Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Conqueror's Wife

Over Christmas, I read a fantastic novel by Stephanie Thornton: The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great.  

I have no love of Alexander, though I love ancient history.  The man does not intrigue me.  But his wives (yes, plural) and the women around that's interesting!  Most people know of Roxana, his Persian bride, but few people know that he had two other wives.  He also had a powerful mother, Olympia, and a half-sister, Thessalonike, both of whom have prominent roles in this novel.  

The story is told from various perspectives, most women, but also Hephaestion, Alexander's boyhood friend, adult confidante, and, some believe, lover.  Somehow, Thornton makes me like Hephaestion, though I did not think such a thing possible.  His story is very interesting both because of his love of Alexander and the differences that separate them.  

Thornton is a good historian and relies heavily upon the primary texts.  She fills in the gaps with fiction - which is what a good historical fiction writer does.  And she's extremely good at it.  I highly recommend any of her novels.

No comments: