Friday, March 22, 2013

The Persian Boy by Mary Renault, 419 pages

I don't remember where I saw this book first mentioned, but it had seemed interesting enough that I had put it on my "want to read" list. After a few months I finally got around to it, and it was really good.
 Bagoas is a Persian boy whose family is killed when he is only 10 due to political upheaval, intrigue and betrayal. Bagoas is the only one to survive, due to his good looks he is sold to be an eunuch. After just a few years, he is taken into the court of the Persian ruler, King Darius. After Darius' death, Bagoas is given to Alexander the Great, and soon becomes not only a member of his household, but close to Alexander's heart. He is part of Alexander's life during his last years, including his India campaign.
I knew a little about Alexander but not much. This book really brought him to life and showed a little window into what was a fascinating time period. The author used a light and delicate touch dealing with the sexual aspects of the book, considering the cultural and historical viewpoint differences on sexuality. I may have to read more of her books dealing with Alexander.

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