Saturday, August 9, 2014

New Review: Judith E. French’s THE WARRIOR – Exciting Story Set in the Ancient World of Egypt, Central Asia and Ireland

Set in Ireland, Egypt and the Two Kingdoms (Bactria and Sogdiana in Central Asia) circa 298 BC, twenty-five years after the death of Alexander the Great, this is the story of his son, also named Alexander.

Alexander was raised in Bactria by his stepfather, a warrior and a family man. When Alexander comes of age and is ready to become king of the Two Kingdoms, he decides to take as his wife Mereret, the daughter of Queen Artakama and King Ptolemy in Egypt, his uncle, this despite his mother’s misgivings that he will come to harm. Indeed he does. Potolemy, urged on by his scheming wife and daughter, plans to kill Alexander.

But a comely slave girl, Kiara of the Misty Isles, rescues him from a pyramid crypt where he is left to die. For her effort, she wants Alexander to return her to her own land, Eire, where she was taken into captivity as a young girl.

French delivers an action-packed tale with treachery, mystery and intrigue, though the romance between Alexander and Kiara comes late in the book, and suddenly. The historical setting is fascinating. While (according to historical record), Alexander the Great’s son was murdered by his grandmother’s minions after Roxanne and their child were locked in a cave in Greece or Macedonia, the Shahs of Iran claimed direct descent from Alexander the Great through Roxanne’s son Alexander. Thus, French had a basis for rescuing Roxanne and Alexander. (In The Conqueror, Roxanne switches infants at Alexander’s birth and sends her son home to Bactria.)

While you can read this as a stand alone, I recommend reading the trilogy in order:

The Conqueror
The Barbarian
The Warrior


  1. This Alexander the Great trilogy is one I've wanted to write all my life. My library overflows with research books about Alex 1. I've been fascinated with him since I was a teenager. He was a complex and brilliant man and a true conqueror. His documented marriage to Roxanne of the Twin Kingdoms is legend. No historical romance writer could have plotted their first meeting with any more creativity than what actually happened. She was a historical figure in her own right, a woman, despite the awful movie, who once ruled a vast area in his name. He came to trust her and her family beyond his trust of his own followers. Yet, he also came to believe he was a god. She had to put her own nation above the man she hated and loved, and she had to save her son. Alexander died at age 31. She may or may not have been murdered eight years later. But many historians believe her son survived to rule in his own right once Alexander's kingdom dissolved. It is not a typical romance series because truth gets in the way, but I had more to tell after The Conqueror ended, so the other two books evolved. I do appreciate Regan's wonderful review. Happy reading and don't miss The Outlander series on tv. Looks fabulous. Judith

    1. Thanks for the note, Judith--it adds much to our understanding of the trilogy. I love it when historical romance authors take a chance on an obscure era and an exotic locale. Good for you!