Title: “A Choice of Destinies”
Author: Melissa Scott
Number of Pages:
Date of Publication: June 1, 1986
4 stars: What if Alexander had…?
Melissa Scott has created an amazing book here. Historical fiction concerning Alexander the Great has recently captured my attention and I have been eagerly devouring anything to do with the subject. This book, unlike the previous ones I’ve read, takes Alexander on a different route. What if Alexander skipped India? What if he went towards Rome? What if he had an heir before he started his journey? All of these questions and more create an interesting and exciting story.
I would definitely recommend this story. I thought Melissa Scott captured Alexander the Great’s character very well. Hephaistion also plays a large part, and even Bagoas is mentioned. I’ve never thought about what Rome would do if Alexander came calling, and the author has written a very plausible theory.
Again, I recommend this story. If you’re interested in other historical fiction concerning Alexander the Great, I recommend Mary Renault’s Alexander trilogy: Fire from Heaven, The Persian Boy, and Funeral Games. I also just finished Lord of the Two Landsby Judith Tarr and would recommend that if you’d like to see Alexander from an Egyptian point of view.
I’d also like to note that I was a bit put off by the cover art showing what looks like outer space. The majority of this story takes place in Alexander’s time period. There are a few short chapters (only a few pages long) which are spread throughout the book, and take place far in the future; they deal with what is left with Alexander’s empire. Not something I particularly cared for (which is why this book got four stars), but they did not take much away from my enjoying the story.