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The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  949 ratings  ·  150 reviews
We are the women who loved Alexander the Great. We were lovers and murderers, innocents and soldiers.
And without us, Alexander would have been only a man.
Instead he was a god.

330s, B.C.E., Greece: Alexander, a handsome young warrior of Macedon, begins his quest to conquer the ancient world. But he cannot ascend to power, and keep it, without the women who help to shape his
Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by NAL - Penguin Group (USA) LLC
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Stephanie Thornton Some of the versions of Alexander's life, like the Greek Alexander Romance, were easier to discount because they were written so much later. I tried t…moreSome of the versions of Alexander's life, like the Greek Alexander Romance, were easier to discount because they were written so much later. I tried to take most of my information from the Roman sources who were closer in time, and also from modern biographers who have compared sources and deemed what they believe is the most accurate depiction of Alex's life and personality. And sometimes I tweaked several versions of a similar event to make it something new! (less)
Stephanie Thornton There will be a blog tour and several events in my hometown of Anchorage, although we're still working to finalize the schedule. I should have all the…moreThere will be a blog tour and several events in my hometown of Anchorage, although we're still working to finalize the schedule. I should have all the details on my website in the coming weeks!

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Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Engrossing historical fiction that raises the voices of women from their historical footnotes into the limeligh. In historical fiction, Stephanie Thornton is gifted with the Midas touch because all her books are pure gold. The Conqueror's Wife earns a coveted 5 star rating for its ability to keep me glued to my chair for the last three hours. Unsurprisingly, this happens every single time I have read a Thornton novel(The Secret History, Daughter of the Gods, The Tiger Queens) and all I can say ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Stephanie Thornton’s The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great represents a significant challenge for me as a reviewer. I don’t want to gush and say it’s amazing because no one believes commentary that is one hundred percent positive, but I can’t identify a single aspect of the book that I disliked. My coffee deprived brain has also rendered me temporarily inarticulate so I apologize in advance for what is sure to
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Brilliant! This novel was both educational and highly entertaining. Stephanie Thorton creates truely masterfully constructed novels. Her characters come to life through her writing. I love that she writes about lesser known historical figures and gives the them the attention they deserve. If you are a fan of this genre and have not read her novels, I encourage you to pick one up, I promise you'll not be disappointed. ...more
Jenny Q
4.5 Stars. So I think everybody knows by now that I adore Stephanie Thornton's novels. And I got to meet her and tell her so in person at the Historical Novel Society conference back in June! Her previous three books have been fantastic, especially The Tiger Queens. But I must admit, when I saw the subject of her next book, I thought, "Oh, man, why Alexander? He's such a cheap guy!" (To quote one of my favorite movies :) He's definitely not one of my favorite historical figures, and honestly tha ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I loved this book. LOVED. Another top ten read for 2015.

To be fair, I anticipated I'd love it, having adored Thornton's previous novels ( Daughter of the Gods and The Secret History ). But this one, featuring those closest to Alexander the Great, really blew me away.

Unlike her previous novels about Theodora and Hatshepsut, it is the figures in Alexander's life who tell his story (and despite the title, more than wives, too): Hephaestion, Alexander's best friend and lover; Thessalonike, his
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"The Conqueror's Wife" is the latest offering from Stephanie Thornton. I have loved her other books so I knew that I had to read this one. In this book, she takes on the people that surrounded Alexander the Great. We meet his family, friends, and lovers. He is definitely larger than life but seeing him through the eyes of those closest to him truly gave me a new perspective on his life and legacy. Filled with vivid characters and lush description, this book is a true treat for historical fiction ...more
The Lit Bitch
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was among my most anticipated novels of 2015. I adore Thornton’s novels because they are so unique.

One of the things I love best about Thornton is she writes about both famous and obscure women in antiquity….women that you may or may not have heard of but who have powerful stories.

I love that she has discovered an untapped market in historical fiction. There are shelves of books on the Tudors but not many on Alexander the Great’s Wife, Empress Theodora, or the Queens of Genghis Kahn!

This isn’t an era I know much about and for some reason I’ve never been very interested in Alexander. But I’ve heard so much good about Thornton’s books that I jumped at this. And good thing that I did!

The story is told from four points of views: his sister Thessalonike, his friend and sometime lover Hephaestion and wives Roxana and Drypetis, Everyone is very different so we get 4 interesting perspectives. These were strong women who knew what they wanted and were ready to fight for it, by any m
There will be historical spoilers in here. Things that everyone who knows a bit about Alexander will already know.

As someone who loves to read fictional books about Alexander the Great, but is very picky about them, I can say that there were a lot of things that I really liked about this book, but also quite a few that made me gnash my teeth in frustration.

Starting with the cover, that is really so misleading, that I wonder for what purpose everything about it was chosen. The title alone makes n
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: Greece & Paris 330 B.C.E.

Steam Factor: Mild

Upon Alexander's father's death, his mother will ensure that Alexander fits into his father's place and she will continue to hold the strings of power while he is off conquering the unknown world.
Alexander's sister Nike, dreams of following her brother and becomes jealous of his friend Hephaestion, who shares in all of Alexander's triumph's but he also holds a piece of Nike's heart.
Drypetis the conqueror's captive is cunning, and she will not a
”We were murderers and poisoners, innocents and warriors. And without us, Alexander would have been only a man.

Instead, he was a god."

4.5 out of 5 stars

This book was like a bag of potato chips. Once you started, the concept of reading 'just one more chapter' completely blows out the window. Furthermore, this book made me desperately want a TV series showcasing Alexander the Great in all his bisexual glory. Please, History Channel, make it happen.

This isn't my first attempt at reading a boo
ARC from NetGalley via publisher. My opinions are my own.

Historical Readings & Reviews

Mass murder, betrayal, brutal and tragic deaths, scheming, love, comic relief, warrior women... a true Greek tragedy.

The title is a little misleading, as Alexander the Great had three wives, all featured in this novel, and also because the tale is told from several points of view. However, the only wife whose point of view we get to read about is Roxana's, so I suppose she is the wife of the book's title, and y
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
copy received from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review
I’m going to try not to fan girl too much but I think Stephanie Thornton is a great author! She seems to have a real passion for history and when she focuses on one aspect or figure she really dissects and gives that time period her all. "The Conqueror's Wife" was a thorough depiction of Alexander the Great. Thornton gives different perspectives with different narrators. Although my
Colleen Turner
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Find my full review at

I always know I'm in for a treat when I pick up a Stephanie Thornton novel! She is the queen of the strong female protagonist and I have read and adored every single one of her previous novels. The covers just happen to be breathtaking as well, which is always a huge plus for me. Ms. Thornton continues her trend of exceptional novels with The Conqueror's Wife, bringing back to life the stories of the women - and one man - behind this g
Heather C
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Is it just me or did anyone else really dislike Alexander in this book? The only time I found him likable was from the perspective of his little sister – even his best friend/sometimes lover disliked his actions fairly often. We see the story of Alexander from those who revolved around him: his friend, his sister, his lover, his enemy – and honestly I found their stories vastly more interesting than the man himself. I found myself anxious for Hephestion to come back on the page (a tiny bit of a ...more
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Orinally posted on:

If I could describe Stephanie Thornton’s latest novel The Conqueror’s Wife in one word it would be Wow! I’ve read all but one of her books (which I will soon remedy) and this one is my favorite. Despite being almost 500 pages once I began reading I fell head long into an ancient world where the times and the people were ruthless. As I read I could smell the death and see the destruction as though I was walking the same path that Alexand
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Stephanie Thornton is one of my favorite authors. Her skilled writing, extensive research and choice in historical figures along with an exciting and adventurous narrative never disappoints. With each new novel she rises and impresses. Her novels if anything, educational.

Alexander the Great is an admired figurehead from history, needless to say I was more than excited to read this book. Thornton weaved an intriguing plot around this fierce icon. She masterfully demonstrated his rise and fall, hi
Kathleen Kelly
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great was the King of the ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedon in the 300's BC. He was a great military man, having virtually no losses in battle. Alexander conquered Persia in the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. A lot of cities were named after him and becoming one of the most influential men in history.
 Hephaestion, the son of a Macedon nobleman, was Alexander's friend and close advisor and he plays a pivotal role in this story. Hephaestion and Alexander were fri
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is my third book by the author and I’ll say upfront – I can’t wait for the next one. I love Ms. Thornton’s writing style and her choice to write about the women in history. Often times the women behind the more famous men. In The Conqueror’s Wife the ultimate subject of the book is Alexander the Great but the focus is on three of the women (and one man, his bodyguard and lover) who inhabited his world; his sister, his wife and his captive for lack of a better word.

I have to say that I know
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a novel with a very misleading title. “The Conqueror’s Wife” leads the reader to believe that it will be told from the perspective of one woman: the wife of Alexander the Great. This is not at all the case. The author strives to gain a wider perspective of Alexander by using multiple voices to tell the story. Four voices to be exact. Furthermore, only one of them was Alexander’s wife and it took until page 273 to find out who.

This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy this novel however, I d
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is probably the most investing book I've read this year. I knew very little about Alexander the Great before reading this, but this is some of the best historical fiction I've come across and I found myself quite in awe of the story.

The title is a little bit misleading, as the story is told from four different characters' points of view, not just one of Alexander's wives. In the cases of The Song of Achilles, told by Patroclus, and Nerfertiti, told by Nerfertiti's sister, I had really
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alexander the Great is known around the world for his feats of war and contributions to cultural diffusion. However, many people contributed to his rise to power and stay at the top. These women shaped him, compelled him, and kept him leveled throughout his years. His mother, Olympias is willing to do whatever she can see her son rise and protect his legacy. Alexander’s sisters Cynnane and Thessalonike grew up as warriors, waiting to protect Alexander. Roxana, the daughter of a minor noble who w ...more
Another winner from Thornton! Not many authors can bring the ancient world and obscure historical figures to life quite like Thornton. Every one of her books transports me away to a different world, a different life. This one is no different.

Who hasn’t heard of Alexander the Great? His name is known in all corners of the world and probably in most of its languages. Many would also probably know of his steadfast companion Hephaestion and his mother, Olympias. But who has heard of the others that
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
3.0 out of 5 stars -- Brutal historical fiction

Alexander's reign was marked by blood -- and there are far too many deaths to recount during his saga of endless war and battle to conquer the lands that became his empire. This novel centered on the women connected to Alexander -- and there were many who were there for him during his lustful drive for power. But, he was a man, not a God, and even in death, he left behind those who wanted to secure that role of conqueror for themselves.

I'm sorry to
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When this book came available to review for the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, I knew I couldn’t pass this up. Not because I wanted to read another story of Alexander the Great, mind you. I have read enough of him and his atrocities. However, Thornton brings us a new story, a story of the strong women who surrounded him.

I would like to start with his mother-Olympias. She personifies a power hungry political in my opinion. A ruthless Queen where everyone is her pawn and how she manipulate
Kathleen Kelly
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alexander the Great was the King of the ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedon in the 300's BC. He was a great military man, having virtually no losses in battle. Alexander conquered Persia in the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. A lot of cities were named after him and becoming one of the most influential men in history.

Hephaestion, the son of a Macedon nobleman, was Alexander's friend and close advisor and he plays a pivotal role in this story. Hephaestion and Alexander were friends throughout their
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have an excerpt and giveaway going on right now at

Stephanie Thornton became a favorite of mine with The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora and The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan. She writes about lesser known women of history - those that were close to the action, whether wife, lover or daughter of someone famous. The Conqueror's Wife is no exception.

This is a time period I have never read before and knew next to nothing of Alexander the Great. With tha
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is ancient history and may not appeal to all. You have to stick to the story, tedious though it maybe at times because life I guess was not instant gratification in those times. The story of Alexander the Great, his life, his loves, his victories, his defeats and the personal charisma (and shortcomings) of the man are beautifully, carefully enacted in this book. For lovers of historical fiction a must.

Alexander the Great could not come into power, neither could he maintain his position with
I have to be honest and say I did not love this book and did not finish it. I finish books but do not always succeed. And this wasn't bad or even not good but it was not the right book for me.

I adore Historical Fiction but in the Conqueror's Wife, the story is told from the viewpoint of multiple women in Alexander's life. I just do not like the format. It was confusing and there were several times I could not differentiate the various voices and tell which lady was speaking so I'
Monica Hills
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fantastic novel by Stephanie Thornton! This novel focuses on four people who all were connected somehow to Alexander the Great. The novel is about Thessalonike his sister, Drypetis, a Persian princess, Roxana also of Perian descent and Hephaestion, Alexander's friend.

This is a very moving story. I cared about each of the characters even when some of them had a darker side. I learned more about Alexander the Great and the history surrounding him. The details in this book were so well don
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Stephanie Marie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with women from history since she was twelve. She is the author of seven novels and lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska.

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