Customer Reviews for

The King Must Die

Average Rating 3.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

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(6)

2 Star

(1)

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(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Loved It

I thought this book was amazing. In just a few sentences Mary Renaults manages to wow me. At times it is hard to understand, but as all classics go... It was a mandatory summer read, and I am beyond grateful. If it had not been, I would have never heard of this song and...
I thought this book was amazing. In just a few sentences Mary Renaults manages to wow me. At times it is hard to understand, but as all classics go... It was a mandatory summer read, and I am beyond grateful. If it had not been, I would have never heard of this song and never have gotten the chance to ... read it. One of my favorite parts goes:

"For I had felt too much and reasoned too little, hearing what I was ready to hear, not what had been said." (pg 42, Renault.)

Anyways. I recommend this book. Love it.

posted by racingheartbeat on September 5, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

The King Left Me Disappointed

I¿m a big reader of fiction and love classical Greek and Roman history so I figured this story would be right up my alley. I¿d also heard about Mary Renault¿s writing prowess but to be honest, I wasn¿t impressed. It wasn¿t historical inaccuracies that bothered me. W...
I¿m a big reader of fiction and love classical Greek and Roman history so I figured this story would be right up my alley. I¿d also heard about Mary Renault¿s writing prowess but to be honest, I wasn¿t impressed. It wasn¿t historical inaccuracies that bothered me. With Theseus, you¿re more in the realm of mythology than history and mythology is just another name for fiction. I was bothered more that the story wasn¿t true to itself or to what Theseus was meant to represent. In all likelihood, the man Theseus never existed. His name derives from the Greek word for state or institution. He is a founding hero of the Greek tradition, similar to Heracles or Perseus. He was meant to personify all of the noble attributes of an Athenian: fairness, courage, intelligence and resourcefulness. Firmly ingrained in the Theseus I read about from Plutarch is a deep sense of responsibility which Renault¿s Theseus doesn¿t have. When Theseus chose to travel the Isthmus Road rather than take the safe boat to Athens, it was because he was disgusted that a bunch of brutal ruffians could keep decent people from traveling freely and safely. Renault¿s Theseus makes the trip to save face when someone challenges him. Plutarch¿s Theseus was a reformer whose first interest was always his people. Renault¿s Theseus forgets his kingly responsibilities as soon as the next adventure comes along. I even had to question Renault¿s choices. At times is seems she attempts a realistic interpretation of the legend the Minotaur is a guy in a bull mask and all of the nasty characters Theseus meets on the Isthmus Road are really just common bandits. But she also implies a supernatural relationship between Theseus and Poseidon. Theseus is able to predict an earthquake and he keeps getting into battles where all those around him are torn to bits while he escapes without a scratch. This turns Theseus into nothing more than an adventure hero like Conan the Barbarian. Theseus is invulnerable and always gets the girl. This may be okay for some people but I had loftier hopes for this story. I read a lot of history and know the price paid in blood for victory. I know how quickly a reckless adventurer dies and can¿t reconcile that image with the founder of Athens. I can¿t say the story was a complete disappointment. It moved quickly and I never lost interest. The best part for me was the lurid description of the Cretans. It has motivated me to read more about Minoan culture. Renault¿s writing style is engaging enough that I might give her another chance and read The Last of the Wine.

posted by Anonymous on August 22, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2000

    Kill me

    I would have given it 0 stars if it were possible. I've found this book to be horribly boring and couldn't read more than one page at a time. It was an English assignment, however, so I was forced to put myself through this agony. Never again. DON'T read this book if you don't have to.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2000

    The most enthralling book based on greek myths I have come across

    This book was magnificent! if you like greek Myths or fantasy, then this is the book for you. I first read this book years ago and hae kept re-reading it out of sheer interest. Mary Renault is a genius by the way she takes myths and facts about the Minoans and turns it into a wonderful book of fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2009

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