Fire From Heaven

  • by Mary Renault
  • Narrated by Roger May
  • 18 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Alexander's beauty, strength and defiance were apparent from birth, but his boyhood honed those gifts into the makings of a king. His mother, Olympias, and his father, King Philip of Macedon, fought each other for their son's loyalty, teaching Alexander politics and vengeance from the cradle.
His love for the youth Hephaistion taught him trust, while Aristotle's tutoring provoked his mind and Homer's Iliad fuelled his aspirations. Killing his first man in battle at the age of twelve, he became regent at sixteen and commander of Macedon's cavalry at eighteen, so that by the time his father was murdered, Alexander's skills had grown to match his fiery ambition.

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What the Critics Say

"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)
"The Alexander Trilogy contains some of Renault's finest writing. Lyrical, wise, compelling: the novels are a wonderful imaginative feat" (Sarah Waters)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Alexander the boring

Some books hook you and make you want to listen more. This book is not one of those.

There seemed to be no real story, no thread to tie the events together. It felt like a mild dramatisation of the events of Alexanders earlier years and seemed content with not connecting the events in any coherent way.

The narrator was satisfactory, but given the way the book was written, he didn't have much of a chance of making a good go at it.
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- Mrs "M H"

Not as compelling as the book

Where does Fire From Heaven rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Easily an eight out of ten


What was one of the most memorable moments of Fire From Heaven?

Philip's assassination


What does Roger May bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He has a good reading voice and is well able to handle the narrative professionally


Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No I was well aware of the story having read all mary renault's ancient historical novels when I was in my twenties


Any additional comments?

It's a very good book that doesn't translate quite as well to the spoken word but the story, whilst compelling, makes a valiant attempt to fill all the gaps in our knowledge of Alexander's early life with credible possibilities. It is a little over romanticised but not so much that it detracts from the overall history. I suppose that because one has to keep reminding oneself that we know nothing of Alexander from anyone who wrote about him during his lifetime, that most of what we DO know is from histories written hundreds of years after his death. Mary Renault has made a creditable story from what she knew of his life that humanises him when history tends to lionise him. Actually I have read recently that modern psychological theory might suggest that he was a bit of a Mummy's boy! The Persian Boy is likely to over romanticise Alexander even more. It's the second book in the trilogy and is written from the point of view of a slave of Alexander's called Bagoas who did exist but I am not at all sure that there is any evidence he was a lover of Alexander's. Historically, however, the second book has more history to draw upon and therefore contains more accuracies.

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- Mr David Cartwright

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-12-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios