The Iron King
has recently resurged in popularity. When I added this book to my 'to-read' shelf after noticing plenty of these new copies at my local bookstore only a handful of my friends had marked it as to read. Likewise only 20 reviews existed. Now that number has increased by five times the previous amount.
The major reason for this, has to go down to no, not the fact that I picked it up and read it the fact that this new edition is being recommended by G.R.R. Martin, who rarely seems to provide a recommendation in recent times (likely because he's working on his epic volumes). In short G.R.R Martin's popularity is slightly being transferred to The Iron King
ever since he called it 'The original Game of Thrones'. After all it is something seen before with how every fantasy fan rushes to read books known for inspiring The Lord of the Rings
or say The Chronicles of Narnia
Of course many fans will judge these books now in comparison to A Game of Thrones
when really it should be a reversal of judgement. And anyway I'm not sure one should judge these books in comparison to each other. Though there are ideas which clearly inspired G.R.R Martin in a historical fiction sense there are other ideas which G.R.R Martin and Maurice Druon include in their works. Making each work stand alone in their respective genres as entertaining works of fiction.
I can't say I was fully drawn into this novel. The language was sparse, though the historical information learnt was fascinating and the way in which Druon weaves religion and religious superstitions into a world of the past was intriguing. Part of the skill of writing historic fiction is in weaving tension, fact and language together in a way that makes something already known new. Of course I am relatively unfamiliar with this particular era of history so I found it to be a new tale regardless. That said I also believe Druon was unable to successfully weave tension into his storytelling as everything felt rather flat and perhaps a little too simplified. This could be a translation issue (either on my part or on the part of editors/translators).
On the whole a worthwhile read. And let's face it, with G.R.R Martin approving of it nothing I said would convince any of my friends and followers who read this review anyway would it?