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Alexander and Alestria (P.S. Series)
     

Alexander and Alestria (P.S. Series)

4.0 3
by Shan Sa
 

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Alexander and Alestria is the imaginative tale of the dramatic love affair between Alexander the Great and Alestria, queen of the Amazons, when both are at the height of their powers. Shan Sa, bestselling author of Empress, brings the familiar figure of Alexander the Great to new life, entwining his historical legacy with an imagined relationship that

Overview

Alexander and Alestria is the imaginative tale of the dramatic love affair between Alexander the Great and Alestria, queen of the Amazons, when both are at the height of their powers. Shan Sa, bestselling author of Empress, brings the familiar figure of Alexander the Great to new life, entwining his historical legacy with an imagined relationship that explores the compelling clash of western and eastern cultures.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
“A dramatically imagined tale of a love affair between Alexander the Great and Alestria, queen of the Amazons. . . . Written with the unironic portentousness of an ancient myth, the novel nonetheless has modern and moving insights into such hot-button topics such as violence and gender.”
National Examiner
“Imagine a romance between Alexander the great and the queen of the Amazons and you have Alexander and Alestria, by author Shan Sa.”
Finch's Quarterly Review Blog
“Told in the extravagant voices of Alexander and Alestria, and of Alestria’s confidante Ania. . . . Strewn amid the pageantry and clamour are fascinating details about Alexander’s world and the legendary Amazons, who, if they existed at all, might have been his contemporaries—and equals.”
Booklist
“Sa, author of Empress (2006), takes a huge historical leap in this entertaining fictional biography of Alexander the Great. . . . Romance, action, and intrigue combine to set the stage for a pageturning romp through alternate history.
Publishers Weekly

An epic fictional romance between Alexander the Great and an Amazon queen drives the latest from Shan Sa (Empress). As a boy, Sa's Alexander is abused by his father, King Philip of Macedonia. Alexander grows into a cruel and narcissistic youth with an unquenchable thirst for revenge. His political ambitions blossom under the tutelage of Aristotle, and after his father's assassination, Alexander sets off to conquer Greece, Persia and Egypt. When he meets Alestria, the young queen of the Amazons (a mythical tribe of nomadic, male-spurning female warriors from the eastern steppes), he has perhaps met his match in love and war. Told in the extravagant voices of Alexander and Alestria, and of Alestria's protector and confidante, Ania, there's little subtlety in this sweeping, heroic romance. But strewn amid the pageantry and clamor are fascinating details about Alexander's world and about the legendary Amazons, who, if they existed at all, might have been his contemporaries-and equals. (July)

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Kirkus Reviews
Beijing-born novelist and painter Shan Sa (Empress, 2006, etc.) imagines the life of Alexander the Great in terms of his impassioned love affair with an Amazon warrior queen. Educated by Aristotle, Alexander wants to be a poet, but he follows in the footsteps of his father Philip of Macedonia. By the time Alexander rises to military preeminence, conquering Egypt and Babylon, he is the sun around which orbits a coterie of boyhood lovers/admirers. In this warrior society, romance and desire are reserved for other men while women are merely baby-makers. Alexander's first love, his schoolmate Hephaestion, remains loyal even after Alexander takes Darius of Babylon's former slave Bagoas as his new lover. Meanwhile on the Scythian steppes, the Amazons have evolved into a tribe of fierce women who live without men. One day Alexander finds himself in a one-on-one battle, unaware that his opponent is the Amazon queen Talestria. The two carry on their fight night and day until they recognize they are soul mates and decide to wed. After Alexander changes Talestria's name to Alestria, her servant Tania is horrified that her queen chooses love over war while Bagoas goes wild with jealousy. Alexander finds himself torn by extreme passions, his thirst for conquest overcome by his love for Alestria and his desire to bear a child with her. Despite Tania's efforts to keep Alestria sterile, she becomes pregnant. Tania is horrified as Alestria seems to wither away toward motherhood, but after the child is stillborn, Alestria demands that Alexander take her with him to the front. There Alexander suffers a fatal head wound but does not die immediately. Leaving behind a double in his place, he goes with Alestriato the Steppes, where she nurses him and where he has the chance to live without hatred. The power of the author's previous historical fiction came largely from a meticulous sense of historical detail missing in this artifice, which never comes to mythological or fictional life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061543555
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/15/2009
Series:
P.S. Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
245
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Shan Sa was born in Beijing and had her first poems, essays, and stories published at the age of eight. In 2001 her novel The Girl Who Played Go won the Goncourt Prize. The author of Empress, she is also a celebrated artist who has had prominent exhibitions in Paris and New York.

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Alexander and Alestria 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Macedonian King Philip abuses his heir Alexander though he rationalizes that a monarch must be tough. Queen Olympias offers no protection for her offspring from his dad instead makes demands on him. Angry Alexander turns abusive towards those weaker than him. However, he widens his outlook to include poetry entirely due to his tutor Aristotle.------------- When an assassin kills Philip, Alexander is glad not just because he is the king. He feels this is his chance to take out his revenge on his nasty father and showing his superiority to his imperious mother by conquering the world, not just Macedonia. He quickly wins in Greece, Persia and Egypt. However, he finally meets an opponent who matches him in cunning strategy when it comes to war and surpasses him when it comes to love, Queen Alestria of the Amazons who admires his strength as almost her equal and decides to make Alexander her ¿wife¿.------------- This refreshing look at Alexander rotates viewpoints between the titled couple and her loyal servant Ania. The story line focuses on the romance between the lead couple although there is wonderful look at the world of the amazons as Shan Sa makes the myths seem like hard core history. Fans of ancient historical romances starring real persona will enjoy ALEXANDER AND ALESTRIA as the great conqueror and the amazon queen meet their perfect opponent to cherish and fight for who is on top.--------- Harriet Klausner