G.R.R. Martin himself said he took inspiration for Game of Thrones in the War of the Roses, but also in the famous book French series Les Rois Maudits, known as The Accursed Kings in English…

What is The Accursed Kings about?

Historical novels written by French author Maurice Druon about the French monarchy in the 14th century, The Accursed Kings series is based upon the legend invented by the Italian Paolo Emilio where the French king has been cursed for having persecuted the Knights Templar.

The series takes place in the context of rivalry for the French throne, between 1314 and 1356, from Philip the Fair to John II, ’The Good’—with scandal, intrigue, murder and more.

The Accursed Kings Books in order:

   

  1. The Iron KingOriginal title: Le Roi de fer. The Iron King—French King Philip the Fair rules with an iron fist, but is surrounded by scandal and intrigue. When Philip’s self-serving persecution of the Knights Templar ends with the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay being burned at the stake, Molay curses his accusers—Pope Clement V, Nogaret and Philip himself—to the 13th generation. A curse that will destroy Philip’s entire dynasty…
  2. The Strangled QueenOriginal title: La Reine étranglée. Philip IV is dead and his great kingdom is in disarray. It seems the fatal curse of the Templars is plaguing the royal house of France. His son has been enthroned as Louis X; but with his disgraced wife Marguerite imprisoned in the Chateau Gaillard for her adultery, Louis can produce no heir with which to secure the succession. But neither can he marry again while she lives…
  3. The Poisoned CrownOriginal title: Les Poisons de la couronne. Having murdered his wife and exiled his mistress, King Louis X of France becomes besotted with Princess Clemence of Hungary and makes her his new queen. However, though the matter of the succession should be assured, it is far from so, as Louis embarks on an ill-fated war against Flanders. But the ambitions of his proud, profligate barons threaten his power and the future of a kingdom once ruled by an Iron King.
  4. The Royal SuccessionOriginal title: La Loi des mâles. Louis X is dead, poisoned, murdered, by the hand of Mahaut d’Artois. Her plan is simple—to clear the path to the throne for her son-in-law Philippe. However, there is the small matter of Queen Clemence and her unborn child. As the country is thrown into turmoil, Philippe of Poitiers must use any means necessary to save his country from anarchy.

  

  1. The She-Wolf of FranceOriginal title: La Louve de France. Charles IV is now the king of France and his sister is Edward II of England’s Queen. Having been imprisoned by Edward as leader of the rebellious English barons, Roger Mortimer escapes to France, where he joins the war against the English Aquitaine. But it is his love affair with Isabella, the ‘She-Wolf of France,’ who has come seemingly to negotiate a treaty of peace that seals his fate…
  2. The Lily and the LionOriginal title: Le Lis et le lion. The royal house of France has fallen. Charles IV is dead, fulfilling the curse of the Templars once and for all. This leaves the path to the throne open for Robert of Artois to place his cousin, Philippe of Valois, upon it. But the days of betrayal are far from over and Robert is banished to England. As swords are sharpened the lion wakes and a pretender threatens France once more…
  3. The King Without a KingdomOriginal title: Quand un Roi perd la France. The reign of the Capetian kings has ended and John II, ‘The Good’, second of the Valois dynasty, has taken the throne.
    Under his leadership the Hundred Years War, one of the longest and bloodiest conflicts in history, escalates and England and France begin to tear each other apart.

Thanks to my friend Carole for writing this guide.