur of Valois was silent, and the greyhound Lombard, as if he felt the diners’ embarrassment, had left his master’s feet to go and lie before the fireplace. When the equerries, between two courses, were changing the slices of bread, Lady Mortimer came in,
tortured for twelve hours, he had escaped from his executioners, but that one night of inhuman suffering, of which his crushed foot was a constant reminder, had left him slightly crazy. He had lost his faith; and had learnt to hate. He lived only for the vision of revenge. Without the tic which from time to time suddenly twisted his face, and without the disquieting wildness of his eyes, he would not have been lacking in a certain rough charm. He had come one day to take refuge, like a hunted
allowed the water in the bowl to subside into stillness and leaned over it as if it were a mirror or the depths of a well. The reflection he saw, though shadowy and indistinct, was that of a centenarian. He remained thus for some moments, searching for some likeness to his old appearance in the floating face with its ancestral beard, the lips sunken in a toothless mouth, the long, thin nose, the shadowed, deep-set eyes. He put the bowl on one side, got up, then took a few steps till he felt the