Estara's Reviews > Lord of the Two Lands

Lord of the Two Lands by Judith Tarr
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 07, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: ebook, read-in-2012
Recommended to Estara by: auto-buy author
Recommended for: fans of strong females, fans of Alexander the Great and Egypt

** spoiler alert ** This was such a satisfying book. Alexander's fate is the focus for the plot of the book, of course, but Meriamon/Mariamne is far more the center and soul of the whole story, even as she (as slightly unreliable narrator) doesn't want to see herself in such a role of power.

The characters surrounding Alexander and Meriamon are fascinating in and off themselves, from Alexander's love Hephaistion (I really enjoyed the way that Meriamon never really was on his radar because his whole focus is on Alexander) to Ptolemaios and his brother Niko, to the magician priest Lord Ay, to Meriamon's shadow, to Thais - hetaira to Ptolemaios who takes Meriamon under her wing, to the physicians of Alexander's army. I never lost track of who was what and everyone got as much space as needed to be individual and play his role in the book.

The time frame you get here is the build-up of Alexander's huge empire, with particular focus on how and why he came to Egypt and what his influence was here. Judith Tarr mentions her historical sources at the end and apart from Meriamon herself - and the magic - most of the things that happen are historically sourced (even as of course the people who wrote during and after Alexander's lifetime did not do so as objective observers).

I loved the descriptions of the magic and the amazing charisma and power of Alexander that really worked with the historical world-view of the time, and the visit to the Egyptian afterlife - and of course the loving descriptions of the horses and new developments in riding or warfare.

The World Fantasy Award nomination was wholly deserved. I wouldn't mind being able to read more about Meriamon after Alexander, but that is just because I don't want to part with her - the book is fulfilling as such.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Lord of the Two Lands.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Salimbol (new) - added it

Salimbol I'm delighted you enjoyed this - it's always been one of my favourite of Tarr's :-). It took me ages to track down a decent copy for myself (instead of borrowing the library's copy over and over), but it was worth the wait!

Estara I was lucky enough to be only made aware of this when she re-released it via BVC, so I didn't have that ages long hunt. I'm looking forward to her rerelease of more of her purely historical fantasy - although I think the next three books to be released will be the rest of the Hound and Falcon trilogy (which were the first books, in German translation, I read by her), now she has already released Alamut and Dagger and the Cross.

Ars Magica was amazing in that it featured Otto I. as one of the characters. I don't remember anyone ever having done fantasy in the beginning of the German Empire around 1000 A.D.

message 3: by Salimbol (new) - added it

Salimbol Ah, the Hound and the Falcon! That's where I started with Tarr as well. And I need a copy of the Dagger and the Cross, so that's good news :-). I have Ars Magica! You're right; it was an unusual time to period to set a fantasy (and was all the more interesting for it).

Estara ^^ And I hope she'll release the Avaryan Rising books in the next few years, too. Really, if you think about it, she has an amazing backlist to read up on.

message 5: by Salimbol (new) - added it

Salimbol I know! I was just looking through my LibraryThing lists of everything of hers that I've read or have sitting there, waiting to read, and it's over 20 books! I definitely rank her as one of my favourite authors. (It would be awesome if the Avaryan books get re-released; I'm missing a few :-).

Estara So am I!

back to top