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If ever there was a period of history ripe for a multitude of exciting and awe inspiring books and literature, it is the life and times of Alexander the Great.  And yet, time after time I come away disappointed and wanting more.    

Remember Alexander by Oliver Stone?  If you do it is only with disgust. It’s one of the few movies I’ve turned off half way through.  

I know I have a few books about Alexander in my library, but I honestly can’t remember a single one of them.  One  must be the first book in Manfredi’s trilogy about Alexander. I think I read it in 2008. Honestly though, I can’t remember much about it.  It had to have been good enough for me to grab the second and third books.  After reading this second book, though, I can’t imagine what I was thinking.

The book is originally written in Italian, so I can’t quite bring myself to bash the book. It’s possible that something was lost in translation.  Frankly, I hope that’s the case.  What is left is a book that is rather boring.  I don’t quite get that. How can a book about Alexander be boring?

The fight scenes are dull.  I did not gain a connection with any character except Memnon of Rhodes.  Unfortunately, his demise takes place off screen with no details on how it was accomplished.  Actually, that shortcoming crops up many times. An event or action is built up ahead of time only to find in the next chapter that the event has transpired, and it’s glossed over as the story continues.

There were still some interesting moments, and Manfredi does an excellent job describing the cities and sights that the Macedonians only imagined before they left their rustic backwater to conquer their world.  My only real regret is that I already have the third book on the shelf and will be forcing myself to read it.

Can anyone recommend some great Alexander historical fiction?

2 out of 4 (see the rating system)