The King Must Die by Mary Renault

Title : The King Must Die

Author : Mary Renault

Context : The King Must Die is a historical fiction novel by Mary Renault set in Ancient Greece. The well known historical novelist, Mary Renault takes Theseus the legendary hero and spins his saga into an exciting and fast-paced tale, in this innovative and ambitious narrative.

Synopsis : The author begins with the early years of Thesues, presenting the mystery of the identity of his father and how the insecurities breed his small stature and stimulate his youthful horsing around.

While Theseus, gradually proceeds to Athens, Eleusis and Crete his fondness and playfulness for pranks evolves into the courage. The singular daring feats he tried reminded him of the leadership and gallantry he was popularly known for on the battle field. He has matured into bold-hearted ingenuity he displays in navigating the maze and killing the Minotaur.

Of all her novel, The King Must Die is the most inventive novels of Ancient Greece. Theseus is cast in a wonderfully original pose; teasing the flawed human out of the bronze hero. The author has very beautifully drawn the believable and feasible out of the fantastic. People of ancient Greece have been presented with their strangeness; challenging values, sure-footed, discerning, piquing curiosity and leading through an unknown landscape that delights and moves the reader.

The tale follows adventures of Theseus from Troizen to Eleusis where death in the title of the book is to occur and from Athens to Crete where he studies how to jump bull and is awarded the title – King of the Victims. The novel is not only a daring act of imagination but is also impregnated richly with the spirit of its time.

Other works by the Author :

Contemporary Fiction

1939 – Purposes of Love

1940 – Kind Are Her Answers

1944 – The Friendly Young Ladies

1947 – Return to Night

1948 (US 1949) – The North Face

1953 (US 1959) – The Charioteer

Historical Novels

1956 – The Last of the Wine

1962 – The Bull from the Sea

1966 – The Mask of Apollo

1969 – Fire from Heaven

1972 – The Persian Boy

1978 – The Praise Singer

1981 – Funeral Games


1964 – The Lion in the Gateway: The Heroic Battles of the Greeks and Persians at Marathon, Salamis and Thermopylae

1975 – The Nature of Alexander

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