38 LA LOUVE DE FRANCE / THE SHE-WOLF OF FRANCE Maurice Druon (France, 1959)
39 LE LIS ET LE LION / THE LILY AND THE LION Maurice Druon (France, 1960)
The series opens with the reign of Philippe IV of France (known as Philippe le Bel which means Philippe the Fair) and follows the events that lead to the Hundred Years' War. In the middle of great political turmoil, a man and a woman - Robert d'Artois and Mahaut d'Artois- fight for the same earldom.
The sixth installment is where I decided "The Accursed Kings" would end for me, and that's because the seventh one was published much later and is supposed to be radically different. When I can smell that a series is longer than it should be, I stop before the rest is spoiled for me.
What I respect the most about this series is that Druon's writing style improves with time. We start with some unnecessary comparisons (The Iron King (Book 1)) and end with ones that are more memorable and some effective repetitions. Maurice Druon's style is not amazing but I really appreciate the improvement.
The plot itself focuses more on the two main protagonists as the end is near, and my interest doubled.
I think it is important to mention I had already seen one of the two television mini-series that have been produced in France prior to reading the books, and I was still engrossed in the story from beginning to end.
The She-Wolf of France: 4/5
The Lily and the Lion: 4/5