The 5 Best Novels About Alexander The Great

Alexander the Great was one of the most influential figures of antiquity and his legacy lives on in modern literature.

From sweeping epics to historical accounts, many authors have tried to capture the grandeur and intrigue of Alexander’s life.

The 5 Best Novels About Alexander The Great

Here is a list of some of the best novels that explore Alexander’s fascinating story.

5 Best Novels About Alexander The Great

The renowned Macedonian king Alexander the Great is a figure of immense importance in world history.

  • Standing firmly atop the pantheon of great military leaders, Alexander showcased his considerable skill by conquering vast swathes of land within just a few short years.
  • His relentless drive was fundamental in assembling one of the greatest empires this world has ever seen, and he remains an inspiration even two millennia later.
  • From the likes of Hannibal and Napoleon who studied his strategy right up until the present day, when his legacy is admired with equal measure.

With astonishing speed, Alexander rose quickly through the ranks to become King at just nineteen years old – wielding power over an empire larger than any other Ancient Greek ruler before him.

He set his scope ever higher and continued forging ahead until tragically passing at age thirty-two.

The Greek coins and statues are strewn across as far east as Afghanistan are humbling reminders of how far-reaching and unyielding Alexander’s grip was over large parts of the world back then.

Despite being long gone, our interest in him has never dissipated, a testament to his lasting cultural import for all time.

Fire From Heaven: A Novel Of Alexander The Great: Mary Renault

Fire from Heaven: A Novel of Alexander the Great

This is a historical novel by Mary Renault about the life of Alexander the Great.

It was originally published in 1969, coincidentally during the same time as the famous Stonewall Riots.

The book centers on the childhood and youth of Alexander, covering his tumultuous relationship with his parents, Philip and Olympias, as well as that between him and his dearest friend Hephaistion.

Despite being such an important year historically, this quickly became a classic in its own right; without question, any comprehensive novel list about this driven and ambitious leader must include this one.

Her Extensive Knowledge

The truthfulness of Renault’s work is first-class, her knowledge of the country of Greece – its land and history – is impeccable throughout Fire from Heaven.

In fact, it can be argued that she was one of the first ever to depict such an intimate yet platonic relationship between two men positively in literature.

On top of this, however, Renault, unfortunately, paints a rather unflattering picture when it comes to Alexander’s mother Olympias; her views on misogyny remain prominent within her writing here.

All said, however, Fire from Heaven still offers readers an accessible read into the mind and ambitions of this charismatic individual, which is why it remains linked so heavily with Alexander even today.

The Alexander Trilogy by Mary Renault is a historical fiction based on the life of Alexander the Great.

Readers follow Alexander from his childhood in Macedon to his first battlefield experiences, his tutelage under Aristotle which shapes his intellect, as well as his relationship with his parents and lover Hephaistion.

  • The first book of the trilogy – Fire From Heaven – revolves around the formative years that led to Alexander becoming King.
  • We see how he navigates between politics and vengeance against those who would cross him in pursuit of an empire that extends from Greece to India.
  • Along with his mother, Olympias, and father Philip of Macedon competing for his loyalty, it’s Hephaiston’s love and trust that helps Alexander gain insight into himself, catapulting him to greatness and ultimately leading him to be one of the most powerful rulers of all time.


  • A well-researched novel with insights into accurate Greek history.
  • The novel is insightful and exciting to read as well as informative.
  • The author has firsthand knowledge of Greek history.


  • Perhaps some readers like the story to be left up to interpretation in some ways.

Lord Of The Two Lands: Judith Tarr

Lord of the Two Lands

This is a well-researched account of Alexander the Great’s conquest of Egypt by author Tarr.

Alexander of Macedon is a mythical figure dating back to Ancient Greece. In 336 B.C., he began the invasion of Persia, an act that profoundly impacted the destiny and culture of Egypt.

Meriamon, daughter of the last Pharaoh, had foreseen this event and was determined to meet her fate and find Alexander before his army reached the Two Lands.

  • The adventure stories about Alexander’s life captivated audiences across time with tales of bravery and ingenuity as he traversed famous landmarks.
  • This is where his forces won a decisive victory against Darius III in 331 B.C., or the siege of Tyre which lasted seven months and allowed Alexander access to mainland Egypt.
  • Nominated for the World Fantasy Award, readers everywhere experience a new perspective on legends that have stood for millennia through this journey from Egypt to Persia accompanied by Meriamon’s unyielding spirit throughout it all.

Judith Tarr is one of the most acclaimed authors of historical fiction and historical fantasy, having written dozens of novels.

She has studied Classics extensively, obtaining her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies at Yale University.

With this knowledge and experience in both fields, she has become an authority on the subject, which can be seen through her works.

Tarr not only excels with pen in hand-she also lives near Tucson, Arizona, where she raises and trains some beautiful horses.

Being part of the online professional writers’ cooperative Book View Cafe, Judith Tarr embodies the image of a dedicated writer who is passionate about her works and field alike.


  • She has an impressive knowledge of the story of Alexander the Great.
  • She writes about her knowledge extremely well.
  • Her works have won awards, and she has never stopped being a dedicated writer.


  • Perhaps some readers may have liked to see a more in-depth look into the characters of the novel, rather than the overall story of Alexander the Great.

Stealing Fire: Jo Graham

Stealing Fire

Stealing Fire by Jo Graham is a captivating book that tells an epic story of love and spiritual exploration.

Stealing Fire is a historical fiction novel written by Jo Graham, about Lydias of Miletus.

After surviving the campaigns of the life of the king, he is thrown into the chaos that follows his death and casts his lot with Ptolemy, a general who has grabbed Egypt as his own personal territory.

The novel further details their perilous journey across ancient lands while engaging in dangerous battles against powerful foes.

This gripping tale of friendship in an ever-changing world will leave readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

With its engaging plot and unique setting, Stealing Fire offers an unforgettable adventure about destiny, loyalty, and courage.

  • This riveting novel provides readers with an inspirational journey that touches upon themes like finding oneself through spirituality, as well as searching for meaning outside ourselves by connecting to something higher.
  • It encourages introspection without forgetting about family interrelationships or neglecting one’s personal dreams in order to reach enlightenment.
  • Stealing Fire engages readers in its complex plot line full of details surrounding subjects such as astral projection, and sacred geometry.
  • The novel has consistently garnered glowing reviews from critics for its well-developed characters and intriguing plot line.
  • Many readers find themselves drawn in by the vivid imagery and thought-provoking themes of fear, courage, and determination.

With its mix of science fiction, mythology, and fantasy elements, Stealing Fire is a compelling read full of heart-pounding action scenes, spine-tingling suspense, and emotional depth to keep readers captivated throughout its pages.

Overall, this book provides an engaging journey through a dangerous post-apocalyptic landscape, with unexpected surprises along the way!


  • This is a compelling telling with exciting action scenes and suspense, which is perfect for telling the story of Alexander the Great.
  • The family dynamics are told well between the characters of the novel.
  • The book engages readers in the plot while providing them with accurate details of Greek history.


  • You seriously won’t be able to put it down, it will become a problem!

A Choice Of Destinies: Melissa Scott

A Choice of Destinies

Melissa Scott’s alternate history, A Choice of Destinies, posits the question: what might have happened had Alexander the Great not marched into India but turned back west?

This novel proposes a world where Alexander has been thwarted in Greece by an even more serious revolt than the historically recorded one of King Agis.

He turns away from his plans for India and instead directs his ambition westward to Rome and Carthage.

Scott imagines a world where Alexander plays a significant role in the Roman-Carthaginian wars, potentially redirecting its course and with it the fate of Europe in ways no historian can predict.

In this vision of alternate history, Scott offers readers a captivating exploration of what-if scenarios as unseen forces work to shape humanity’s destiny.

How would this divergence from historical facts change our story?

What discoveries await us within those pages? These questions will remain unanswered until you delve into Scott’s A Choice of Destinies.

  • Melissa Scott is an acclaimed author of science fiction and fantasy works, most notably for her intricate and detailed settings.
  • Born and raised in the US, Scott studied history at Harvard College and Brandeis University, where she went on to earn her Ph.D. in comparative history.
  • Scott has been publishing novels since 1984. Her many novels have earned her critical and popular acclaim, including some co-authored works with her partner Lisa A. Barnett.

What stands out from Scott’s works is how she integrates themes of sexuality and gender into stories without making them overtly evident or the primary focus of the narrative.

  • Shadow Man is one such exception, which focuses solely on these themes but makes it very clear that they aren’t just a small plot point or afterthought.
  • Instead, they are used as effective storytelling tools that make the story engaging for readers.

Overall, Scott is well known for being both talented and compassionate when it comes to writing about topics such as LGBTQ+ issues in a culturally sensitive way that resonates with readers looking for more representation in literature.


  • She is an inclusive writer who doesn’t leave any stone unturned in her works.
  • Her unique telling of Alexander the Great has been a success for many years and will continue to be.
  • Readers love her style of writing and how she engages with them almost on a personal level while writing about informative knowledge.


  • It’s a novel you won’t be putting down any time soon.

A Conspiracy Of Women: Aubrey Menen

A conspiracy of women

Aubrey Menen’s novel, A Conspiracy of Women, tells an entertaining and captivating tale set in pre-colonial India.

The story is narrated from different characters’ points of view, which pulls on readers’ heartstrings as it brings each character’s motivations for revolt into focus.

The narrative takes a satirical turn when the Greeks visit India’s oldest university, where they are presented with lessons about the nature of power and authority in world history.

Though entertaining for some readers, Menen’s work could be viewed as less than substantive due to its lack of continuity throughout.

Nevertheless, many appreciate his creation for its inventive plot and unique angle regarding Alexander’s storytelling.

In any case, it presents an interesting theory regarding women’s involvement in history, which should not be overlooked.


  • The novel has a creative and intense plot that has unique angles regarding the story of Alexander the Great.
  • Her writing has been commended for her creativity and strong female protagonists throughout.
  • She has some impressive ratings that are hard to compete with.


  • Some readers may find that her style isn’t for them, but this is a generalization of most authors.

Buyers Guide

Choosing Something Original Or New


Mary Renault’s Fire from Heaven is widely regarded as one of the best novels about Alexander the Great.

It is an expertly crafted work that covers his childhood and youth, providing readers with an incisive look at a model leader.

Renault had vast knowledge of Greece both in terms of its land and history, which enriched her work to great heights.

Fire from Heaven remains a classic in its genre in modern times due to its relatable themes even after two millennia, which can serve as inspiration for generations to come.

And an original telling of the story just can’t be beaten when it comes to choosing between older versions and newer ones.


Whereas Alexander the Great, by Anthony Everitt, tells the gripping story of one of history’s greatest figures.

From his transformation from an insecure youth into a peerless leader and conqueror to his untimely death at 32, readers will be captivated by this vivid account of Alexander’s extraordinary life.

With fascinating detail and insights that can only come from an expert historian, Alexander the Great is truly an amazing biographical work that belongs on everyone’s bookshelf or audio library.

This novel is one of the best newer adaptations of the story out there, and it’s worth a read if you’re looking for something that has been published more recently rather than an older novel.

Something Simple Or In-depth And Historical

Heavily Historical

To learn more about the life and achievements of Alexander the Great, we can look at classic traditional biographies written by scholars like Plutarch who wrote his account 300 years after Alexander’s death.

His biography details Alexander’s early life, his rise to power, his campaigns against foreign powers, and other events in great detail, which still proves invaluable when it comes to learning more about him today.

Thus, we are able to gain insights into a person who faced the daunting task of expanding his empire, as well as trying to hold it together afterward.

You just can’t beat a historical, insightful book that dives into Alexander the Great and his legendary story.


However, if you’re looking for an engrossing read about one of history’s greatest figures, or you want more details about his expeditions conveyed in simpler terms, then Freeman’s work on Alexander The Great is worth checking out.

It achieved nationwide bestseller status for its excellent portrayal of events throughout Alexander’s life.

It also doesn’t hurt to have an accomplished narrator like Michael Page lending his distinguished voice to give strength to Philip Freeman’s writing narrative as well.

So if ancient & classical history piques your interest or if you’re curious about this man beyond what other people have said about him, this audiobook is a great place to start getting acquainted with him!

Final Thoughts

Alexander the Great has been an important figure in world history, and his exploits and actions have inspired a variety of books over the years.

From Aubrey Menen’s A Conspiracy of Women to Melissa Scott’s A Choice of Destinies, these novels offer readers a unique look at Alexander from different perspectives.

All stories are well-written and enthralling, making them perfect for anyone looking to explore the life of this legendary conqueror.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Reader Would Enjoy Alexander The Great?

Military tacticians and strategists might be particularly interested in reading Alexander the Great, as he went down in history as a great military leader due to his tactics having a major influence on future battles and strategy even thousands of years later.

Alexander was able to achieve total domination over much of the world, yet was only in command for under ten years, something that no other army commander before him did.

Why Was Alexander The Great So Important?

Alexander the Great is an iconic figure in the history of Ancient Greece.

Anyone who has read about his influence on shaping the Mediterranean region and its culture will know just how important he was.

This includes those interested in how Greek culture eventually became so prominent. He inspired a new generation of leaders, which can be seen through his tactical warfare and strategy at a young age.

His conquests also introduced Hellenistic ideals to people who had not been exposed to them before.

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Noah Burton