I have always had a fickle interest in Alexander the Great. My problem is that while he is such an incredibly interesting figure I’ve been so disappointed with how he has been portrayed through Hollywood and other media. I won’t go into it in great detail, but I’ve always found modern portrayal either lacking in substance or too fixated on one feature or another that I lost all interest. That said, I found Justine Hemmestad’s Alexander to be very interesting as the man struggles with philosophy and deity (which is a very Greek thing to do!) but while still remaining the beloved conquering hero. Spiritual themes intersperse the narrative in an interesting way as the intrigue of his court unfolds and he conquers the known world—but yearns to conquer another: the one inside him.
Hemmestad has obviously done her homework and more than Alexander comes to life in the story which includes many of the key players from his era as he wars across Persia, Egypt, the far east, and more. Her Alexander feels both historically accurate, and like a real man—a difficult balance to achieve—and it flows well. If you enjoy Greek history with a kind of Stephen Lawhead flair, this book may be a worthy read.