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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

The Poisoned Crown by Maurice Druon (Accursed Kings #3)

The Poisoned Crown (The Accursed Kings, Book 3) - Maurice Druon

I had a difficult time rating this book. Here's my problem:


My books rated 4 stars could be really, really good but missing that *something* that would make them 5-star. They could also be better than average - good enough that I would feel bad giving them three stars.


My books rated 3 stars range between not quite bad enough to give only 2 stars to and average. Nothing to write home about.


So when I rate this book 3 stars (thank you BookLikes for enabling me to make it 3.5), I feel like I may be giving a worse impression than I intend. This book had some really good lines, plenty of action, and some great characters. Unfortunately, it could not meet the expectations that the first two books of this series had built up.


Louis X never comes across as more than a sniveling weasel whose only redeeming quality is his wife. Not Queen Marguerite

who was conveniently dispatched in book 2

(show spoiler)

, but Queen Clemence. I liked Clemence. She was a lovely combination of devout, submissive, kind, and strong. I look forward to learning more about her in book 4, The Royal Succession.


My biggest turnoff in this installment was the amount of time spent on the fight between Robert of Artois and his aunt Mahaut for the power over Artois. I'm just having a hard time making myself care, and it was covered in such mind-numbing detail.


However, the ongoing romance between Guccio and Marie was uplifting, if doomed to heartbreak. Guccio is impetuous and arrogant, but with the optimism of youth that makes him a sympathetic character.


Looking forward to more plotting and adventure in the next book!