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The Persian Boy

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780349018553

Price: £16.99

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‘One of the greatest historical novels ever written’ SARAH WATERS

‘I love to find queer representation in historical fiction. . . Renault’s eye for intimacy is amazingDOUGLAS STUART, author of Shuggie Bain


A groundbreaking queer classic and powerful reimagining of the last years of Alexander the Great, told through the eyes of his lover.

I thought, There goes my lord, whom I was born to follow. I have found a king.
And, I said to myself, looking after him as he walked away, I will have him, if I die for it.

Bagoas, abducted as a boy and sold as a eunuch, has been transported to the heart of the Persian court as courtesan to King Darius. But when the Macedon army conquers his homeland, Bagoas finds freedom at the hands of their golden young commander, whose name is already becoming a legend: Alexander.

Their encounter sparks a passionate devotion that shapes the Persian boy’s future – and deepens into a relationship that will sustain them both through assassination plots, political intrigue and the threat of Alexander’s own restless ambition. This is a spellbinding tale of power, loyalty and loss – a vision of history transfigured by love.

‘Mary Renault does not pretend the past is like the present, or that the people of ancient Greece were just like us. She shows us their strangeness; discerning, sure-footed, challenging our values, piquing our curiosity, she leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us’ HILARY MANTEL

The Alexander Trilogy stands as one of the most important works of fiction in the 20th century . . . Renault’s skill is in immersing us in their world, drawing us into its strangeness, its violence and beauty’ ANTONIA SENIOR, THE TIMES

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Renault's skill is in immersing us in their world, drawing us into its strangeness, its violence and beauty . . . a literary conjuring trick . . . so convincing and passionately conjured
The Times
I love to find queer representation in historical fiction. This is a reframing of the later years of Alexander the Great's life, told from the perspective of his young, gelded lover, the servant Bagoas. Renault's eye for intimacy is amazing and it's really moving to see the warrior through his lover's adoring gaze. You'll be left wishing that someone worshipped you like that.
Douglas Stuart, author of 'Shuggie Bain'