« Provincialism's nondescript head | Main | Book Report: Something Wicked This Way Comes »

Book Report: The King Must Die

Your Humble Blogger read The King Must Die again recently. I have always thought of it as one of my favorites, certainly the top or second-to-top of the Mary Renault books. I’m not sure that’s true, anymore. I do enjoy it a lot, but it’s possible that the annoyances have been growing on me faster than the pleasures. In particular, I find that the last bit, the abandonment of Ariadne, doesn’t work for me at all. I vaguely remember that I never liked that part, and tended to skim it, but I read it quite carefully this time, and I don’t like it. So that’s a problem.

It’s also possible that I am just more open to romance as a Source of Reader Pleasure these middle-aged days. I find that I like The Last of the Wine more (even though I don’t like the ending of that one, either) and of course The Mask of Apollo. I haven’t read The Praise Singer for a while, and I can’t remember whether it’s a love story or not. Hm.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


Mary Renault!! I read The King must die at the beginning of 7th grade, because it happened to be on the shelf of the house we were renting at the time. Gripping!! Loved it! Read everything by her that I could find in the years that followed. Bull dancing was such a concept, though I have to agree with you about Ariadne. I still have The Persian Boy and if anything I find it grows better with re-reading, once every few decades. Marvelous stuff.

Post a comment

Please join in. Comments on older posts will be held for moderation. Don't be a jerk. Eat fruit.