The Persian boy, Bagoas, is well born, but his father is betrayed and murdered, Bagoas should have been killed too, but possessing remarkable beauty his father's murderers consider him worth too much. Bagoas is gelded and sold into slavery, but with such beauty it is not long before he comes to the attention of Darius the king, and is then serving in Darius' bed chamber.
In the meantime Alexander's unstoppable advance finally catches up with Darius and his army. With Darius defeated Bagoas finds himself being offered to Alexander, and so the seeds are sown for what will become a life ling love affair.
Bagoas narrates the events leading to his service to Alexander, and the relatively few years he accompanies Alexander on his continuing campaigns, through numerous triumphs interspersed with periods of hardship. The love the to men enjoy is unquestioned, and Bagoas puts the care of his new king above everything else. Bagoas only bug is the presence of Hephaistion, Alexander's life long friend and other lover; fortunately, despite his jealousy, Bagoas has the intelligence not to interfere with this relationship. Bagoas relates his account from his mature years when living happily in Egypt, but he tell's only up to Alexander's death.
The Persian Boy is an extremely well written a beautiful love story, a story of devotion and loyalty, a moving and very affecting account - a remarkable read. While a work of fiction, it is founded in fact, and Mary Renault is well informed in matters of ancient history, and she supplies a brief but informative Author's Note which adds to our understanding.