New historical fiction on Alexander and friends

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

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Re: New historical fiction on Alexander and friends

Post by sikander »

Greetings, Memory,

"I also enjoyed reading ‘Aniketos.’ I thought it was an easier read than the first book, which was made difficult by an unusually harsh portrayal of both Philip and Olympias. If the first volume was a treatise on power, the second one was on change and immutability. In a world of change following Alexander’s ascension to the throne, Hephaestion and Alexander’s steadfast devotion and friendship was an immutable factor that governed their life. Like you, I also think that the final volume will be a difficult read. .."

I am almost dreading the third book. I get a sense of where it will HAVE to go, as the author is, in my opinion, doing a good job at examining and exposing human nature, especially inside the combination of power and intrique. Even the titles have a lot of foreshadowing in them...

"I really enjoyed Sigrid Simms’ Lion of Macedon. I thought she did a great job in recreating a fictionalized world of Alexander. Beware of the shades of Renault in it though…"

Thank you for the note on Simms. I was hoping to start that book this month but it looks like another project will consume my time. I have. however, put it on the shelf near my desk so I can try to snatch brief reads...

"Both Wood and Simms are able to put forward a believable story regarding the connection that Alexander and Hephaestion had. I am usually a bit wary about narratives that feature a first person point of view due to the unreliable narrator problem. Happy to note that both Wood and Simms avoided this issue; their Hephaestion is a reliable and credible narrator. It is fascinating to see Alexander through his eyes. Both of them remain true to the ancient biographers of Alexander with respect to the major events and people in Alexander’s life. More importantly, both are able to portray a realistic sense of the power distance between Alexander and Hephaestion. They are able to capture the man who elicited such a monumental display of grief and devotion from Alexander."

Wood, for me, is capturing the thoughts well of someone who is caught in the trap of the limbo between a group and a leader, knowing both sides are watching. I also appreciate her portrayal of the leader- the King- who has to appear to be whatever each person needs, while not losing sight of himself and never fully letting the walls down, except to one most trusted, which makes that one so all-important. Anyone who has ever led a group of people, small or large, in high-stress/life-or-death situations filled with risk will understand both Alexander and Hephaistion's difficult positions.

Thanks again for the Simms note- I am now impatient to start!

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