Customer Reviews for

Fire from Heaven

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  • Posted September 24, 2013

    I received a copy of this book via NetGalley from Open Road Inte

    I received a copy of this book via NetGalley from Open Road Integrated Media.

    The story of Alexander the Great is quite an undertaking. The politics of ancient Greece, with its kings and lords and constant wars could very easily make for a dry read. But Mary Renault has a gift for storytelling, especially storytelling that evokes Greek mythology. This is the first novel of her trilogy about Alexander, and it follows his story from the time he is a toddler living in the women’s chambers to the day he must take control of a vast kingdom and unruly army while he is still in his teens. Renault describes Alexander’s childhood with impressive sensitivity. Raised by a father and mother who were relentlessly at each other’s throats, Alexander is forced to take sides time and time again, and Renault allows the reader to see the cost of this consistent pressure on a growing boy. You can’t help but admire Alexander as he learns to navigate the waters of political and personal pressures, basically teaching himself how to be a man. He makes some mistakes, but you can see that the lessons he learns from them will enable him to be the King who forms one of the largest empires the world will ever know.

    I read and loved Renault’s books about Theseus (The Bull from the Sea and The King Must Die), and I think this story is every bit as good. I can’t help but agree with Hilary Mantel – one of the best things about Renault’s writing is her refusal to explain or interpret ancient Greek customs and traditions through a modern lens. She doesn’t try to excuse or judge her characters’ actions. Even though the setting is completely foreign to me, I still felt like her characters were actual people, and I could understand their struggles or joys. Alexander lived over two thousand years ago, but Renault’s story made him real to me. I sympathized with his frustrations over his parents, and the scene where he first rides his famous horse, Bucephalus, made me cry. I will definitely continue with this trilogy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Is the cover on the page the actual one? Because if ti is that i

    Is the cover on the page the actual one? Because if ti is that isn't Alexander the Great that is Elagabolus a Roman Emperor.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2005

    Amazing book, amazing author

    Mary Renault is an amazing writer. She entwines the history of Alexander The Great's life with the fiction of how his life might've gone with specific events. She adds so many emotions to the usually dry history..However, I was dissapointed that there was not more involving Hephaestion. I'm trying to be an Alexander The Great buff, and I naturally focus on Alexander and Hephaestion's relationship. So, I was dissapointed because usually concerning their relationship it's the whole heated debate on whether they were friends or lovers (I say both, but agree lovers), and I wished here there was more on their relationship...Hephaestion does not show up until the end of the beginning of the book/100? pages into the book (and when he does, he's only to return much later, years later). Still, it was an amazing book, you'll probably read it all in 1 day like I did :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2001

    The Story Of The Early Life of Alexander The Great

    There have been many books written about Alexander The Great, but none have been as well-written as this one by Mary Renault. I must admit that Mary Renault is my favorite author though I've never really hated any of her books there were some I liked better than others and this is one of them. 'Fire From Heaven' tells the story of young Prince Alexander Of Macedon; the son of Philip II and Queen Olympias. It begins when Alexander is four years old and ends when he's twenty and having just inherited the Kingdom Of Macedon after his father's assassination by the Captain of his own bodyguard. Like a previous historical fiction novel written by Mary Renault that I've reviewed here I have to tell you that 'Fire From Heaven' is a great book and I recommend it to anyone interested in the life of Alexander The Great. In this book Mary Renault gives her theory on the upbringing that made Alexander The Great the man he was.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

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    Posted April 23, 2010

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    Posted October 12, 2009

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