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The King Must Die by Mary Renault
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's review
Jan 12, 11

Read in December, 2010

Well it was about time! I've known about this book and its sequel, The Bull From the Sea, since I was in high school. I recently read the Percy Jackson series, and wanted more Greek mythology, so I finally read The King Must Die. While reading it, I kept wondering what took me so long. Well, these things happen.

Just in case you don't already know, these novels are about what may have been the actual Theseus in ancient Athens. They depict events that would have later inspired the legends. The story of Theseus was always one of my favorites, and beyond the pleasure of top-notch storytelling, it's a lot of fun to compare the events of the novels to the myth.

An unexpected connection was suggested by one of the reviewers on Amazon. Evidently Renault and Patrick O'Brian corresponded, and Renault gave some guidance to O'Brian. It must have taken because, as you know, the Aubrey/Maturin series is excellent. (You do know that, right?)

Lately I've been excitedly telling people about them and I often get the response, "Oh yeah. I read them. Years ago." I guess I'm the last one on the block to read them.

I'm catching up on my Science Fiction these days, but after I read Nova by Samuel R. Delany and Blood Child and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler, it's on to Fire From Heaven, Renault's first novel about Alexander the Great.

So, if you like Greek mythology and you haven't read these fine books, put them towards the top of your list.
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