Thursday, May 26, 2016

REVIEW: The Conqueror's Wife by Stephanie Thornton

The Conqueror's Wife
by Stephanie Thornton

Publisher: NAL
Page Count: 512
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Format: Trade Paperback

How got: personal buy from Amazon

First attention getter: this author is awesome!!!!


From GoodReads:

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.

330s, B.C.E., Greece: Alexander, a handsome young warrior of Macedon, begins his quest to conquer the ancient world. But he cannot ascend to power, and keep it, without the women who help to shape his destiny.

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…

My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 5

Another winner from Thornton! Not many authors can bring the ancient world and obscure historical figures to life quite like Thornton. Every one of her books transports me away to a different world, a different life. This one is no different.

Who hasn’t heard of Alexander the Great? His name is known in all corners of the world and probably in most of its languages. Many would also probably know of his steadfast companion Hephaestion and his mother, Olympias. But who has heard of the others that helped shape him, his destiny, and his ultimate legacy?

Persian princess Drypetis, prostitute-wife Roxana, strong sister Thessalonike, warrior sister Cynnane, general Antipater, and his son Casssander…. All are names not often repeated in history but who played such an important part in Alexander’s story. Thornton makes all of them real to the reader; they’re not just names on a page but real individuals with thoughts, ambitions, motives, and emotions all their own.

I’ve also got to give a shout out for Thornton’s characterization of Alexander too. While the story is never told from his POV, she still gives us a window into the mind of a man who is intelligent, courageous, and ambitious all the while being a bit psychotic, warped, and cruel. His actions speak volumes for what he believed in and what he stood for.

Then, as always, there’s Thornton’s skill at scene setting and historical detail. Like every other novel of hers, the ancient world makes a vibrant painting in the mind’s eye of her readers. From ancient cities like Susa and Persepolis with their incredible murals, mosaics, and grand palaces to the arid battlefields of the Middle East and Persia, the book spares no expense at giving us visceral descriptions interwoven with intriguing dialogue.

I keep loving this author; she could probably write a dry mathematical mechanics paper, and I’d still like it. LOL She always writes strong characters, vivid landscapes, and dramatic historical stories. This book is no exception. I can’t recommend her highly enough. Her books, including this one, are all keepers for me and have a prized place on my shelf of awesome.

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