A startlingly original first novel by this generation's answer to Alice Munro (The Vancouver Sun)a bold reimagining of one of history's most intriguing relationships: between legendary philosopher Aristotle and his most famous pupil, the young Alexander the Great.
342 BC: Aristotle is reluctant to set aside his own ambitions in order to tutor Alexander, the rebellious son of his boyhood friend Philip of Macedon. But the philosopher soon comes to realize that teaching this charming, surprising, sometimes horrifying teenagerheir to the Macedonian throne, forced onto the battlefield before his timeis a necessity amid the ever more sinister intrigues of Philip's court.
Told in the brilliantly rendered voice of Aristotlekeenly intelligent, often darkly funnyThe Golden Mean brings ancient Greece to vivid life via the story of this remarkable friendship between two towering figures, innovator and conqueror, whose views of the world still resonate today.
Readers of historical fiction will enjoy The Golden Mean, drawn in by the prospect of learning more about the early lives of Aristotle and Alexander. Even readers not interested in classical history, though, would find the richly complex characters and situations engaging, as the story could almost take place in the present. All necessary background information is given in the novel, so readers do not need any prior knowledge. The novel drops hints about the greatness these two historical figures will each achieve, but Lyon captures them before that moment, while they're still forming, and while their successes are far from assured. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The Globe & Mail
..The Golden Mean is a crisply written, painstakingly researched book, and Lyon ably inhabits 'the greatest mind of all time' – hardly a mean feat. This, then, is a virtuous work, though fibrous, fat-free and rarely what you'd call fun. But that is probably exactly as Aristotle would have wanted it.
Lyon richly imagines Aristotle's stint as Macedon's royal academician, who gave Alexander the intellectual tools to not only rule but to civilize.
The Gazette (Montreal)
Historical fiction at its best ... Lyon authoritatively evokes a fabled time and place in the urbane voice of the man judged the smartest of his age.
Quill & Quire (Canada)
Lyon's singular gifts for description, character development, and plotting are on full display here, informing her unique and creative story. The novel is deep and rich in thought and accomplishment, yet it reads with the calming ease and influence of a cool summer breeze.
Alexander III of Macedon (356323 BC), popularly known as Alexander the Great, was one of history's most successful military commanders. He is reputed to have never lost a battle, and his tactics are still studied in military academies. He successfully challenged the Persian Empire, the largest, most powerful kingdom of the time, and conquered its vast territory after a series of battles and the death of the emperor, Darius III. By the time he died at the age of 32, Alexander had seized an immense amount of land stretching from Greece and the Balkans to parts of India and Afghanistan, as well as Egypt (map).
Alexander's most enduring legacy, however, lies in spreading Greek culture and civilization to the places he conquered. While his empire would collapse shortly after his death, Alexander ushered in what is known today as the Hellenic Age, where Greek (mainly Athenian) language, ideas, and people traveled to lands in the East formerly ruled by the Persian Empire. This export created a hybrid of Greek and Eastern cultures...
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