The second novel in Maurice Druon’s Accursed Kings series is just as enthralling at the first. Granted you have to have read The Iron King to know what is going on but that is part of the charm. Druon weaves a complicated, fast paced tale of intrigue and subterfuge involving a multitude of well researched and individually interesting characters. The majority of these made an appearance in the first book and it seems that he has made a concerted effort to squeeze them all into the sequel. In my opinion, the inclusion of the extended scenes with the Cressy family were superfluous to the narrative but like its modern equivalent of Game of Thrones Druon has a way of making the reader feel that the inclusion of every character is important, no matter how small their role.
One let down of the book was that it was clear from the title what the outcome was going to be and I’m afraid I like my novels to be a little less obvious. It’s like giving the punch line before you’ve said the joke.
Overall, this is a great quick read, perfect for people with busy lives who enjoy historical fiction.