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Fire from Heaven Paperback – June 11, 2002
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Alexander's beauty, strength, and defiance were apparent from birth, but his boyhood honed those gifts into the makings of a king. His mother, Olympias, and his father, King Philip of Macedon, fought each other for their son's loyalty, teaching Alexander politics and vengeance from the cradle. His love for the youth Hephaistion taught him trust, while Aristotle's tutoring provoked his mind and Homer's "Iliad fueled his aspirations. Killing his first man in battle at the age of twelve, he became regent at sixteen and commander of Macedon's cavalry at eighteen, so that by the time his father was murdered, Alexander's skills had grown to match his fiery ambition.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Mary Renault's love of ancient Greek culture was displayed in her previous novels, "The Last Of The Wine" and the Theseus duology, "The King Must Die" and "The Bull From The Sea." Her admiration for Alexander is also on display. Most authors of historical fiction are fond of their subjects, but the reader can tell Renault adored her chosen hero and found in him an ideal that may have been more imagined than real.
Still, Renault's work is superb. She was a master of language and craft, and her novel touches the key points of the Alexander legend without turning them into precious showpieces. (I particularly enjoyed the depiction of the taming of Boukephalos, with various characters facing different outcomes of the horse's purchase). She shines when depicting characters, and offers a fascinating interpretation of the relationship between Alexander, his father King Philip II of Macedon, and his mother, Queen Olympias.
History tells us Philip and Olympias were at war with each other until Philip was assassinated, which Olympias probably had a hand in. The war included their son, who is shown as an intelligent, preternaturally observant child who absorbs his mother's hurts and grievances well before he's old enough to understand them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful book when I first read it. After many years I returned to read it and enjoyed it again.Published 1 month ago by John Fahey
Wonderful book! I could not put it down. Mary Renault has a way with words, making you belive as if you were truly there.Published 3 months ago by Andrew Caproale
This book got me interested in Alexander and this period of time. I was so glad to find out there was a whole series to readPublished 4 months ago by Marie
All three of the books that make up the fictional account of Alexander's life are just excellent. I dare you to read them and manage not to fall a little in love with him. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Shirley Y. Thomas
Couldn't get through this. Renault writes in a rambling, passive voice. Her verbs are smothered with so many instances of "has" and "have" that the prose just seems... Read morePublished 6 months ago by D. in Fresno
This is a historical novel of the time of Alexander the Great that brings to life his personality and the modes of living at the time. Read morePublished 8 months ago by phesselmann
This book just seems to go on and on and on adding new characters that add nothing to the plot and it becomes so dry that I only made it about three quarters of the way through the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by marty gilbert