Thursday, August 25, 2011
Blog Tour, Book Review and #Giveaway: Eromenos by Melanie McDonald #EromenosVirtualBookTour
About the Book:
Eros and Thanatos converge in this story of a glorious youth, an untimely death, and an imperial love affair that gives rise to the last pagan god of antiquity, Antinous.
In this coming-of-age novel set in second century Rome, the Greek youth Antinous of Bithynia recounts his seven-year affair with Hadrian, the fourteenth Roman emperor. In a partnership more intimate than Hadrian's political marriage, Antinous captivates the most powerful ruler on the earth.
This version of the story of the emperor and his beloved ephebe envisions the life of the youth who after death achieved apotheosis as a pagan god whose cult of worship lasted for hundreds of years, and gives voice to Antinous, whose image still appears in museums around the world.
About the Author:
Melanie McDonald was awarded a 2008 Hawthornden Fellowship for Eromenos.
She has an MFA from the University of Arkansas. Her short stories have appeared in New York Stories, Fugue, Indigenous Fiction, and online. An Arkansas native whose Campbell ancestors were Highland Scots, she now lives in Virginia with her husband, Kevin McDonald, the author ofAbove the Clouds: Managing Risk in the World of Cloud Computing
I love the history of ancient Rome. As I have mentioned in past reviews I have done most of my reading in the eras before, during and after Caesar so I was not that familiar with the Emporer Hadrian other than to remember Hadrian's Wall from history lessons past. This book explores a very short time period in Hadrian's life and a specific love in that time. Hadrian had a passion for young boys but one of them he loved above others - Antinous. Hadrian was so distraught after Antinous' death that he basically deified him.
Antinous died by drowning in the Nile. It is not known if he committed suicide, fell accidentally or was pushed intentionally. This book makes a choice and is written in Antinous' voice as a chronicle of his life; from his coming of age as a young country bred child to the cusp of manhood when he dies.
Ms. McDonald's writing is magical, it draws you into the story and you feel all of Antinous' emotions - from surprise, to embarrassment, to pride, to anger to loss. A good love story is a good love story no matter the sex of the proponents, but was this a love story? Hadrian held all the power, Antinous really was an adornment for him. As with any courtesan he was never sure of Hadrian's affections, especially as he got older.
I fell into this story, the descriptions, the feelings. It's a far more literary work than I usually read but I truly enjoyed it. I found it did help that I had a decent grasp of the Greek and Roman gods and their tales.
If you are looking for an intelligent story about love lost this book and it's lyrical writing would be a good choice.
You can see the rest of the Tour schedule HERE.
Eromenos is available at Amazon.com
One lucky reader will win a copy of Eromenos - the giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY!
How do you win?
Just jump on the Rafflecopter!
You can find Eromenos by Melanie McDonald on Facebook
You can visit Melanie McDonald's website
Disclosure: I received a copy of Eromenos from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours gratis. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.