Monday, 17 October 2011

THE KING MUST DIE - Mary Renault, 1958

This book was recommended in my A’Level English class back in 1986. I never bothered with it back then. I bought it in a charity shop last month and I devoured it (much as The Minotaur would have devoured his victims) Except he doesn’t. This gives a rational explanation for the events concerning Theseus and his visit to Crete but it’s not half as exciting as the version I’ve grown up with. So, I have to admit, it’s a bit disappointing.
Renault writes very well and draws you into the world but The Ancient World exists to provide us with mystical explanations for everyday events. We can be inspired by and learn from the challenges faced by their heroes. We do not need them to bring us back to earth.

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