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Recommendations? > Set in ancient Persia?

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message 1: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 277 comments Ancient, or pre-Islamic Persia. Probably not about the wars with Greece or Rome. Not the story of Esther. Is it possible to find Persia novels on other topics? Want a Persian setting, Persian protagonists -- that is, any ethnicity part of or attached to ancient Persia. Can do wars with Greece or Rome if focus/perspective is Persian. Can do Biblical events if focus/perspective is Persian.

Thanks for any finds. I know the usual subject matter is Greek/Roman but I hope an indie author has branched out. Or else, translated work?

I have read Creation by Gore Vidal.


message 2: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 264 comments I recently read The Blood of Flowers which is about a young woman trying to break into the world of carpet design in 17th century Persia. Not pre-Islamic but it may be something you'd enjoy. I usually read novels from the perspective of Ancient Rome but I'll keep my eyes out.


message 3: by Monica (new)

Monica Davis Bryn, Have you looked through the list "Popular Ancient Persia Books" on Goodreads? Here's the link:https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/...


message 4: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 277 comments Thanks for the list, Monica. Not much fiction on it, but that may be the true state of affairs.
Thanks Lindsey.


message 5: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Bennett | 85 comments Hi Bryn. There is a series of books by Peter Darman, starting with The Parthian, and set against the background of the Parthian wars with Rome in the Crassus/Pompey era. The first one is basically the story of Spartacus, with the Parthian Prince Pacorus as an escaped slave who becomes one of Spartacus's aides. But after that the books revert to Parthia, and are almost always from Pacorus's point of view. I found the series quite entertaining. They certainly generated a desire to know more about the Parthian kingdoms.

Harry Sidebottom has set his first three "Ballista" novels on the Roman - Persian frontier in the third century, but they are told from a Roman P.O.V.


message 6: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 277 comments Thanks Jerry. The Parthian novels certainly a goer. I don't mind a bit of Spartacus, either.

Meanwhile, I have found a novel on Cyrus: I Am Cyrus: The Story of the Real Prince of Persia


message 7: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Apr 28, 2015 10:58AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 398 comments The second of Gary Corby's historical mysteries, The Ionia Sanction, is set in Persia in 460 BC.


message 8: by Mark (last edited May 07, 2015 05:27AM) (new)

Mark | 16 comments I had to mention The Persian Boy, the second book in Mary Renault's Alexander Trilogy, but that is about the wars with Greece, or at least Macedonia.


message 9: by Monica (new)

Monica | 107 comments I would also like to read books on this topic, but it looks like it is just as difficult as finding books set in pre-colonial Africa that have nothing to do with Ancient Egypt or Rome. Sigh.


message 10: by Laura (new)

Laura Gill | 148 comments India Edgehill's new novel, A Game of Queens, about Vashti and Esther, is coming out in September. I've already preordered my copy.


message 11: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 277 comments Monica wrote: "I would also like to read books on this topic, but it looks like it is just as difficult as finding books set in pre-colonial Africa that have nothing to do with Ancient Egypt or Rome. Sigh."

It's just like that, Monica.


message 12: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Anton | 211 comments My 2-book series about Rav Hisda's daughter, Apprentice: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery and Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter, is set in 3rd-4th century Babylonia under the benevolent rule of Sasanian Persians. The first volume was chosen as one of Five Best Historical Novels by Library Journal for 2012 and a National Jewish Book Award fiction finalist.

While doing my research, I too noticed the lack of historical fiction set in this fascinating time/place. I'd love to see more of it.

Apprentice A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery (Rav Hisda's Daughter, #1) by Maggie Anton Enchantress A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter by Maggie Anton


message 13: by Holly (new)

Holly Herda (hollyherda) Hi Bryn! I think you'd be interested in Blood of Kings. It's about Darius the Great, though only available for Kindle at the moment. I spoke to the author on Facebook maybe a year ago, and he did say it would eventually be available in print...still waiting, unfortunately! I agree that this area of history needs more representation.

Also, I'm not sure if you'd give other Biblical fiction besides Esther a try, but Tessa Afshar has written two books, Harvest of Rubies and it's sequel, Harvest of Gold, which are set in the reign of Artaxerxes I and told from the perspective of a Jewish female scribe and the Persian nobleman she is forced to marry. Afshar was born in Iran, and I have a hunch that may have something to do with how well she writes about Persia--her books are littered with historical detail. (They're actually what inspired me to learn more about the Achaemenid Empire.) Anyway, her books do have a Christian message, but it's not overly preachy to the point where it would alienate someone who doesn't normally read Biblical fiction. (Like me.) Lots of humor, action, and romance.


message 14: by Holly (new)

Holly Herda (hollyherda) Might want to look Harvest of Rubies up on Amazon, though. It looks like the Goodreads page doesn't have a full synopsis.


message 15: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 277 comments Holly, thanks so much! Very interesting additions. I see Kaveh Farrokh has blurbed Blood of Kings, he's happy with it (I read his history recently). Like you, I think, I can cope with a religious message for the promise of historical authenticity. Have sampled both suggestions. :)


message 16: by Hamid (new)

Hamid Karima | 40 comments there are here a few novels about Persia before Islam.
Andrew James, Blood of Kings (2013), about the dispossessed prince Darius (later to become Darius the Great), the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great, and Persia's war against Egypt.

C.J. Kirwin, Dawn of the Greatest Persian: The Childhood of Cyrus the Great, a novel about the childhood of Cyrus the Great which attempts to reconcile differing accounts of the Persian emperor's life story; #1 in a planned trilogy; self-published.

C.J. Kirwin, Finding the Persian Way: Cyrus the Great Travels in Ancient Persia, a novel about the childhood of Cyrus the Great which attempts to reconcile differing accounts of the Persian emperor's life story; #2 in a planned trilogy; self-published.


message 17: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 277 comments Hamid wrote: "there are here a few novels about Persia before Islam..."

And thank you, Hamid. Another Cyrus telling; Dawn of the Greatest Persian: The Childhood of Cyrus the Great -- the ebook doesn't seem to be available (maybe in future). Have you read any of these, and did you rate them?


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