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Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault
  

Fire from Heaven

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Shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize.

Telling the story of Alexander the Great this is the first part of a trilogy and covers Alexander’s childhood. This is a fictionalised account but Renault has a keen eye for historical detail and an obvious interest in her subject matter. A great start to a superb trilogy.

If you like Mary Renault you might also like to read books by Alan Hollinghurst, Manda Scott and Nigel Farndale.

Synopsis

Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault

At twenty, when his reign began, Alexander the Great was already a seasoned soldier and a complex, passionate man. Fire From Heaven tells the story of the boy Alexander, and the years that shaped him. Resolute, fearless, and inheriting a striking beauty, Alexander still needed much to make him The Great. He must survive - though with lifelong scars - the dark furies of his Dionysiac mother, who kept him uncertain even of his own paternity; respect his father's talent for war and kingcraft, though sickened by his sexual grossness; and, come to terms with his heritage from both.

Reviews

A welcome return to print of this first volume in the Alexander the Great trilogy, originally published in 1970. The story focuses on the boy Alexander and the strange events that turned him into the mighty warrior he became. As a boy Alexander is blessed with good looks and lineage that on the face of it seems impressive - although his mother is reluctant to discuss his paternity. Not that this matters too much, for Alexander is willing to learn from experience and is a keen observer of everything that is likely to shape him into the character he is determined to become. His role model at first is his father, whose capacity for war and kingcraft are impressive. On the other hand there is the father's sexual depravity, which disgusts Alexander. Mary Renault has spun a tale of rare impact, bringing one of history's greatest characters to life and making him seem human in a way the history books can never do. (Kirkus UK)

About the Author

Mary Renault

Mary Renault was educated at Clifton High School, Bristol and St Hugh's College, Oxford. Having completed nursing training in 1937, she then wrote her first novel Promise of Love. Her next three novels were written during off-time duty whilst serving in the war. In 1948 she went to live in South Africa but travelled widely. It was her trip to Greece and her visits to Corinth, Samos, Crete, Delos, Aegina and other islands, as well as to Athens, Sounion and Marathon, that resulted in her brilliant historical reconstructions of Ancient Greece. Mary Renault died in 1983.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th November 2003

Author

Mary Renault

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Publisher

Arrow Books Ltd

Format

Paperback

Categories

Literary Fiction
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ISBN

9780099463474

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