Book Review: The Praise Singer by Mary Renault (four stars)
“Anything can happen to anyone; I saw that in Ionia. Men born in riches have ended up washing a Persian’s floors.”
Historical fiction. Building on what little is known about sixth century BC Greece, Renault builds a sympathetic and engaging tale. Tells it as it should have been.
“He praised my ode. He was the first to mention the lines that I had liked best myself. (There is praise, after all, which makes one wonder what one did wrong, to have caught the fancy of such a fool.)”
Best read digitally with hot links, unless the reader is very familiar with ancient Greek geography, persons, and terminology. Other readers may find themselves adrift. Lyrical turns of the phrase.
It is bitter to lose a friend to evil, before one loses him to death.