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Alexander: Child of a Dream

(Alexandros #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  5,722 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Before his birth, omens foretold that Alexander, son of the warrior-king Philip of Macedonia, was destined for greatness. From boyhood, the prince was trained by the finest scholars and mightiest soldiers to attain extraordinary strength of body and spirit. A descendant of Heracles and Achilles, Alexander aimed to surpass his ancestors' heroism and honor, and his chosen co ...more
Paperback, Žepnice, 368 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Washington Square Press (first published 1998)
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Paul Slater Having just completed book1 of Valerio Massimo Manfredi's trilogy, I can confirm that the scene with the dog is at the end of book 1.

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4.06  · 
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 ·  5,722 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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Ivana - Diary of Difference
Being born in Macedonia - this is one character from my childhood, a hero I keep looking up to.
A book that I simply cannot miss, even though I have read thousands of pages about Alexander the Great from Macedonia.
Lynne Norman
Jul 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loves me historical fiction I do. And this introduction to a trilogy on the life of Alexander the Great is an extremely well-written and well-researched novel that really does transport you to ancient Macedonia. Manfredi tries - and succeeds - in giving a balanced account of people's actions - painting them not as heroes or villains but human beings with warring emotions and difficult decisions to make.
In Italy, Valerio Massimo Manfredi is a well-known and respected historian, writer and tv personality. He's also considered an archaeologist, although in reality he's a specialist in the topography of the ancient world and never studied archaeology in its own right. These days, most of his work involves writing novels and adapting books set in classical antiquity for film and television.
The strong point of his books is his detailed topographic knowledge of the ancient world, which usually makes
M.L. Sparrow
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For more reviews, or to see my favourite quotes from this book, check out my blog at

I actually became interested in Alexander the Great after watching 'Alexander' the movie. I hated the film, but was still interested, since he's a figure I've obviously heard about but don't know that much in depth. I was actually scouting around for non-fiction books about him, but then I saw this book by this author, who wrote Spartan, which is one of my all time favourite boo
Jul 08, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy readers, historical fiction
As a fantasy reader, I've always wondered where authors such as Tamora Pierce get their inspiration in creating their worlds - surprisingly enough this wonderful narrative about the early life of Alexander the Great, closely resembles the many heroes in their wild adventures into their universe. Manfredi has wonderfully concocted a story full of hate, struggle, intrigue and adventure. It just goes to show that war, power and heroism is not only found in fiction - I believe the best thing about t ...more
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Estimating the date as I can't remember exactly when I first read it, but I really enjoyed this book. Manfredi has become one of my favourite authors of historical fiction. I like how, in this case, he takes a well-known figure such as Alexander the Great and really brings to life aspects that are probably unfamiliar. The trilogy follows him from birth to death and, in this first book, paints a vivid picture of the places and people Alexander grew up with and how he developed his ambition to con ...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I thought this was pretty good, but I read it side by side with Virtues of War by Pressfield, and frankly Pressfield blows this guy out of the water. It is a three part undertaking and I think the first one was very good, but the writing was a bit bland. Lucky for the writer Alexanders life was incredible so of course the stories are brilliant. With three books to do it in, Valerio can cover a lot of ground that other authors miss when recounting Alexanders life. Overall its a wonderful topic an ...more
Laura Molina
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
3.5, I'll definitely continue with the series.
Arun Divakar
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
History remembers some men and women more than others. This immortality could be on account of deeds good or bad. The name of Alexander of Macedonia is entwined with warfare on a global scale and a conquest the kind of which the world had not seen until then. Personally I find in him a charismatic leader of men, if not for which the soldiers under his command would never have marched to the ends of the earth. Countless books and visual representations later, I still find the topic of this man to ...more
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Alexander has stood as one of the great men of history for dozens of generations. His legend is as large as the lands he conquered. With so much written and embellished about Alexander, its nice to have an even-handed account like this, one that shows the motivations of Olympias and Philip, as well as Alexander. I find him the most compelling historical personage and it is refereshing to have such a clear view of his childhood and preparation for the crown. In most biographies, or even historica ...more
Holly Lindquist
Sep 21, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
I know that so many people love this book, which is my this is hard for me to say: it was okay - just. I have read many fantasy books, many books with epic scenes and fantastic characters, but this wasn't one of them for me. I felt the characters were under-developed, and quite predictable. The story itself failed to sweep me away. And probably one of the most disappointing things about this book, is the pace of the writing. As I was reading it I hoped desperately that the sense of urgency in so ...more
I've only recently discovered the joy of learning history the easy way - by reading a fictionalised version. This is the first of three books telling the story of the life of Alexander the Great. In this first book, we watch Alexander grow from a boy to a man, educated by Aristotle and Callisthenes, groomed for monarchy by his father, Philip of Macedon, making the friends that would stay with him through adulthood, and finally taking the throne. The language is sometimes flowery but I'm guessing ...more
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3 and a half stars but I'm inclined to be as generous to Mr. Manfredi as he was with me.

Being a long-time fan of the history and mythology of Alexander The Great, I was hesitant as usual to read a fictionalized account of his life, but what I've realized is that fictionalized histories are not the problem, but those who write them are. When too many liberties with the facts are taken, merely to suit the author's needs, disaster strikes. However, when done properly, as I've now experien
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Historical fiction has the power to transport you to a different era. One that is much more powerful and beautiful than the one you're in right now. To me, a well written work of historical fiction, is one of the easiest ways to time travel. Like Ashok Banker's Ramayana series.

With a protagonist, as powerful, manly and dynamic as Alexander, nothing less than sweeping me off my feet would work. In this case, i felt like i was reading my history textbook. The narrative in this book is straightfor
Bryn Hammond
Apr 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: imagined-fiction
Empty, for me - in psychology and style - and a pity because I want a worthy novel on the subject. A great novel for a great man... the search goes on.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Alexander: Child of a Dream was written by Velrio Manfredi in 1998 and recounts the childhood and adolescence of Alexander the Great, who would later become a great military commander, expanding land from Greece to southern Asia.

As a big fan of historical fiction I can say that this book gives a good job relating the emotions that Alexander likely had every stage of life. For example, we can see that his distance from his mother Queen Olympia is due to a belief in her mysticism, that she speak
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This the first book in the trilogy of Alexander The Great. Fictional account of his rise to power with lots of famous characters in the story line. (Aristotle). Not a challenging read, but a nice story of power and the Macedonians and the Greeks.

Before his birth, omens foretold that Alexander, son of the warrior-king Philip of Macedonia, was destined for greatness. From boyhood, the prince was trained by the finest scholars and mightiest soldiers to attain extraordinary strength of body and spir
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars. It spent way too much time detailing Alexander's relationships with various servant girls and barely mentioning his lifelong relationship with Hephaistion. I also don't think the characterization was good. Alexander had an enormous ego and this huge drive to conquer. I find it hard to believe he'd ever regret razing a city to the ground the way he's shown in this book.

Also, just to be pedantic, I don't think anyone in the ancient Greek world would have referred to Odysseus by his Roma
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent first instalment of an historical series about Alexander the Great. It is a bit of a slow burner owing to the fact the Manfredi starts the novel at the time of Alexander’s birth. This natural means that there is not a lot of action in the first 2/3 as we are witnesses to his growing up and education.
Once he approaches maturity the story kicks off into another gear and we start to see the military and political genius of Alexander that his famous for long after his death. Am certa
Michael Arnold
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was a really good book. The translator hasn't done the best job of things, but the story itself is really rich in detail, and it is very interesting. It might be too early to say, but I don't think there's anything to this series beyond the actual story itself - but even if it doesn't, I'm going to finish reading this series now. I like this Alexander - even if he has very little to do with the historic Alexander.
Chris Ellis
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good start, I am inclined to go straight to the next one.

Details the life of Alexander from his birth to the death of his father and his consolidation of his fathers empire under his own rule.

Very readable account.
Scott Gardner
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historic
This book dealt more with Alexander's father , Philip , as he strove to build an empire for his son to inherit , It is only at his death , does the book switch to cover Alexander as he becomes the king of Macedon
Alex Raïs
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, but I found it impossible to even care about the story. The dialogues are cringy and far from natural, same with the narrator. I will not be reading the next books, since my main problem is the author's style, among other things.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very nice way to learn a bit of history
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Life changing
Vinayak Malik
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you need to read books like these... again
Matina Grol
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not my favorite book on Alexander but worth reading because of its interesting details and the description of life in ancient Vergina.
Lukas Hammonds
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book that is truly epic in the word's original sense. Gives a very colourful, literary account of Alexander the Great's background and rise to power.
Marcus Salerno
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The translation into swedish was really bad.
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Goodreads Librari...: Add ACE info 1 9 Aug 26, 2018 12:36PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 19 Aug 17, 2018 10:18AM  

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Valerio Massimo Manfredi (born 1943) is an Italian historian, writer, archaeologist and journalist. He was born in Piumazzo di Castelfranco Emilia, province of Modena and is married to Christine Fedderson Manfredi, who translates his published works from Italian to English. They have two children and live in a small town near Bologna.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi defines himself as an "Ancient World To

Other books in the series

Alexandros (3 books)
  • The Sands of Ammon (Aléxandros, #2)
  • The Ends of the Earth (Aléxandros, #3)
“History sometimes reproduces, at a distance of many years, the same combinations of circumstances that generate great achievements. But nothing ever repeats itself in exactly the same way.” 20 likes
“There are no simple answers to complex problems.” 17 likes
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