Karen's Reviews > The Persian Boy

The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
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's review
Jan 20, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, history, m-m
Read from January 02 to 20, 2012

Before reading this book, I had absolutely no interest in Alexander the Great. I feel differently now. As Renault says in her Author's Notes, "... no other human being has attracted in his lifetime, from so many men, so fervent a devotion."

Although I appreciated the account of Alexander's exploits and his many positive qualities (drive, fairness, generosity), at its heart this story is about his relationship with his eunuch slave-servant Bagoas and, even more, Bagoas' deep and abiding love for Alexander.

The story is narrated by Bagoas, who says at one point, "There are eunuchs who become women, and those who do not." As I read this book, I couldn't help but compare certain aspects to some of the fluid gender identity issues of our current society.

The book is actually the second book in the Alexander trilogy -- following his childhood in Fire from Heaven and succeeded by the aftermath of his death in Funeral Games. It's extremely well written, a very worthwhile read and, I thought, a touching male/male love story.
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01/02/2012 page 27
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