LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
My introduction to Mary Renault was The King Must Die, the first of two novels about Theseus--it was actually assigned reading in high school. What impressed me so much there was how she took a figure out of myth and grounded him historically. After that I quickly gobbled up all of Renault's works of historical fiction set in Ancient Greece. The two novels about Theseus and the trilogy centered on Alexander the Great are undoubtedly her most famous of those eight novels, and I'd add The Last of the Wine. I wouldn't put The Praise Singer in the first tier of Mary Renault's historical fiction with the novels mentioned above, but it's heads above most historical fiction you can find on shelves. And in a way you could see this as a prequel to The Last of the Wine. While that dealt with Athens during the the Peloponnesian War, this is mostly set in Athens during the beginning of the Persian War. The central title figure, Simonides, is a real historical figure, an important lyric poet who wrote the famous epitaph for the 300 Spartans who fell at Thermopylae: Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie. The Praise Singer is a great portrait of the early Classical period.
Review: The Praise SingerUser Review - Goodreads
The plot is strangely detached, far away, a sort of foreign dream told by a confused stranger. All the characters share the same trait: it is not that they are not well rounded, they are distant ...
Review: The Praise SingerUser Review - Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways - Goodreads
Rating: 4* of five The Publisher Says: In the story of the great lyric poet Simonides, Mary Renault brings alive a time in Greece when tyrants kept an unsteady rule and poetry, music, and royal ... Read full review