Monday, February 16, 2009

Alexander and Alestria by Shan Sa EXPLICIT

In the fourth century BCE, starting in Macedonia, Alexander the Great conquered the known world: the adjacent Greece, south to Egypt, and east to India, including the powerful kingdom of Persia. Against this backdrop, Alexander and Alestria by Shan Sa, unfolds a complex story of love, romantic, irrational, inexplicable love.

Alexander begin life dressed as a girl and reviled by her father. He is teased in school until he learns to control the other boys through sex (a kind of love). As a teenager he cements his leadership position with a multitude of sexual relationships with the other boys. These relationships continue throughout his life, only ending as each childhood lover dies.

At home, he turns to his mother for support.
She [Alexander's mother Olympias] and I were harnassed together by the timeless link that joins a man and a woman. Philip was dead. I in turn had become her intrepid warrior, her devouring force, her hand reaching out to expand its territories over the world. ... I killed and she dressed the wounds.
Alestria is queen of the Amazon - a warrior tribe from Siberia that survives by adopting unwanted girls. Alexander has seem Alestria in a vision - while he has many male lovers, both in long and short relationships, she is the one woman he can love.

She falls in love with him, except:
I [Alestria] carry within me the curse of the Amazons, which forbids me to love a man. Marrying Alexander means leaving Siberia, abandoning my kingdon, fleeing with him like every other Amazon in the past who has fallen for a man.
These two lovers struggle with their destiny.
Now I had nothing but love, that feeble flame on a vast plain shrouded in darkness. I had only that fire to talk to me, to warm me and support me as I struggled with the shadows and battled by fear.
This is not a happily ever after love story, but it explores the nexus of love and power, romance and reality.

Translated from the French.

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