Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Recommend, or otherwise, books on Alexander (fiction or non-fiction). Promote your novel here!

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Rosegarden
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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Rosegarden » Fri May 24, 2019 8:44 pm

Just ordered both books! I'm very new on the pothos site and my interest for Alexander has recently sparked. I'm even in the process of reading the illiad for the first time. I tried to watch Oliver Stone's movie, but the lead actor didn't convince me. I love historical fiction but I haven't found any books or movies that present an Alexander that is believable to me... I'm looking forward to reading the books, especially since Hephastion is a main character and not just replaced or deliberately left out because it's "too controversial". Finally, a book that highlights one of Alexander's most inportant relationships in his life, instead of shoving it under the rug because their scared of what people will think. Can't wait to read the book! Thank you for bringing me closer to Alexander and the world he lived in.

Alexias
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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Alexias » Sat May 25, 2019 6:08 pm

Hi, Rosegarden. Have you tried Mary Renault's Fire from Heaven?

Rosegarden
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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Rosegarden » Sun May 26, 2019 11:40 am

Alexias wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:08 pm
Hi, Rosegarden. Have you tried Mary Renault's Fire from Heaven?
No, not yet. I actually want to read it, but I couldn't find it in any libraries and I am quite young, so I just recently got the ability to order things online with my own visa card. Then it seems I have completely forgotten about it. Besides, I didn't dare to ask my parents in case they got mad that I was reading "inappropriate" books. However, now that I'm able to, I am considering buying it.

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Alexias » Sun May 26, 2019 5:29 pm

I hope you enjoy it. There is nothing sexuality explicit in it as Renault was writing for a general audience more interested in history than a love story. She was also writing at a time when homosexuality was not widely accepted. Renault may seem old fashioned to you, so be aware it is not fan fiction.

If you are interested in fan fiction, try https://www.fanfiction.net/movie/Alexander/?&srt=1&r=10 and https://archiveofourown.org/tags/Alexan ... 004)/works, but please be aware that some of the content is sexually explicit.

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Alexias » Mon May 27, 2019 6:34 pm

The first 2 and a bit chapters have been posted here https://riptidepublishing.com/collectio ... n-becoming. Scroll to the bottom of the page and look under the Start Reading' tab.


The target audience would seem to be 16-18 year olds, but I'm curious as to why you have gone for the Romance view - the bi-coloured eyes, Ptolemy the half-brother and surely Heckel says that Erigyios and Laomedon were 20 years older than Alexander?

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Jeanne Reames
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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Mon May 27, 2019 11:25 pm

https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_t ... story.html

That's the author's note. It explains several of my choices. I mentioned it a while back on maybe another thread that those familiar with Alexander might want to read the note first, so they know why I made the choices that I did. :-)

Although the note does contain some spoilers, these mostly won't be spoilers to people already familiar with the history. Originally, this was all one book, but Riptide split it for publication, ergo the note won't appear until the back of book 2, so I posted it on my website in advance if anyone is curious.

The target audience is not 16-18 year olds. It's an adult book with adult themes.
Last edited by Jeanne Reames on Tue May 28, 2019 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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University of Nebraska, Omaha
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Jeanne Reames
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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Mon May 27, 2019 11:34 pm

Hi, Rosegarden. If you're interested in Alexander novels, as Alexias already mentioned, Mary Renault is the old standby. :-) It is quite safe for younger readers, so I can't imagine that your parents would be upset. It's safer than mine, frankly.

You might also consider Judith Tarr's THE LORD OF THE TWO LANDS, and Jo Graham's STEALING FIRE, although the latter has an adult scene (sorta). I also quite like Scott Oden's MEMNON, although that turns the lens around to see things from the Persian POV, as the title suggests. And Ruth Kozak (who's on this site) has a duology SHADOW OF THE LION. If you are a fan of Hephaistion, you might not like Chris Cameron's GOD OF WAR, although it's a nice, long military take.
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287 ASH; 6001 Dodge Street
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Rosegarden
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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Rosegarden » Tue May 28, 2019 9:47 pm

Thanks for all the book and fanfiction suggestions! I'm not too fond of fanfiction anymore, but there are some hidden gems to find.

I personally don't have any problems with adult themes as I'm 16, but my parents are particularly nosy, so I think I'll stick to ebooks from now on :mrgreen:

I see I have a lot of reading to do!

eclipse
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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by eclipse » Wed May 29, 2019 12:36 am

You're very patient, Jeanne!

Those first chapters make crave for more, I can't wait for the rest. They're full of little details that make the characters come alive. I'm so happy to have a specialist like you write a book about Alexander. We're so lucky.

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Rosegarden » Wed May 29, 2019 9:55 am

I just read the first few chapters, and I can't wait for more! Everything from the food, culture, language is so well woven into the plot, and I admit I've had to do some research to understand it properly. Your webpage is super helpful and adds much to the reading experience! I learn something new all the time :mrgreen: However, one thing in the book that puzzled me was the customs of how people kept their hair. Did young boys keep their hair long and cut it later, or did it wary from person to person? I know it's probably a very uneducated question, but I have been struggling to understand this concept for some reason :oops: From the busts I've looked at, Alexander and Hephaistion had short hair later in life. From what I understood, Hephaistion is the only guy in the delta squad who keeps his hair long. Oof, I clearly need to research ancient Macedonian culture more closely.

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Jeanne Reames
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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Fri May 31, 2019 3:19 am

You are not the only one to ask. I actually got this question on Tumblr, too, so let me just link to that:
https://jeannereames.tumblr.com/post/18 ... eading-the

Hephaistion's style is found on Athenian red-figure pottery for boys about 14-18, albeit earlier Classical. Obviously, not all boys wore it long, but some did. Hephaistion plays on his Athenian ancestry sometimes, even while claiming to be Macedonian. Don't believe everything he says about himself; he's a teenager and a moody git. ;)
Https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 142582.jpg

https://www.louvre.fr/sites/default/fil ... rouges.jpg

Alexander's hair isn't really *long*, he has what amounts to a "rat's tail" similar to what Achilles had, meant to be sacrificed to the river god when he comes of age. All the other boys have shortish hair, but if Andy Stewart is right (FACES OF POWER), it may have been somewhat of a fashion in Macedonia to where the hair a little longer, which was a Thracian thing, too. There are elements of cultural overlap between the groups.

But Hephaistion's long hair is a deliberate affectation on his part. Eventually he will cut it (but not in these books). They're a long way from later statuary.
----
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Director, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
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University of Nebraska, Omaha
287 ASH; 6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182
http://jeannereames.net/cv.html

Rosegarden
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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Rosegarden » Fri May 31, 2019 1:01 pm

Thank you! So Hephaistion is not afraid to stand out and flaunt his Athenian ancestry. He seems like an interesting character to follow. I'm glad he isn't presented as insecure and bowing down to Alexander constantly. And I enjoyed the scenes with Cassander, and Alexander's dislike of him. They never got along that well :lol: I'm looking forward to reading more!

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Jeanne Reames
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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:54 pm

Rosegarden wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:01 pm
So Hephaistion is not afraid to stand out and flaunt his Athenian ancestry. He seems like an interesting character to follow. I'm glad he isn't presented as insecure and bowing down to Alexander constantly.
Hephaistion is an interesting character, in that one could interpret him several ways (and historians have). OTOH, it would be easy to see him largely as a sycophant and yes-man, without much ability or ambition of his own, or even being a sinister figure, manipulating Alexander's affection for him in order to get ahead. This tends to rest on the assumption that Alexander wouldn't be able to tolerate a long-term friend/supporter who was an equal or challenged him, based on his reactions to figures such as Kleitos.

This isn't entirely without grounds. Again...Kleitos. But I'd point out that Curtius, in particular--which source is not particularly favorable to ATG--says that Hephaistion did challenge Alexander, and got away with it. No one was "more free" to speak to him than Hephaistion. I find that an intriguing tit-bit, which might point to a different reading of his personality.

The alternative possibility is that Hephaistion was the sort who simply didn't fit into the usual alpha-and-beta male categories. E.g., he was a gamma male (which is a thing). Ergo, he didn't present to Alexander as a challenge, even while he also wasn't necessarily a follower. This might make more sense, especially if their friendship was as long-standing as it seems to have been. IME, truly powerful/intelligent people may appreciate fawning and fans to a certain extent (and it's clear Alexander courted his men), but sycophants rarely stick as long as Hephaistion did, or rise so high. I'm of the opinion the friendship was genuine, and rather than see him as mindlessly following Alexander for power, he simply agreed with him (even while apparently sometimes not agreeing with him and saying so, according to Curtius). That does not necessarily make him a "nice guy" or unambitious, mind, but I think it fits the data we have better.

So when I created the fictional character, that's the take I ran with, although I expand on it more. One can't just "suggest" what characters might be like when writing a story. *grin* I give him a very distinct personality, one I think could be true (and make sense), even while, of course, it's just one way of interpreting what we know from the sources.
----
Dr. Jeanne Reames
Director, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Graduate Studies Chair
University of Nebraska, Omaha
287 ASH; 6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182
http://jeannereames.net/cv.html

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