Book info

Alexander And Alestria (2008)

Alexander and Alestria (2008)
Author
Rating
3.14 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0061543543 (ISBN13: 9780061543548)
languge
English
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publisher
harpertorch
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Alexander And Alestria (2008)
Alexander And Alestria (2008)

About book: This book has some really beautiful lines and a poetic quality surrounds the entire story. The parts about Alestria and her powerful Amazonian tribe were fascinating to read. But the story as a whole was ill-conceived and almost carelessly developed. It started and stopped and was overly emotional at times. However, I still strongly recommend reading it. The parts that are great are truly remarkable in their writing style. The tediouss in-betweens are worth it to reach Shan Sa's stunning descriptions of Alexander and Alestria's feelings for each other, and Alestria's feelings on herself.Here is how I described reading it in a correspondence with someone after first reading it: So... I am furiously reading Alexander and Alestria these days. I love so much that this story is based in historical accuracy. They have just met in the book (the first half is just Alexander and his conquests and there are a few chapters about Alestria and her upbringing as a "warrior woman"-- which is completely fascinating, by the way. One of my fav. quotes from her so far is, "Suffering has carved a deep pit in my heart for life to pour its loveliness into.") Well, they finally meet in battle-- he is fighting her (it's actually pretty violent, the whole book is) and they have this moment where their eyes meet amidst the blood and terror of war and he doesn't see hate or anger as he would usually find in an opponent-- he sees love. And he realizes after she leads him away from the battle and into the "steppes" (where she is from), that this fierce warrior is not a man but a woman. (It's written almost like mythology-- as in there isn't alot of dialogue or detail, things just happen.) Of course, he immediately falls in love with her and they have this strange several day long banter of fighting each other from dawn to dusk and him following her/chasing her-- each day she lets him just a bit closer. Until finally he is able to stop her completely and they make love in this field of wildflowers and he says to her, "Oh, Alestria, give me your wounds and your weapons. All those who have possessed you and all those you have loved shall be erased. I have come to take you, to take you away." So there's that.

This book attempts to show the reader what Alexander the Great's life was like as a child, teenager, and young man, and the road that led him to "greatness." It also draws attention to Queen Alestria, the woman he married, and the complex, unusual relationship that they shared.I was very excited about checking this book out from my library, but only a few chapters in, my anticipation was no more.This is a book that is not worth your time.It is clumsily written, as if the author threw together a last minute draft and left it at that.The characters are horrible, lifeless little sketches that make no sense. I often got the feeling that Shan Sa was trying to impress upon the reader that Alexander and Alestria were not like us. They were gods, beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. No attempt was made to create likable, relateable characters.The text was dry, and somehow, nothing much ever seemed to happen. The author went on about the events of Alexander's life in an uninspired manner, and I imagined more than once listening to this book on audio and hearing a droning, monotone robot voice reading it to me.Also, the sexual side of the story seemed strange to me. Alexander has sex with his own mother, and she asks him to? This was not completely clear - but it is certainly very heavily hinted at. However, far more than hinted were the scenes with Alexander's father. His father desires him sexually, and Alexander actually feels the same. What?Although of course there could be deep, but plausible, psychological explanations for this (the abused forces himself to believe that it's what he wants, still common in victims today), the author has no intention of exploring them. As a result, Alexander comes across as a twisted, perverted man.Misunderstood? Probably. But not in the author's eyes.I was hoping for an intricate, well woven love triangle as Alexander struggles between his love for both a man and a woman. That story told from Alestria's side as well would have surely been a heartbreaking one.However, please do not expect to share in any sort of emotion or feeling from the characters here. Disappointingly, this book is not worth a read.
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Reviews
Hannah Abram
Beautifully poetic, but poorly put together. The authors poetic licenses take a rather disturbing turn, *spoilers* when Alexander (who many Historians agree to be a lover of a ethical nature) has relations with BOTH his parents (his mother it is questionable, but she asks for him to conceive a child), and rapes a boy... and this all has little to no development as to why. Very disappointed, was hoping for a historical fiction based on interesting and complex figures of the ancient era. Not, god-like voids with unreadable motivation.
Samantha
I received this book free from HarperCollins after becoming a friend of their MySpace page. It is awful. It took me days to get through it because I was dreading it so bad. I hate how Ms. Sa writes. It is like she is trying to write lyrically or poetically, but also stay in the story format. The chapters jump back and forth between Alexander The Great and Alestria the Amazon queen. Obviously this is a fiction book since this event never happened. I wish this book hadn't happened. It is actually one of the worst books I've spent time on in a long time. I felt no interaction with any of the characters and did not find the story realistic in any manner. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone at all.
Donna
A fictional love story between Alexander the Great and Alestria, Queen of the Amazons. I enjoyed reading this book at bedtime so I could listen to the voices of Alexander, Alestria, and Ania her servant without distraction. Alexander rises from the abuse of his father King Philip of Macedonia and his clinging mother Olympias and leads his army to conquer Greece, Egypt and Persia. His life had been one of pleasing others and being used because of his beauty/handsomeness. The lovers in his life never fulfilled his anger and revenge, nor did the battles and conquests. After taking Persia, Alexander is weary, but still goes forth to the Asian steppes. There in battle he meets his equal as a warrior and soulmate - Alestria, the Amazon queen. She and her warriors are from Siberia and have roamed free for generations. No woman since the first Great Queen died in childbirth is allowed to be with a man or have his child. Alexander and Alestria recognize the equal of the other and race across the steppes for days doing fighting, but camp at night near each other to rest. From their first face-to-face meeting Alexander finally knows peace and real love. Alestria, knowing it's forbidden, falls in love with Alexander. Together they ride back to his soldier's encampment and begin their life. Shan Sa writes with such color and imagination. You feel the joy, sadness, anger, frustration of each character; she brings alive the varied peoples, cultures and scenery of Alexander's conquests. He is one of those historical figures that always fascinated me. What he accomplished at such a young age and dying too soon at age 32. I definitely prefer the ending of Shan Sa's book.
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