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.


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

Renewed Pleasure

Any additional comments?

In Fire from Heaven the author, Mary Renault, traces the life of Alexander the Great from childhood, age 4, to early adulthood and stops with the assassination of his father Philip II of Macedon in 336 BC. The novelists contrasts the natural virtues of Alexander against a backdrop of the conspiracies of Macedonian royal court and the flaws of both parents, and the historical facts of Philip’s II achievement of uniting the Greek city states in preparation of war against the Persian Empire. The characters are filled with understandable human feelings and passions mixed with the myths and belief systems of ancient Greece as well as the learning and philosophy of the time. All this is done in an entertaining fashion with the plots and pitfalls Alexander must navigate to reach adulthood. The sensuality of the characters is understated by current standards but clear in its intent to allow ones imagination to fill in the blanks. The speaker of the audio, Roger May, does an excellent job creating different voices for the various characters including an Athenian conspirator with a lisp. He is equally believable whether speaking as a youth or an old man. This book has not lost the appeal it had when I first read it 40 years ago. To be able to listen to it now, with Mr. May’s vocal flourishes, is a renewed pleasure.

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- James

Scattered even for a life long Audbile reader

What did you like best about Fire From Heaven? What did you like least?

very little. Hard to track the story. Author tried to hard and forces too much onto the text while neglecting vital parts of which character is speaking or running the beat. If this had come through my class room, I would have giving it a C- at best. Should not have been published in this form, but it did just because of the lack of fiction dealing with Alexander. A shame really that this is the best we can get.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

it was ok.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Unorthodox pronunciations compared to other readers. Unclear who was speaking and very very hard to follow. I am extremely good at following but this was a real challenge.

Could you see Fire From Heaven being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No with this script

Any additional comments?

Does not read well. Hard to know who is saying what or which character has taken the narrative. Sadly poorly written and poorly performed. I think I will likely return it.

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- kevin St. Clair

Book Details

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