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Funeral Games (Alexander the Great #3)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,243 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
As Funeral Games opens, Alexander the Great lies dying. Around his body gather the generals, the provincial satraps and the royal wives, already competing for the prizes of power and land. Only Bagoas, the Persian boy mourning in the shadows, wants nothing. Tracing the events of the fifteen years following Alexander's death, Funeral Games sees his mighty empire disintegrat ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 6th 2003 by Arrow (first published 1981)
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Parzival To call this book a part of a series is a little misleading, yes they are all taking place in and around the life of Alexander but this is not a…moreTo call this book a part of a series is a little misleading, yes they are all taking place in and around the life of Alexander but this is not a continuation of the previous book and the previous book was not a continuation of the first book. They all seem to have a different 'voice', Fire from Heaven was a first person narrative of Alexander's youth, The Persian Boy is about Alexander's friend/concubine/slave, and the last is a third person narrative about the troubles after Alexander died. That being said the first two books are very good, and should be read, though because of the differences in style and substance the order should not really matter.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Funeral Games (Alexander the Great #3), Mary Renault
Funeral Games is a 1981 historical novel by Mary Renault, dealing with the death of Alexander the Great and its aftermath, the gradual disintegration of his empire. It is the final book of her Alexander trilogy.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و ششم ماه جولای سال 2004 میلادی
عنوان: مراسم تشییع؛ نویسنده: مری (ماری) رنولت؛ مترجم: سهیل سمی؛ تهران، ققنوس، 1383؛ در 471 ص؛ شابک: 9643114406؛ عنوان روی جلد: درگذشت اسکندر و مبارزه بر سر جانشینی او
کتاب سوم از تری
...more
Robert Dunbar
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
“I foresee great contests at my funeral games.”

Isn’t it funny how Mary Renault ultimately became a sort of historical personage in her own right? Well, not really funny, of course, but more sort of inevitable. After all, who's in her class? These days? Did you read that “historical” novel about Anne Boleyn that was on all the best-seller lists a couple of years ago? Apparently, poor Anne really did commit adultery with all those men (and boys) who were tortured into confessing. Plus, she practic
...more
Crystal Starr Light
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Crystal Starr Light by: Iset
Bullet Review:

I REALLY REALLY liked the first half and that would have been 5 stars. But then we started doing the time warp and I felt I was really an anthology of various people who knew Alexander instead of a cohesive novel. Still some good characters, but huge leaps in time skipping numerous events. But the end was worst; large jump in time, summarizing events.

Full Review:

Alexander the Great is dead (this is not a spoiler), and the various men and even women who knew him (or of him) desperat
...more
Iset

I didn’t expect to be doing this, but I’m actually marking Funeral Games down from the first two books in Mary Renault’s trilogy; Fire From Heaven and The Persian Boy. The difference? Renault jumps about a lot in time here. Of course her previous novels did this too – all of them were selective in their scenes, not comprehensive – but this time round Renault covers a much wider span of time, the events of thirty-seven years in total, a wider range than the first two books combined. And historica
...more
V.E. Ulett
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Alexander the Great trilogy was my first reading of Renault. She does so much with so few words. She's now my second favorite HF author - along side Patrick O'Brian.
Davytron
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Renault has done something really incredible with her beloved source material. Each entry into this series is spectacularly different. While I very much enjoyed it, the first, Fire from Heaven, was written in such a way that I am sure will deter anyone from reading further into the series. Subsequent entries into this series are much improved and, while the former always builds on the latter, each feels like it could be read and savoured independently.

While the series is subtitled with "a novel
...more
Anna
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was honestly one of the most catastrophic books ever. I don't mean it was bad, just that everything in it was awful. It's the final chapter of a trilogy that no one ever writes, the part, after the hero has died, where everything goes to absolute shit and everything he worked for and stood for disintegrates.

(I loved the afterward where Renault points out that she actually left out a ton of the murders.) The only one I noticed was Kleopatra's though because her storyline just stopped after
...more
Alicja
rating: 4/5

The world wasn’t ready for Alexander the Great’s death; he left behind an empty throne without a worthy successor. Yet many tried… and this is the setting of this third book in Renault’s trilogy. Alexander’s generals formed factions and alliances for various territories or seeking regency, new Macedonians with royal blood hoped to fill his shoes, armies and brothers/fathers divided over loyalties fighting against each other while Alexander’s still unborn children were used as pawns in
...more
Seth Reeves
Jun 09, 2014 rated it liked it
The final book in Mary Renault's novelization of the life and death of Alexander the Great did give me what I longed for in the second book, the point of view of more of the characters. It also kept going with her somewhat stilted, overwrought writing style.

The story is all about the few years following Alexander's death. You immediately are given to understand that the only person around who could at once expand and maintain so vast and diverse an empire was gone and there was not a single per
...more
Vaidya
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
While The Persian Boy stopped at the point where Alexander was dying, this book takes off from there. It's a rollicking ride covering the 47 years after Alexander's death, the infighting, intrigues, conspiracies to get the Macedonian throne.

After the first quarter of the book, characters keep dropping dead like flies, killed by rivals through various means or in battlefields. All that is left at the end is just Ptolemy who wisely chooses the Satrapy of Egypt, fortifies it well, and stays away fr
...more
Diana
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
It was surprising to me how good this book was.

I'm quite a fan of Alexander as a character, so I thought his absence would be noticed. In fact, his presence was vivid throughout the book, with every single character reminiscing, mourning, or fuming. Everyone had their WWAD moment, and only Ptolemy seemed to approach it correctly. (Speaking of whom, I never thought I'd grow to love someone who founded a ridiculous dynasty of sibling-fuckers this much <3)

I desperately want to see this trilogy
...more
Fiona
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
A compelling account of the battle for power following the death of Alexander the Great. This is the first Mary Renault I have read and it took me a while to follow the pace of her often stilted writing. Sometimes it read like a translation. Very few of the characters were more than one dimensional but I suppose this is because the story covers such a long period and so there was little time to develop them. Mostly, they didn't live long enough anyway! Despite all this, it's a good read and was ...more
Brenda Clough
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it
For completists and fans of the period, but less good than the first two.
Edmund Marlowe
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Epilogue

This last of Renault's trilogy about Alexander the Great opens with his dying in Babylon. At first, it follows the ensuing and highly dramatic struggle for power in detail, then it takes gradually greater jumps in time until the end, when an elderly Ptolemy finishes his history of Alexander thirty-seven years later. It is a dramatic story, dark and violent compared to her other novels, in keeping with the real historical intrigues it relates.

Though not the sort of sequel that h
...more
Carla Bull
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am so pumped right now, I feel like I could scale a building. This series was absolutely stunning, it has given me LIFE. I finished this book at about 2am and I have been buzzing ever since.

When I started out with Fire from Heaven, my knowledge of Alexander was pretty non-existent. Horse, hair, conquest. Three books down the line, (and a little reading around the subject because I have no chilllllll) and I've realised several things:

I've realised that Mary Renault's version of Alexander is a
...more
Tocotin

Great title.

In this book, female characters get much more time and attention than in the other two parts of the trilogy – but that isn’t to say they accomplish much. The author is clearly annoyed at the lack of reliable male characters to write about: Alexander is dead, Bagoas is half-dead due to Alexander being dead, Ptolemy’s sole ambition is to secure Alexander’s dead body, and others are soon dead.

Enter the females. They are divided into two groups: evil (Olympias, Roxane) and stupid (Eurydi
...more
Jennifer
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Après Alexander, le deluge could have been the subtitle of this book, which follows the lives of the people close to Alexander and their attempts to either hold his legacy intact or to grab power for themselves. For me, the book was marred by skipping wildly between characters--and the fact that almost none of the characters was at all sympathetic or likable. Renault manages to write a female character I can almost enjoy, the bold and ambitious Eurydike, only to spend huge amounts of time showin ...more
Genevieve
I very much enjoyed reading this, but then I was really in the mood for intrigue, and this book supplies it in plenty: plotting, double-crossing, backstabbing, precipitous rises and calamitous falls abound. (And it all really happened!) That said, this is a really odd set of events to make into a novel. There's no real protagonist, although there are some characters with whom we stick and some who are more sympathetic than others. The shape of it is strange, and nobody really ends well. It's a t ...more
Ben Kane
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How right the people who advised me to read Mary Renault were. I started with Fire from Heaven, and was blown away by the precise, yet almost musical prose. Laden with historical detail, the book evoked 4th century BC Greece as I could never have imagined. Thanks to the titling on my kindle, I mistakenly read this volume next. No matter - I knew much of the history already, and have now moved on to The Persian Boy.

Back to this book. This is historical fiction at its finest. It simply doesn't get
...more
Sarah
Mar 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
I wish the author had added more information at the end about what was historically stated, and what she had to fill in, but this was a fascinating look at how Alexander's empire disintegrated after his death. Deeply depressing, though. The historical equivalent of Hamlet - easier to list the survivors.
Joy
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great trilogy but such a sad and murderous ending.

The ending made me cry.
Patyta
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rhosyn
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
My, what an ending!

Honestly, this might be the craziest final part of a trilogy that I've ever read!

Why I liked this book (spoilers):
The plot and action was fantastic! The non-stop action and plotting kept me thoroughly entertained. Due mainly to Alexander not clearly naming an heir or planning who would succeed him if he ever died, this book clearly portrays the collapse of what he'd managed to establish. That is, with no clear successor, almost everyone is vying for the throne. Almost everyone
...more
carlageek
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Though The Persian Boy let me down a bit, I was nevertheless compelled to forge on, not yet ready to let Renault’s voice out of my ear or say goodbye to the machinations of the ancient world. I’m glad I did. Funeral Games does not quite achieve the relentless psychological intimacy of Fire From Heaven, but it does tease out a few satisfying, character-driven threads from a time of utter chaos.

Alexander dies in the book’s opening pages (only a man like Alexander can die twice, as he also died at
...more
Carol
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This novel begins with the death of Alexander the Great and follows the chaos and strife that ensues as his generals and relations vie for power and ultimately tear his empire apart.Renault is, as always, a very good writer who has a talent for bringing the remote past to life. In Funeral Games, she does a particularly good job of making sens of the motivations of a large and contentious cast of characters.
However, I did not enjoy this book as much as Renault's other novels about ancient Greece
...more
Matt
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Renault makes the ancient world feel real, and this novel is no exception. It is also the most brutal and bloodthirsty novel I've read by her. Not surprising when the prize in these funeral games is a throne. Political machinations, the consequences of overstepping one's authority or ability, and the dangers of political chaos are all potently portrayed. Tonally this could almost be read as a standalone from Renault's first two novels about Alexander, but it helps a lot to know the background hi ...more
Claudia Camacho
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-precious
Masterful! I enjoyed this book from begining to end. Again, this is an accurate and beautifully constructed historical account of the succession wars that followed Alexander the Great's unexpected death, but most importantly, it is an honest depiction of human nature: Renault has the sensitivity to capture the essence of all her characters to show them at their best and at their worst without making a caricature out of any of them.

This novel is so rich in every single aspect that I want to read
...more
Carlos
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, history
This was a beautiful, though necessarily gruesome, conclusion to the life and legacy of Alexander the Great. Renault is able to poignantly portray the increasing confusion that dominated Alexander's empire and men immediately after his death. She recounts the myriad power struggles and assassinations by and against everyone. More than anything, this novel allowed Renault to highlight Alexander's great ability and charisma that allowed him to keep together an empire that dissolved instantly after ...more
Peter
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A historical novel set in the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s death in 323BC and detailing the jockeying for power amongst his potential successors. The characters have shades of gray and the reconstruction of time and place is skilful, with the history never too obtrusive although there is a fairly large cast of whom to keep track and it’s a rather bleak portrait of those who, through their ambition, dismantled his legacy. Like many female authors, she isn’t totally convincing in her portrai ...more
Allison
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: haveread, favorites
The ultimate book in Renault's trilogy following the life of Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, was an intriguing read. Though I preferred the storytelling in "Fire From Heaven" and "The Persian Boy" a little better, this book still maintains its position on my favorites list and Renault's position as one of my new favorite authors. It follows the tragedy of the decline of Alexander's empire-- his lifelong work destroyed. Renaults master of the craft of historical fiction makes this book a mu ...more
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Mary Renault was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece. In addition to vivid fictional portrayals of Theseus, Socrates, Plato and Alexander the Great, she wrote a non-fiction biography of Alexander.

Her historical novels are all set in ancient Greece. They include a pair of novels about the mythological hero Theseus and a trilogy about the career of Alexander
...more
More about Mary Renault

Other books in the series

Alexander the Great (3 books)
  • Fire from Heaven (Alexander the Great, #1)
  • The Persian Boy (Alexander the Great, #2)

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