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Persia/Parthia

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Helen_Davis
Compulsive Reader

Persia/Parthia

Postby Helen_Davis » Sat February 4th, 2012, 3:32 am

Can anyone recommend me some good HF set in Persia or Parthia?
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Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Sat February 4th, 2012, 4:14 pm

The Blood of Flowers is good, at least for the setting: some excellent descriptions of Persia in the 16th century. But I had some major problems with the main character, as well as some of the decisions made by major players that wouldn't have fit in that time and place. But worth reading.

Carla
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Postby Carla » Thu February 9th, 2012, 7:34 pm

I liked The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani too. There's a review thread about it from way back in the Reviews A-F section. It's a while since I read it now, and the bits that have stuck with me are mainly about the setting, descriptions of the city of Isfahan (spelling?), life in a reasonably prosperous and in a desperately poor household, and especially the descriptions of traditional carpet-making and design, which were excellent. Worth reading for that alone.

For a complete contrast in tone and time, but still set in Persia/Parthia, there's The Forgotten Legion by our own Ben Kane, an all-action Roman military adventure set during Crassus' invasion of Parthia in the 1st century BC. Another military adventure, set during the wars between Rome and Persia in the third century AD, is Harry Sidebottom's 'Warrior of Rome' series.
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The Czar
Reader
Location: Nashville TN

Postby The Czar » Thu February 9th, 2012, 11:54 pm

Assassins of Alamut, by James Boschert. The protagonist is the son of a crusader, who is kidnapped by the hashashins, and taken to northern Persia and trained as an assassin.

The latter two books in the series are set in France and Egypt respectively, but the first one is 95% in Persia.

(edited to fix title/author. I gave the wrong one first.
Last edited by The Czar on Fri February 17th, 2012, 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.
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annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Fri February 10th, 2012, 3:45 am

An oldie but goodie- The Dragon of the Ishtar Gate by L. Sprague de Camp - historical adventure with plenty of action and a wry sense of humour.

Another couple of goodies set in antiquity

Mary Renault's The Persian Boy, second novel in her Alexander the Great trilogy- you'd probably want to read the other two as well -no hardship there :)

Ben Kane, Forgotten Legion, set around the Roman general Crassus' disastrous Parthian campaign - oops, I see Carla's already suggested that!
Last edited by annis on Fri February 10th, 2012, 6:29 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
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Postby Margaret » Sun February 12th, 2012, 7:24 pm

Actually, The Road to Jerusalem (an outstanding novel - see my review) is set almost entirely in Sweden. The second in the series, The Templar (see review), is set in Palestine. I haven't read the third, but I believe it is set mostly in Sweden after the main character's return. Perhaps a different trilogy by Jan Guillou? Or a similarly titled book by another author?

There's a lovely YA novel by Susan Fletcher which is set in Persia: The Shadow Spinner (see review). It's based on the story of the Thousand and One Nights and is about a girl who assists Scheherezade.
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The Czar
Reader
Location: Nashville TN

Postby The Czar » Fri February 17th, 2012, 2:28 pm

"Margaret" wrote:Actually, The Road to Jerusalem (an outstanding novel - see my review) is set almost entirely in Sweden. The second in the series, The Templar (see review), is set in Palestine. I haven't read the third, but I believe it is set mostly in Sweden after the main character's return. Perhaps a different trilogy by Jan Guillou? Or a similarly titled book by another author?

There's a lovely YA novel by Susan Fletcher which is set in Persia: The Shadow Spinner (see review). It's based on the story of the Thousand and One Nights and is about a girl who assists Scheherezade.


Oops. I meant the Book of Talon trilogy by James Boschert. The first one, which IS set in Persia is the Assassins of Alamut.

I read those two series back to back recently, and cited the wrong one.

My bad. Will edit.
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.

_______________________________________________

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

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Shield-of-Dardania
Reader

Postby Shield-of-Dardania » Tue February 28th, 2012, 9:17 am

I'd say Persian Fire by Tom Holland is a fairly good read. It's not out-and-out HF, but more of a quasi-historical quasi-documentary on the sequence of events that occurred in ancient Persia and the surrounding lands - beginning with Assyria - that eventually became the Persian empire in its various stages of evolution.

Tom Holland also has what feels to me a pleasant writing style. I'm not sure how to best describe it. Sort of smooth, natural and seamless, while also persuasive and convincing, I think.

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The Czar
Reader
Location: Nashville TN

Postby The Czar » Thu March 1st, 2012, 1:32 pm

Oh, and Gore Vidal did one that is set part in Persia, part in Ancient Greece.
It is about a man who grew up a Persian and travels to India, China, and Greece. There is a lot of philosophy/comparative religion in the book as well, as the narrator, a Zorroastrian, examines Hinduism, Bhudism, Taoism, etc. along his travels.

http://www.amazon.com/Creation-Novel-Gore-Vidal/dp/0375727051/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1330608633&sr=8-3
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.

_______________________________________________

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

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Shield-of-Dardania
Reader

Postby Shield-of-Dardania » Thu March 8th, 2012, 11:01 am

The book that first launched me into HF, before I got really fired up by David Gemmel's Troy trilogy, was Memnon by Scott Oden.

It tells the story of a collapsing Achaemenid Empire from the eyes of Melpomene, an old dying aristocratic Persian lady.

Memnon & Mentor were two sons of Timocrates, a Rhodian Greek nobleman with some oratorial skill and lofty political ambitions. His sons however were made of more macho stuff and both became soldiers serving with the Persian army. Although of Greek ancestry, they saw themselves as Asians first and their loyalty lay with Persia.

Memnon eventually rose to chief commander under Darius III Codomannus, although by then it was too late for the brilliant Rhodian to stem the tide of Alexander's advance into Persia.

Had the Persians listened to his proposals much earlier, when he proposed the scorched earth strategy to stop the marauding Macedonians and fight Alexander at sea - something that Alexander wasn't so good at, with his lack of a credible navy - even attack Macedonia at their home ground with the support of rebel Greek forces, he might have stood a fighting chance, and history might have run a different course.

Anyway, Memnon ended up marrying Barsine, his brother's widow & daughter of satrap Artabazus, whom he had admired since young, but who out of political necessity had to marry Mentor first.

Memnon, later supported by his half-Persian nephew Pharnabazus, son of Artabazus, still gave Alexander a good run for his money. In the end, the delayed effects of a severe spear injury picked up during a battle caught up with him, before he could carry his strategy to full fruition.

While Barsine, kept for safety in Darius' palace, was captured by Alexander and became his mistress, bearing him a son. Melpomene? I won't spoil the mystery for you.
Last edited by Shield-of-Dardania on Thu March 8th, 2012, 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.


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