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. Mary Renault. Having completed nursing training in , she then wrote her first novel Promise of Love.
|Published (Last):||17 October 2004|
|PDF File Size:||9.50 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||19.94 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. 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. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published February 12th by Vintage first published More Details Original Title. Alexander the Great 2. Persia Persian Empire. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about The Persian Boy , please sign up. Robert Coleman I just read it and it can definitely be read as a stand alone.
I didn't feel like I was missing anything. I just ordered the 1st book and will read th …more I just read it and it can definitely be read as a stand alone. I just ordered the 1st book and will read that next. Is this anything like the song of achilles? Sandria Its a good book which follows the theme but no See all 4 questions about The Persian Boy…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jul 14, Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , historical , 20th-century. The Persian Boy Alexander the Great 1 , Mary Renault The Persian Boy is a historical novel written by Mary Renault and narrated by Bagoas, a young Persian from an aristocratic family who is captured by his father's enemies, castrated, and sold as a slave to the king Darius III, who makes him his favorite.
Eventually he becomes the lover and most faithful servant of Alexander the Great, who overthrew Darius and captured the Persian Empire. Bagoas' narration provides both a Persian view of t The Persian Boy Alexander the Great 1 , Mary Renault The Persian Boy is a historical novel written by Mary Renault and narrated by Bagoas, a young Persian from an aristocratic family who is captured by his father's enemies, castrated, and sold as a slave to the king Darius III, who makes him his favorite.
Bagoas' narration provides both a Persian view of the conquest and an intimate look at the personality of the conqueror. In Renault's view, Alexander's love for Bagoas influenced his desire to unite the Greek and Persian peoples. Renault also posits the notion that Alexander's relentless drive to conquer the world stemmed in part from his troubled relationship with his domineering mother, and his desire to "escape" from her influence by leading his army ever eastward.
I used to think I despised love stories. I would wonder what was wrong with me; love stories are supposed to move us, I would think. They're supposed to make us feel things other stories cannot. So I thought. But all the "love stories" I saw were the unbelievable kind: The ridiculous caricatures on display in "romantic" comedies, the happily ever afters we were fed in fairy tales. Where was the suffering, and the longing. And perhaps above all, do these charac I used to think I despised love stories.
And perhaps above all, do these characters being in love provide us with anything more? Because of the love, are we gleaning any additional information about the people, the world, or even the metaphysical?
It was a long time before I realized that the type of love stories I wanted to hear were out there, and when I eventually heard them they were powerful indeed. At its heart, The Persian Boy is a love story, and it too is indeed a powerful one. This book is Mary Renault's second voyage into the life of Alexander the Great, and takes place historically from when he becomes king of Macedon, to his untimely death.
Mary Renault takes an interesting approach to telling this story however, and the entire book is written from the point of view of Bagoas, The "Persian Boy. When Darius was no longer in the picture, Bagoas became attached to Alexander instead, and by all reasonable accounts, it was a close and loving relationship. Because the book is from one specific angle, it is by its nature limiting, yet at the same time it allows a remarkable amount of depth.
Where Fire From Heaven is a more "event" driven book, The Persian Boy is much more focused on the personal aspect of those involved. Bagoas wasn't a warrior, so many of the battles of Alexander's campaign are glossed over. Instead we get the smaller, but equally important insights into the impact those battles had on the people particularly Alexander. Make no mistake, even though this book is from the point of view of Bagoas, it is about Alexander.
If this were some other historical novel, by some other writer, we would get action, troop movements, and gore. And while those can be respectable things in their own right, this book gives us the gift of emotions, psychology, and subtle philosophy.
Bagoas is an extremely tortured individual. Because of his training, he exudes a calm and tranquil exterior, but on the inside he is torn apart by a whirlwind of different emotions as he realizes Alexander is a man "greater" than he; he must be shared with others, and with his own destiny.
As beautiful as a dancing flame is, to grasp at it too tightly will burn the hand. The themes in the book have no problem jumping out at the reader. The difference between true love and simple desire, honor and perfidy, courage and cowardice are all explored at great length; it's very Greek in that respect. Alexander has often been compared to Achilles, and Mary Renault has no problem running with that comparison in a lot of her passages.
His passion for glory, his bravery, and his relationship with Hephaestion Alexander's childhood friend and Patroklos-like figure. And yes, his self-knowing hubris is inevitably a demon to deal with as well. While Fire From Heaven was a stirring book, painting a broad picture of Alexander's life and getting the chest muscles moving, The Persian Boy is ultimately a heart-wrenching book that gets the chest muscles imploding.
Can there be love without loss and pain? Desire and jealously, while still maintaining integrity? What does it mean to be a great man, and who exactly deserves to be remembered by history? The Persian Boy is a small piece of a grand epic that we can never fully know, but it is still epic in and of itself. In the tradition of the Greek pursuit of glory and excellence, this book shines brightly in its own success.
View all 13 comments. Jan 10, Diana rated it liked it Shelves: broke-my-heart , , classics , historical-fiction. After thinking about this book more I had to change the rating. The lack of my perfect Hephaistion ruined the book for me. He was the only person who loved Alexander as a person. Hephaistion never lied to Alexander, if he thought that the king was wrong, he said it. He was a very brave man, capable of doing amazing After thinking about this book more I had to change the rating.
He was a very brave man, capable of doing amazing things. Even though the nature of their relationship has never been confirmed, I believe that the fact that they did truly visit the tomb of Patroclus and Achilles makes the matter quite clear.
I hated him so much that even though the book was well written, I just wanted to finish it as quickly as possible. He was just a pretty boy, nothing more. In my opinion he was just grateful for being treated so well by his master, whom he admired who wouldn't? To be quite honest, Alexander with Colin Farrell was more romantic. Seriously, I was about when I watched it and I knew that something was going on between the two.
I need you. It is you I love, Hephaistion. No other. And you have no idea how sad it makes me. This was the most disappointing book I have ever read.
The Persian Boy
Alexander the Great's main man tells his story of devotion and sacrifice. The main character suffers in order to serve and yet [somehow] comes through it all feeling as though it was all worth it The Persian Boy. Mary Renault. In The Persian Boy, we meet him six years later and follow him to his death in a superbly moving narrative told by his young lover and companion, Bagoas, a real historical person, who may well have influenced history.
Queer Classics: The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
The novel shows Alexander from the perspective of the Persian eunuch Bagoas, named by historians as the Macedonian conqueror's lover. He is a youth robbed by betrayal and capture of his prospect for manhood, groomed because of his beauty for the bed of the Great King Darius. Once a slave regarded as no more than one of the Persian king's many exquisite possessions, Bagoas soon finds himself lover and beloved of the brilliant young man who has toppled his former master. Through his eyes, with their distinctly Persian bias, we follow Alexander as he leads his armies through a series of hard campaigns in Bactria and beyond to India.
The Persian Boy
Oh, my heart. I loved this book. I could have stayed in this world forever. It makes the story much more personal. I also loved the main character.