- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (6 Nov. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099463474
- ISBN-13: 978-0099463474
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 437,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Fire From Heaven Paperback – 6 Nov 2003
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Written with her usual vigor and imagination...Mary Renault has a great talent. The New York Times Book Review" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The opening volume of the Alexander the Great trilogy, finally back in printSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The emphasis is on how the experiences of the child form the man who becomes leader of the known world, but Renault is subtle and understated rather than thrusting moral lessons on us. She evokes the 4th century Macedonian world in all its cruelty and alien splendour and yet never leaves her readers behind: she is erudite without ever being earnest or overtly scholarly.
This is a elegiac novel, far removed from the trite and souless tales of Manfredi or the overtly modern and masculine take of Pressfield: beautifully written, haunted and haunting, it will stay with you for a long time.
Although Mary visited Greece only once in her life, she manages to describe the landscape and daily life very vividly and makes you feel part of the events. It is amazing to discover that she wrote this book when she was well into her sixties (1969), to be followed three years later by the controversial Persian Boy. In her later years, Mary Renault, to be pronounced as Ren-olt, managed to create her own Greek world based on what she read in ancient literature and the details she found in statues and painted vases about all facets of life in those days.
Whether you know about Alexander or not, you witness a vivid and lively account of daily life in Macedonia in the fourth century B.C. and more specifically at the Royal Court. Both Alexander's parents show themselves each with their own character, King Philip II the womanizer but highly successful warrior and leader of the peoples in and around Macedonia; Queen Olympias with her dark furies and mysterious Dionysus rites very possessive of her son. We witness how Alexander struggles within himself with this heritage, but also how he finds comfort in Hephaistion's unwavering trust and devoted friendship.Read more ›
Renault has an innate sense of time and place, situating the story within its historical and cultural context with sublime skill and understanding. This is such a critical point in immersing the reader in the story. As some who loves both history and reading, it’s fair to say I actively seek out novels recreating the ancient past, and it’s equally fair to say that some of them disappoint the historian in me. I’ve read historical fiction where it’s obvious that the author has completely failed to understand the times he or she is writing about, failed to understand the culture, society, and thought of ancient peoples. For me it’s incredibly frustrating, not to mention jarring, when I want nothing more than to be immersed in ancient Rome or Egypt, only to find myself on a 21st century stage with unconvincing cardboard sets and characters spouting dialogue espousing 21st century values. It’s cringe-inducing. Thank goodness for wonderful writers like Mary Renault.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Miss Renault's first book directly concerning Alexander the Great although he had been briefly mentioned at the end of The Mask of Apollo. Read morePublished on 31 Oct. 2014 by jonathan clift
Beautifully written first of the Alexander trilogy. I am wanting more and have already ordered the set! Read morePublished on 10 May 2014 by nicola rush
Renault's novel is now being released in e-book to bring her story of Alexander to a new generation. Read morePublished on 28 Oct. 2013 by Clare O'Beara
I first encountered Mary Renault's books in my teens, as they fed a fascination I had had with Ancient Greece from a young child - not the Ancient Romans, always the Ancient... Read morePublished on 29 Sept. 2013 by Lady Fancifull
Excellent book well written and engrossing from start to finish. Look forward to reading the other two books in the trilogyPublished on 4 May 2013 by Richard
This is the first in a trilogy of historical novels on Alexander the Great, whose phenomenal military and political achievements in the ancient world have fascinated students of... Read morePublished on 11 May 2012 by John P. Jones III
I can't understand how such a badly written book should have acquired the reputation of being something of a classic. Read morePublished on 19 May 2011 by Ralph Blumenau
When I first read Mary Renault's trilogy, I began with 'The Persian Boy' and 'Funeral Games'. Consequently I looked forward to reading number one to fill in the missing pieces of... Read morePublished on 30 Sept. 2009 by Ms. C. Ridgley