A brilliant yet ruthless savage conqueror and poet exhilarated by the world's wonders, Alexander first meets Alestria on the battlefield shocked to discover his adversary is female and mesmerized by her fierce, dazzling loveliness. At last, the legendary king has found his equal in this indomitable Amazon queen who has been taught since childhood to abhor men and repel all invaders. Alestria, in turn, cannot resist Alexander's strength and beauty, and they unite in deeply passionate, intensely problematic love pursuing a remarkable destiny against a vast backdrop of warfare and political turmoil that stretches from Greece to Egypt, and across Persia, deep into the mysterious kingdoms of India.
Acclaimed author Shan Sa brings Alexander the Great to richly imagined new life, entwining his historical legacy with a fantastic love affair set in a time of war between Western and Eastern civilizations.
About the Author
Shan Sa was born in Beijing and had her first poems, essays, and stories published at the age of eight. In 2001 her novel The Girl Who Played Go won the Goncourt Prize. The author of Empress, she is also a celebrated artist who has had prominent exhibitions in Paris and New York.
“A dramatically imagined tale of a love affair between Alexander the Great and Alestria, queen of the Amazons. . . . Written with the unironic portentousness of an ancient myth, the novel nonetheless has modern and moving insights into such hot-button topics such as violence and gender.”
A sweeping, heroic romance. . . . Fascinating details about Alexander’s world and about the legendary Amazons, who, if they existed at all, might have been his contemporaries -- and equals.
“Sa, author of Empress (2006), takes a huge historical leap in this entertaining fictional biography of Alexander the Great. . . . Romance, action, and intrigue combine to set the stage for a pageturning romp through alternate history.
“This reimagining of the life of Alexander the Great by the author of Empress would be a good choice for book groups, contrasting well with Stephen Pressfield’s The Virtues of War. . . . She writes here as a poet, blending image, action, and character in a rhythmic stream.”
“Told in the extravagant voices of Alexander and Alestria, and of Alestria’s confidante Ania. . . . Strewn amid the pageantry and clamour are fascinating details about Alexander’s world and the legendary Amazons, who, if they existed at all, might have been his contemporaries—and equals.”
-Finch's Quarterly Review Blog
“Imagine a romance between Alexander the great and the queen of the Amazons and you have Alexander and Alestria, by author Shan Sa.”