After Alexander’s death in 323 B.C .his only direct heirs were two unborn sons and a simpleton half-brother. Every long-simmering faction exploded into the vacuum of power. Wives, distant relatives, and generals all vied for the loyalty of the increasingly undisciplined Macedonian army. Most failed and were killed in the attempt. For no one possessed the leadership to keep the great empire from crumbling. But Alexander’s legend endured to spread into worlds he had seen only in dreams.
Mary Renault - The Persian Boy
The Persian Boy traces the last years of Alexander’s life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy, Bagoas was sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but found freedom with Alexander after the Macedon army conquered his homeland. Their relationship sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of two foreign wives, a sometimes-mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper. After Alexander’s mysterious death, we are left wondering if this Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than anyone.
Sam Barone - Dawn of Empire
The leader of a band of marauding barbarians, Thutmose-sin is a warrior gifted by the gods with extraordinary perception and cunning. To survive, he and his people plunder and pillage, killing and enslaving the dirt-eaters who dwell in villages across the plains. But Thutmose-sin also secretly fears these enemies, for they possess a weapon far deadlier than any bow or lance: the food they coax from the ground that allows them to multiply. Someday, he worries, there might be so many of them that even his warriors will not be able to kill them all. And in a prosperous settlement near the headwaters of the Tigris, his suspicions are about to come true . . . Determined to preserve their way of life, the peaceful people of Orak refuse to flee the oncoming barbarians. Instead, they devise a bold, untested plan of defense: build a wall around the village high and strong enough to repel the invaders. Under the guidance of an outcast barbarian named Eskkar and his true love, an enchanting and wise slave girl named Trella, the villagers begin the wall's construction and await the epic battle that will pit them against the unstoppable barbarians—a battle whose outcome will change the world forever. An enthralling historical novel of war, passionate love, courage, and savagery, Dawn of Empire tells in sweeping prose and with heroic, unforgettable characters the story of an ancient people's triumph—an amazing feat that marked the building of the first walled city and the beginning of an era that gave rise to some of history's greatest civilizations.
Henryk Sienkiewicz - Quo Vadis? (angol)
IN the trilogy “With Fire and Sword,” “The Deluge,” and “Pan Michael,” Sienkiewicz has given pictures of a great and decisive epoch in modern history. The results of the struggle begun under Bogdan Hmelnitski have been felt for more than two centuries, and they are growing daily in importance. The Russia which rose out of that struggle has become a power not only of European but of world-wide significance, and, to all human seeming, she is yet in an early stage of her career. In “Quo Vadis” the author gives us pictures of opening scenes in the conflict of moral ideas with the Roman Empire,—a conflict from which Christianity issued as the leading force in history. The Slays are not so well known to Western Europe or to us as they are sure to be in the near future; hence the trilogy, with all its popularity and merit, is not appreciated yet as it will be. The conflict described in “Quo Vadis” is of supreme interest to a vast number of persons reading English; and this book will rouse, I think, more attention at first than anything written by Sienkiewicz hitherto.
Michael Morpurgo - Farm Boy
Set on a farm in rural Devon, Farm Boy is a collection of Grandpa’s reminiscences and stories touchingly told to his grandson. Superbly told by a master storyteller and stunningly illustrated by Michael Foreman – an exquisite book. Joey was the last working horse on the farm, and the apple of Grandpa’s eye. In War Horse, published twelve years ago, Joey was sent away from the farm to be a warhorse in WWI. Grandpa had joined the cavalry in order to find, and fight, with Joey. Farm Boy brings us forward fifty years with Grandpa not only telling his grandson, Joey’s story but also a ‘shameful secret’ which he has held for years – Grandpa has never learned to read and write. The story is set in Iddesleigh in Devon and lovingly evokes the bonds between farm and farmer; grandson and grandfather. The spirit of rural life is superbly captured in both Michael Morpurgo’s writing and Michael Foreman’s illustrations. An irresistible title from acclaimed author-illustrator partnership. The title was first published in full colour by Pavilion.
Barbara Lazar - The Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai
In the rich, dazzling, brutal world of twelfth century Japan, one young girl begins her epic journey, from the warmth of family to the Village of Outcasts. Marked out by an auspicious omen, she is trained in the ancient warrior arts of the samurai. But it is through the power of storytelling that she learns to fight her fate, twisting her life onto a path even she could not have imagined..
Estelle Lazer - Resurrecting Pompeii
Recognizing the important contribution of the human skeletal evidence to the archaeology of Pompeii, Lazer presents an in-depth study of the people of pompeii, and gives students an essential resource in the study of this fascinating historical event.
Edward Rutherfurd - Ireland Awakening
Few authors are as ambitious as Edward Rutherford. And Dublin: Foundation, the first of a massive two-part epic, is possibly Rutherford's most challenging undertaking yet--and (on the evidence of this first book) could well be his most considerable achievement. Rutherford's sheer readability belies his obvious seriousness. His arm-straining volumes may cover every possible variety of human experience (couched in historical backgrounds of immense detail and authenticity), but he remains a storyteller of no mean skills. From the early books that made his name (notably the much-acclaimed Sarum), through to the more recent blockbuster London, the author has combined a panoramic, Homeric vision with a James-Joyce like concentration on the minutiae of everyday life; the results of this synthesis are brought to perfectly honed effect in Dublin: Foundation. Parallels with Joyce's Dublin are not appropriate here, though. The scope is far wider and stretches back into history. Beginning in Pre-Christian Ireland as the Kings of Tara reigned autocratically, we encounter the lovers Prince Conall and the beautiful Deidre. An army sized dramatis personae surround the lovers, representing every player in a turbulent era. We are shown many of the key events in Irish history, with parts for Saint Patrick, the Nordic savagery of the Vikings and the battles with the cunning Henry VIII. As this operatic volume ends with the approach of the Reformation, the orchestration of narrative commands total respect. --Barry Forshaw
William Shakespeare - The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
See how the intrigues and conspiracies surrounding history’s most famous Emperor unfold in a clear, modern version. Now you can instantly grasp the secret plotting of the conspirators, Caesar’s bloody assassination and Rome’s collapse into chaos and civil war.
Michelle Moran - The Heretic Queen
n ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past and remake history. The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the Eighteenth Dynasty’s royal family—all with the exception of Nefertari, the niece of the reviled former queen, Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names. A relic of a previous reign, Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace. But this changes when she is taken under the wing of the Pharaoh’s aunt, then brought to the Temple of Hathor, where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen. Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the Crown Prince, and despite her family’s history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one. While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful Pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus in history. Sweeping in scope and meticulous in detail, The Heretic Queen is a novel of passion and power, heartbreak and redemption.
Michelle Moran - Nefertiti (angol)
The sweeping story of a powerful Egyptian family, Nefertiti: A Novel tells the tale of two sisters, the first of whom is destined to rule as one of history’s most fascinating queens. Beautiful Nefertiti and her sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised far from the court of their aunt, the Queen of Egypt. But when the Pharaoh of Egypt dies, their father’s power play makes Nefertiti wife to the new and impetuous king. It is hoped she will temper King Amunhotep’s desire to overturn Egypt’s religion, but the ambitious Nefertiti encourages Amunhotep’s outrageous plans instead, winning the adoration of the people while making powerful enemies at court. Younger yet more prudent, Mutnodjmet is her sister’s sole confidant, and only she knows to what lengths Nefertiti will go for a child to replace the son of Amunhotep’s first wife. As King Amunhotep’s commands become more extravagant, he and Nefertiti ostracize the army, clergy, and Egypt’s most powerful allies. Then, when Mutnodjmet begins a dangerous affair with a general, she sees how tenuous her situation is at her own sister’s court. An epic story that resurrects ancient Egypt in vivid detail.
Caroline Lawrence - The Secrets of Vesuvius
Flavia, Jonathan, Lupus, and Nubia-friends and detectives-sail to the Bay of Naples to spend the summer with Flavia's uncle, who lives near Pompeii. There they uncover a riddle that may lead them to great treasure. Meanwhile, tremors shake the ground, animals behave strangely, and people dream of impending doom. One of the worst natural disasters of all time is about to happen: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius!
Kate Cooper - The Fall of the Roman Household
Edward Gibbon laid the fall of the Roman Empire at Christianity's door, suggesting that 'pusillanimous youth preferred the penance of the monastic to the dangers of a military life ... whole legions were buried in these religious sanctuaries'. This surprising 2007 study suggests that, far from seeing Christianity as the cause of the fall of the Roman Empire, we should understand the Christianisation of the household as a central Roman survival strategy. By establishing new 'ground rules' for marriage and family life, the Roman Christians of the last century of the Western empire found a way to re-invent the Roman family as a social institution to weather the political, military, and social upheaval of two centuries of invasion and civil war. In doing so, these men and women - both clergy and lay - found themselves changing both what it meant to be Roman, and what it meant to be Christian. "Kate Cooper's The Fall of the Roman Household is an ambitious and valuable study of the cultural debates among clergy and lay cities regarding the role of marriage and the household in an evolving Christian world. The Fall of the Roman Household is an absorbing and noteworthy study of the aristocratic household at the end of the Western Empire. This thought-provoking text will certainly be of interest not only to those scholars interested in the study of household, family, and gender, but also those interested in more general interplay of classical and Christian ideas in the later Roman Empire. Cooper does a tremendous job bringing together aspects of religious belief with social history to contribute to our understanding of the transformation of the Roman household." --BMCR
Steven Saylor - Rubicon (angol)
As Caesar marches on Rome and panic erupts in the city, Gordianus the Finder discovers, in his own home, the body of Pompey's favorite cousin. Before fleeing the city, Pompey exacts a terrible bargain from the finder of secrets-to unearth the killer, or sacrifice his own son-in-law to service in Pompey's legions, and certain death. Amid the city's sordid underbelly, Gordianus learns that the murdered man was a dangerous spy. Now, as he follows a trail of intrigue, betrayal, and ferocious battles on land and sea, the Finder is caught between the chaos of war and the terrible truth he must finally reveal.
Steven Saylor - Last Seen in Massilia
In the city of Massilia (modern-day Marseille), on the coast of Southern Gaul, Gordianus the Finder's beloved son Meto has disappeared—branded as a traitor to Caesar and apparently dead. Consumed with grief, Gordianus arrives in the city in the midst of a raging civil war, hoping to discover what happened to his son. But when he witnesses the fall of a young woman from a precipice called Sacrifice Rock, he becomes entangled in discovering the truth—did she fall or was she pushed? And where, in all of this, could it be connected to his missing son? Drawn into the city's treacherous depths, where nothing and no one are what they seem, Gordianus must summon all of his skills to discover his son's fate—and to safeguard his own life.
Philippa Gregory - The White Queen
The first in historical novelist Philippa Gregory's latest series The Cousins' War, The White Queen plunges the reader into the late medieval England of the Wars of the Roses. It tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the beautiful, ambitious wife of Yorkist king Edward and mother of the two princes whose deaths in the Tower of London have never really been explained. This is historical fiction as pure entertainment and none the worse for it: Gregory draws heavily on Woodville's reputation as a witch and the family myth that she cast an enchantment over Edward. Despite all the hocus-pocus, though, Gregory also keeps her reader glued with well-researched accounts of courtly intrigue and the sense that in this period, suspicion and brutal death were everywhere. There are tacky moments, such as when Elizabeth foresees Richard, who becomes the ill-fated King Richard III, dying in accordance with the lines in Shakespeare's play but this is, nonetheless, rollicking, page-turning stuff.