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Stealing Fire

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Overview

Alexander the Great's soldier, Lydias of Miletus, has survived the final campaigns of the king's life. He now has to deal with the chaos surrounding his death. Lydias throws his lot in with Ptolemy, one of Alexander's generals who has grabbed Egypt as his personal territory. Aided by the eunuch Bagoas, the Persian archer Artashir, and the Athenian courtesan Thais, Ptolemy and Lydias must take on all the contenders in a desperate adventure whose prize is the fate of a white city ...

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Stealing Fire

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Overview

Alexander the Great's soldier, Lydias of Miletus, has survived the final campaigns of the king's life. He now has to deal with the chaos surrounding his death. Lydias throws his lot in with Ptolemy, one of Alexander's generals who has grabbed Egypt as his personal territory. Aided by the eunuch Bagoas, the Persian archer Artashir, and the Athenian courtesan Thais, Ptolemy and Lydias must take on all the contenders in a desperate adventure whose prize is the fate of a white city by the sea, and Alexander's legacy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alexander the Great is dead, and his generals are fighting over his empire. One of them, Ptolemy, makes for Egypt, along with narrator Lydias, who worked his way up from slavery to Alexander’s side and is present when the goddess Isis tells Ptolemy he must become pharaoh to protect Egypt against evil spirits and foreign invaders. As Ptolemy begins governing a free Egypt and building a diverse new society in Alexandria, he entrusts Lydias with a vital mission: stealing Alexander’s body and bringing it to Egypt to release his spirit. Graham (Hand of Isis) drives a powerful current through subtle prose, weaving magic into the story rather than casting metaphorical fireballs. Lydias embodies perfect devotion, yearning to protect what he loves and mourning those he has failed, and his story will confirm Graham’s place in the highest ranks of historical fantasists. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316076395
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Pages: 323
  • Sales rank: 821,790
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jo Graham lives in Maryland with her family, and has worked in politics for many years. Black Ships is her debut novel. Find out more about the author at http://jo-graham.livejournal.com/

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyed Overall But Not Enchanted

    With historical fiction, I want to enter that other world, feel and think for a while as an Ancient Greek or Egyptian would. With fantasy, I want magic and world-building that places us in another world entirely, even if there's a historical basis. But STEALING FIRE doesn't for me excel as either fantasy or historical novel.

    With Jo Graham, I felt she was anachronistically superimposing her own modern New Age, egalitarian, and feminist values on her characters. It doesn't help that in this novel her first person narrator, Lydias, is made out to be also the author's past and future reincarnated protagonists from BLACK SHIPS and HAND OF ISIS. It's like that old joke that everyone was Marie Antoinette in another life. So life after life a guy gets to hang out with the rich and famous? Aeneas, Cleopatra and Alexander?

    Moreover, Lydias isn't at all disturbed at the revelation he was once and will be a woman; he doesn't have to struggle to see women as equals as would a man of that time. It might have worked better if Lydias had more of an arc where I could understand why his mindset is different than his contemporaries beyond his origins as a slave--or if his visions themselves touched off a revolution in his thinking. And after all, a visit from a deity should be life changing, not the almost casual thing it is in this novel. The novel doesn't convey the awe and terror the characters should feel at being confronted with the divine.

    The elements of the magical in this novel are I feel too thin to really consider it a fantasy, yet are also harder to rationalize as hallucinations or such in the same way as they were in BLACK SHIPS, breaking any sense of historic realism. Overall though the book felt to me more historical novel than real fantasy, but on those terms doesn't work for me because of the problems delineated above.

    Despite my criticisms, this is an enjoyable book overall, stylistically clean, a good, fast read with likable characters, but it doesn't make me feel I've sunk into the Hellenistic world just after the death of Alexander--I keep comparing it in my mind to the same ground covered by Mary Renault in her Alexander books: FIRE FROM HEAVEN, THE PERSIAN BOY and FUNERAL GAMES. I'm afraid STEALING FIRE suffers from the comparison.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    great ancient historical fantasy

    The Macedonian world conqueror is dead and his strongest supporters struggle with what to do in the aftermath as Alexander the Great was a man of epic proportions. Lydias of Macedon was with Alexander as he defeated all opponents, but he learns quickly that nothing will be the same as he leaves behind his ruler's corpse fleeing for his life.

    Lydias joins the side of one of Alexander's top officers, General Ptolemy, who heads to Egypt to take control of the African nation. In country, Lydias meets other expatriates who pledge loyalty to Ptolemy. However, the Macedonian is shocked from those who come from beyond as the dead and the gods abet the general and his supporters in bringing Alexander's corpse and spirit to Egypt as his final resting place. However the biggest stunner for the honest Lydias is what Isis bestows on him.

    This is a great ancient historical fantasy that brings to life the era just after Alexander's sudden death within a strong Egyptian mythos. Diogenes would have ended his search if he met Lydias who with a strong support cast serves as the center of the story line even as the real General Ptolemy begins a dynasty in Egypt. Stealing Fire is a terrific BC Egyptian thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 25, 2010

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    Posted September 11, 2010

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    Posted October 24, 2010

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