Sunday, 26 July 2015

Xerxes: A Persian Life - Richard Stoneman


Having just finished reading and reviewing another Net Galley book, Esther by Rebecca Kanner (fiction), I was immediately drawn to this historical biography of Xerxes. When I first started to look it over, I admit I thought I might be bored by it quickly. That's not what happened. Richard Stoneman's non-fiction biography of Xerxes is rich in detail and written without the usual loquacious ramblings that seem to have become a historical biography staple. There is no question that Stoneman did his homework, as Xerxes appears to have been meticulously researched.

What I loved the most – and pardon me if my love of historical women's fiction is showing – was the Family Romances chapter. Like most readers, I only knew of Xerxes from the stories of Queen Vashti, Queen Esther, and Mordecai. Stoneman does not quibble in his assessment of fact versus fiction, and while I won't tarnish the best part of his book with outright spoilers, the proof is in the puddin' when it comes to his delivery of some very serious, very interesting contradictions. I enjoyed this biography, but have a feeling readers looking for something to solidify what they have believed their whole lives might not have as great of an appreciation for it.

I'd like to thank Net Galley and the publisher Yale University Press for providing an ARC of Xerxes in exchange for my honest opinion, which this is.


Amazon Link: Xerxes: A Persian Life

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the Amazon link and buy the book, I may receive a commission.

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