NAL/Penguin Group LLC.
eBook, Paperback; 496 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
A novel from the acclaimed author of The Tiger Queens, for readers looking for “strong and determined female protagonists” (Historical Novel Society) and “a sprawling historical saga” (Renee Rosen)...
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.
His spirited younger half-sister, Thessalonike, yearns to join her brother and see the world. Instead, it is Alexander's boyhood companion who rides with him into war while Thessalonike remains behind. Far away, crafty princess Drypetis will not stand idly by as Alexander topples her father from Persia's throne. And after Alexander conquers her tiny kingdom, Roxana, the beautiful and cunning daughter of a minor noble, wins Alexander’s heart…and will commit any crime to secure her place at his side.
Within a few short years, Alexander controls an empire more vast than the civilized world has ever known. But his victories are tarnished by losses on the battlefield and treachery among his inner circle. And long after Alexander is gone, the women who are his champions, wives, and enemies will fight to claim his legacy…
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 yet in many ways she is an antagonist in the story. There's lots of complex characters and it's less about Alexander than it is about all of the people in his life, their relationships with each other, and how that influences the future of his empire. In fact, Alexander himself is not a likable character and at times seemed almost like a sociopath, but since it's not really about him anyway, that wasn't a big deal.
With so many characters, it's not surprising that the multiple plots move along steadily. The first half focuses more on character development, so it is slower paced compared to the second half when all hell breaks loose. In some ways I actually felt like the second half was a little too rushed, as the focus turns to the series of events rather than on the characters. But there's no denying that this Greek tragedy is very well told with strong characters and a compelling plot that will keep you saying, "just one more chapter..."
About the AuthorStephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.
For more information please visit Stephanie Thornton’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
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