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The Other Alexander, Book I of The Bow of Heaven by [Levkoff, Andrew]
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The Other Alexander, Book I of The Bow of Heaven Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Length: 369 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Beautifully written and thrillingly good Roman historical novel ... crisp plotting and absolutely infectious narrative drive. The world of Republican Rome is brought entirely alive in these pages. Enthusiastically recommended.  - Historical Novels Review Online

"'The Bow of Heaven' is superb: a beautifully-crafted, electrifying example of just how good historical fiction can be. Don't miss it." - Open Letters Monthly

Thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and cleverly staged, The Bow of Heaven is a
unique and engaging look at Rome in the first century before the Common Era. Superb.  - Foreword Clarion Reviews

"Readers of Steven Saylor or John Maddox Roberts, accustomed to paying $25 for their latest in hardcover, can download The Bow of Heaven, as good as anything either one ever wrote, for $3 in about ten seconds. Enthusiastically recommended." - Historical Novel Society

"The Other Alexander mines a surprisingly deep vein when it places Crassus at the center of the tale. You'll see a side of these famous Romans that you won't find in the standard history books and the read is way more fun." - Judith Starkston, author of Hand of Fire

From the Author

The Other Alexander is the first book in the epic trilogy, The Bow of Heaven. Alexandros, a young Greek philosophy student, is wrenched from a life unlived to submit to the will of an empire - as a slave of Rome. In a world without choice, he must use his cunning and wits to gain the trust of one of the most powerful men in the Republic.

Yet no matter how high he climbs, or how deeply he falls in love, Alexandros' life is still bound to the will of another. When his master becomes blinded by revenge, the fates of both owner and owned become slaves to a terrible choice. A choice which will threaten the very life of the empire one has ruled, and the other has been forced to serve.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2300 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Peacock Angel Publishing LLC; 3 edition (September 9, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 9, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005UO0QMI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,663 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love all things to do with Ancient Rome, having read both fiction and nonfiction on the subject. So I was eager to pick up Levkoff's "The Bow of Heaven." And I wasn't disappointed. Levkoff has a gift for characterization, bringing the people of this ancient world to life. Some readers find the abundance of similar names in novels of Ancient Rome limiting. Levkoff keeps the focus of the story on a small cast of characters who quickly become familiar.

Alexander is a Greek philosophy student who becomes caught up in the war between Rome and Athens. Captured, he is given as a gift to Crassus, for his role in the conquest. Alexander first fights against the indignities of being a slave. But his sharp mind and caring nature win out and he eventually comes to love his master and the others in his household. I was glad that Crassus was portrayed as a many-layered individual and not the cliched slave-owner. I found myself easily caught up with these characters.

I was intrigued by Alexander's point of view. Seeing the Roman republic through a Greek's perspective is a unique way to shine light on both its strengths and weaknesses. Levkoff does a great job of including bits of Roman life--like bathing or dining practices-- in an easy way that adds texture without feeling pedantic.

Set in the years leading up to Caesar's reign, Levkoff weaves romance, history and intrigue for a satisfying read. As the story progressed, I could feel the tension mounting and wasn't disappointed with the finale. Looking forward to the second installment.

Kim Chatel
Author
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have recently been downloading some free Kindle books, hoping to find a new author to add to my must-read list. After wading through a lot of mediocre drek, I have found a few, and this is one. I wouldn't call the book a page-turner but enjoyed the writing style, found the storyline engaging, and look forward to reading the rest of this series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed The Other Alexander, and as a Roman historian, I can be hard to please. I've given the book four stars rather than five simply because I felt there were a couple of plot points where the author brushed aside the character of his protagonists that he'd been carefully building, in order to achieve a dramatic moment. This was disappointing to me, but other readers may not feel the same.

(Minor spoiler follows)

I also had to take issue that the main character, who displays loyalty and courage, moves into his thirties without manumission, even after he has saved the life of a citizen and his master. He is too valuable to be given his freedom, the writer tells the reader. This is convenient for the plot, but disappointed me given how careful the author has been in crafting other aspects of Roman society and explaining these to the reader within the narrative. Manumission was not only the end of captivity for the Roman slave, it was also the culmination of a process of social integration, a process whereby the slave who had already been partially incorporated into Roman society through the social institutions of household, family, and patron-client friendships became politically assimilated into the Roman state. (Patterson, 1982). Crassus' failure to at least discuss this possibility with Alexander was a major flaw in the novel to me.
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Format: Paperback
This is an engrossing and often moving account of events during the latter days of the Roman Republic. The emotional center of the book is the narrator, Alexandros, a Greek slave trained in philosophy, who belongs to the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus. The focus shifts back and forth between key events in Roman history, in which Crassus participates, and the world of Crassus' household. The reader follows Alexandros' ongoing struggle to come to terms with his own enslavement, with all its implications, as gradually revealed both to the reader and to Alexandros himself.

Levkoff has vividly imagined the life of an intelligent man in a position of relative -- but not absolute -- powerlessness, always at risk of pain and degradation. He also examines how two men who might well have been friends in other circumstances interact when they find themselves in the position of master and slave. Crassus appreciates Alexandros' abilities and even, to some extent, his reluctance to be entirely servile, while exercising his prerogatives as Alexandros' master whenever it is in his interests. Alexandros develops some loyalty to and perhaps affection for Crassus, and is sometimes lulled into a sort of contentment, until events force him to confront the basic nature of their relationship.

Alexandros is given to lush, poetic, and often original descriptions of the world around him. These added to my pleasure as a reader, and while they were at times a mite obtrusive, they were still consistent with the narrator's character.

There's a short Preface relating how the narrative was supposedly discovered. This would be a good place for a bit more historical scene-setting.
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