Realm

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Realm by Alexandrea Weis is an intriguing insight into the past. The horror of war and greed and its toll on women and children. 

We are introduced to sixteen-year-old Roxanna immediately. She is the daughter of a Persian leader and loved by him. Roxanna is strong-willed. Hunting, fighting, and riding horses are her world, but war is at their door, brought by Alexander the Great. Roxanna’s beauty catches his attention, and soon we see the value of women at the time. She becomes a bartered wife of Alexander despite the ill-will of many of his generals. Shortly after the marriage, she is taken away from all that she knows and loves.

Conflict of a world at war and the repercussions, especially on the women and children of the period is the overwhelming theme tying the book together. The sub-conflict between Roxanna a Persian and the world of the Greeks. Long-standing animosity between these two cultures drives the plot forward. The love that grows between Alexander and his wife takes a backseat to the treachery, war, and powerplays. 

As a history buff, I found the world building quite good. Ms. Weis obviously spent a long time researching the time and place where Realm is rooted. For those who enjoy the deep immersion into the intricacies of history, it will be enjoyable. For my taste, often the details took over and away from the characters. There is nothing right or wrong here, only a matter of preference. 

The main characters of Roxanne and Alexander, in my opinion, were well developed. Alexander is not someone I actually liked. I chose this book, thinking it would be an epic romance. In fact, it was more of a historical docu-drama. Again, not right, or wrong but a matter of preference. Instead of engaging with the characters, I felt as though I were on the outside looking in. In my opinion, the most intriguing relationship was between Roxanna and Alexander’s general, Hephaestion. The respect and friendship that grew between them were some of the deepest of the character developments.


The Point of View seemed more of a narrator telling than the characters speaking. This gave me the feeling of being on the outside, looking in rather than immersion. 

The tale of Roxanna is not a happy one, though there are moments of joy. Realm seems to give a realistic picture of the terrible history of women and children in a world torn by war, greed, and ambition.  If you enjoy history and lush descriptions, you will enjoy this book.
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When her homeland is conquered by the mighty Alexander the Great, Roxana—the daughter of a mere chieftain—is torn from her simple life and thrown into a world of war and intrigue.
So, I’m not sure why I decided to read this story, it’s not really the type I read, more like the type I’d watch, but I did. It was definitely the first I’ve read that had anything to do with Alexander the great and this many fictitious real people (if that makes any sense). The only thing I knew about Alexander the great was from the movie that was released a few years back and the only thing I knew about that was that it inferred he was killed by his male lover, so I was initially incensed in the beginning. Than I did a google search and did a mental apology to the author and continued reading. Overall it was a really good saga. My only complaint would be that there are numerous POVs that are a bit annoying. It was a really good book that I highly recommend. 
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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3.5 stars

When I read the blurb for Realm, I was intrigued. Like everyone else, I have heard of Alexander the Great. I have watched movies made about his life. I have read books about his exploits. But I had never heard of Roxana. There were mentions of a beautiful Persian princess, but no details were given. So, when I read that this book was about that mysterious Persian princess, I needed to read the book. I am glad that I read it because I got an insight into what being a woman was like back in those times. I also got a great insight into what being the wife and consort of Alexander the Great was like too.

Realm was hard to read at times. I am not a shrinking violet when it comes to violence, but I couldn’t get past certain scenes. An example would be Roxana witnessing the execution of some of Alexander’s troops. I was disgusted by the description. I will never be able to look at elephants feet the same way again.

I did like Roxana at first. I liked how she handled Alexander from the moment she met him. She wasn’t afraid to back down. But, after he died, her spirit dimmed. She wasn’t outspoken enough, in my eyes. I mean, she was being used as a political pawn. All because she was the mother of Alexander’s child. She did regain some of her fire in the middle of the book. Only to lose it at the end. I was disappointed by that. I would have loved to see her fire present the entire book.

I liked how Alexander and Roxana’s relationship was allowed to go at its own pace. There was no Instalove, well at least on Roxana’s part. It took her a long time to develop feelings for Alexander.

I know that many marriages were common back in those days. I loved how the author chose to portray Roxana’s reaction to it. Loved it!!

Once Alexander died, the book became confusing and boring for me to read. I know that the author was following timelines and real events but still. It became a dry read for me. There were only so many assassinations, murders, and generals out for themselves that I could take. But, it did illustrate how trapped Roxana was. I couldn’t even imagine living as she did. After her son was born, she was on the run for seven years. I can’t even imagine doing that.

The end of Realm broke my heart. I knew what was going to happen and was hoping so bad that the author would put her spin on things. Of course, it didn’t happen, and my heart broke into tiny little pieces.

I would give Realm an Adult rating. There is sex. There is violence. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Realm. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
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Realm started out pretty good, but the pace was extremely slow. And as Alexander the Great's story unfolded through Roxana's eyes, I had trouble enjoying it. None of the characters were multi dimensional, and the writing was rather repetitive. There was more telling than showing, and I felt like the narration was quite naive.
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Roxana is the sixteen-year-old daughter of a chieftain when her homeland is conquered by Alexander the Great. Alexander takes her away and makes her his bride, but she will never be queen because of her Persian ancestry. What will happen to this sweet and naïve young girl when she is thrust into a world of political intrigue and war?

This book is a fictionalized account of a real woman who actually became pivotal in the life of Alexander the Great. The book is steeped in history, yet the author is able to pull us into Roxana’s story on a personal level, and we experience history through the eyes of someone living it. The author has a smooth, easy writing style that draws you right into the story and keeps your attention as she reveals Roxana’s experiences. The book is long, but don't let this intimidate you. Again, the author has such an engaging writing style that you quickly become immerses and simply want to keep turning the pages to see what is going to happen next. Soon, you'll be glad it is a long book because you won’t want the very personal yet historical ride to end!
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I haven't read much historical fiction about ancient Greece, and Realm was a good introduction to that time period.

Roxana's Persian homeland is conquered by the Greeks, led by Alexander (the Great). He becomes so mesmerized by Roxana that he asks for her hand in marriage. Everyone is stunned that Alexander would choose a Persian for a wife, and Roxana has a hard time because of the prejudice against her people. But Alexander drags her along as he conquers more and more territory, and as time passes they grow to truly love each other.

There are a lot of characters, but the main characters all shine through. Roxana can never trust anyone because betrayals are always being attempted. And when Alexander dies, leaving Roxana with a baby son, she knows that their lives will forever be in danger from those wanting to steal the throne for themselves.

Poor woman. I can't imagine leading the life she did. Yes, she was rich and had material things, but really she was never able to be comfortable with her position as an outsider married to a king.  It is a good thing that Alexander was such a strong leader (he really was "Great!")

Realm has some slow parts. It really drags during the war years before Alexander dies. It is less than 400 pages, but it seemed longer to me. That is really my only complaint. I loved the story and learning about the mostly nomadic lifestyle of the conquering Greeks.  They really believed it was the Gods' wishes that they constantly be expanding their empire. All the death and destruction was just something to be expected.

I knew the ending that was in store for Roxana (from Wikipedia), so be prepared. Or not...

I rarely comment on book covers, but I have to mention this one.  Or...the boobs on this one. I know she was a beautiful woman, but that is a bit much for me.

I would have a hard time recommending this widely to teens. Yes, there is a romance, but it does read a bit slow and detailed. Those interested in the time period should certainly be pointed to Realm.
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I am not a fan of historical romance but after reading this book's synopsis, I knew I had to give it a shot. 
This book is a must read for those who enjoy historical romance. It is about the wife of Alexander the Great, Roxana and how she tries to come to terms with expectancies of being a king's wife. With the author's writing skills, you can feel the difficulty of being a woman in those times as if you are living there yourself.
The only negative thing about this book was that I found a couple of the conversations in it a little bit unrealistic, considering the circumstances.
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I found Realm to be a captivating novel.  It was based on the life of Roxana who was the Persian-born, first wife of Alexander the Great.  As I read the book, I became more fascinated by her and did further research into her history.  The book is not a pure biography as we obviously do not know exactly what happened during the time period.  I would say it is a loosely based historical fiction.  That said, I was quite intrigued by it.  The book starts when she meets him at age sixteen.  She is a strong-willed and intelligent young woman which is definitely what drew him to her.  Even though it was difficult to read how she was treated at times, one has to remember the time period and that women were not respected during that time period.  When I say that, he was never abusive to her, it is just that she was kept separate with the caravan of mistresses and such which meant he came to her when it was convenient and she rarely spent time in his quarters early in the story.  She did later on though.  Actually, it appears that Alexander gave her more respect than was typical for the time.  Also, he married her because he wanted to, not for political gain.  That said, she was the epitome of a strong woman and fought diligently to protect those that she cared for.  Even though the book read a lot like a Greek tragedy (which is ironic given Alexander's obsession with The Iliad), I found it fascinating.

(As a sidenote, I'm not a fan of the cover.  I, personally, don't think it is a fair representation of Roxana.)

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Upon initial read, I didn't believe there was a wife of Alexander the Great named Roxana in ancient history. But how wrong I was. So begins a thoroughly researched romance novel that articulates the multi-faceted relations between neighboring states, conquering forces, and the refugees caught in the middle. This is not your average paperback romance, it provides quite a breadth of detail and characters and historical accuracy to entertain an academic. Don't be shy to break out Wikipedia while reading to look up some of these difficult to remember side characters.
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Great book, I really enjoyed it! Awesome characters, writing, dialog, action and storyline! I definitely recommend checking it out!
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I received a complimentary advance copy of this book to give a voluntary honest review. This review contains only my own thoughts and opinions of this book.

Realm was a maelstrom of every kind of emotion for me and not at all what I had expected. Just one book made me feel everything from immensely thrilled to tear-filled sorrow. To be honest, had I known when I got the book what an emotional coaster-ride it would be I probably wouldn’t have read it. However now afterwards, I do not regret reading it at all. 

Let me start of by saying that I know very little of Greek history or Alexander the Great. As a matter of fact, I usually don’t read anything historical. What drew me to read Realm was the romance aspect of the story and being that’s how the book started, with Roxana and Alexander meeting for the first time, I was hooked. However, I soon started to get a bit pissed because it felt like the romance was put on the back burner with Roxana being isolated and alone in the middle of war and politics, having to be okay with mistresses and potential future wives. I felt for her and the unfair treatment of being a woman at that time. This feeling came back to haunt me at several points in the story where the woman who dreamed of a life where she could ride horses, go on adventures and see the world was nothing but the obedient wife outside of all the action. 

Still, knowing that this was based on history and the author wanting to keep it accurate to that (as well as me knowing the romance was just a personal preference for me), I tried to keep an open mind. And it payed of. The relationship between Alexander and Roxana strengthened and developed beautifully, as well did the plot with the wars and travels and relations to other characters like Hephaestion and the other generals. Suddenly I wasn’t all in for the romance but also the history aspect, the characters and the adventure. I loved every part of it and I got really curious and made the mistake of looking up the history online. I wanted to see over it’s accuracy and what would happen next. If anyone reading this review and like me knows very little of history I won’t spoil anything, but what I found out abruptly put a damper on things and made me dread to keep reading. 

Of course, what I dreaded came to pass, but also some surprises, both happy and sad, on the way that made it bearable. Starting this book I don’t think I ever expected that I would ever cry. Several times at that. I didn’t think I would feel anger or jealousy for Roxana on such a deep level, or regret or confusion. This was a completely different kind of story than I thought it was going to be, but I’m not disappointed at all. Sure, there were things I did not like, such as how Roxana always had to accommodate Alexander and be okay with everything he did. But I understand that it was written that way because of the way the look on women was at that time. There was also some confusion for me when it came to the war and politics, especially near the end, but Roxana and the other characters compensated well for that so I didn’t care that much that I didn’t fully follow what exactly was happening. 

The one thing however I would have preferred, and this may just be a personal and a bit of a corny wish of mine, but I would have liked to see Roxana and Alexander reunited in the Elysian Fields at the end of the book. It would have given me the perfect closure I needed after such a riveting and emotional read.
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This is a biographical novel of Alexander the Great’s wife. I have to confess that the cover is very inaccurate to the times and is very off-putting. However, the story is decent, but it was a bit drawn out. This is not the best novel on Alexander the Great and his wives, but it is still an enjoyable read.
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I am a huge history fan and I love reading books set in this time period and this novel does not disappoint. 

While the focus on so many novels is your strong, brave, fearless MALE hero – this novel takes a different approach. It follows Roxana’s story who as a young girl at the tender age of sixteen marries Alexander the Great. Now you think with such a husband, she would be forced into the back burner of the story but her tale is unique. She is just as fearless as him and perhaps even stronger? 

She is not of royal blood but is a strong young woman who has grown up learning to be independent, take care of herself and not to bend to societal rules. Her beauty is what first attracts Alexander’s eye but it is her fierce determination, strength and confidence which sets them down the path of true love. 

This path, while full of love, is also full of lies, war and constant struggle for power. She is caught up in the web of deceit many times and has to rely on herself only in order to survive. She is clever, strong, fierce and everything you want to be. You feel her pain when she loses her first child in labour and rejoice with her when she does give birth. Your heart is sore for her as she struggles for acceptance and to understand the politics and rules that guide her life. You hurt alongside her at the loss of her husband and when she is not allowed to grieve as she has to do everything to protect her child. 

It is an incredible story from start to finish that you will not want to put down. I read this book in one sitting as I was just fascinated by her and her journey. This is a book that does not disappoint!
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"Realm" is the story of Macedonian king Alexander the Great who conquered Persia, Egypt and all the way to India, seen through the eyes of his Persian-born first wife Roxana.

At first the novel gives the impression of a romance novel but that somehow does not work because I certainly did not like Alexander as he is depicted here. He lets his wife travel in the baggage train of his army and only occasionally visits her to have a night of passion and then leaves her alone for months at the time. 

As most of Roxana's life consists on travelling with the army waiting for her husband that part of the novel might be very historically correct but a bit boring.

The last half of the novel is more of a thriller and quite captivating. Roxana the Persian has to keep her son and the heir to Alexander safe within a turmoil of civil war violence. 

In my language "a Greec tragedy" is what is called a story with a lot of death and destruction and heartache and that is certainly the case here.

Wikipedia and the writer do not agree on events later in the book but I can imagine why the writer choose a more consious event.

Due to the good last part of the novel a 4 starts out of 5.

It will be published May the 14th 2019. Mine was an ARC-copy I received for free and I was not obliged to write a review.
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This book was not what I originally had expected when I started reading but I couldn't put it down until I finished. The story pulls you in from the beginning and I found myself drawn into a whole new world of historical page turning. The in depth description of that era paints vivid scenes for all the characters and an interesting story that will have you caught up wanting to know what happens to the main character Roxanna. I definitely think that this is a book anyone could enjoy.
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Uhhhh..... what just happened? Did I miss something? Was there another book? I dont know, but i could not connect with this story. It truly had potential, but feel extremely flat for me. The main H really had me rolling my eyes most of the time and.... the story was just not for me. I may pick up another book by this author.
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Realm by Alexandrea Weis, well written and novel insight into a time and place that hold peoples' imaginations. Roxana the mysterious young woman who captured the heart and mind of a legendary historical figure. Insightful and well worth reading.
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I give this novel a strong 4.5/5.0. A great story. Well-developed characters. And an interesting writing style. The characters truly took you on a journey. The world that Alexandrea created was attention pulling and well thought out. The world-building was well structured and executed.
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Alexandrea Weis has written a book that should be on high school reading lists. It is also very timely in this day and age of female empowerment and important discussions on both women and minorities. Who doesn't want to know about the sixteen-year-old girl who stole the heart of Alexander the Great as well as affected the fate of his empire? This title is for people who enjoy history with the addition of romance, power, betrayal, and intrigue. From the TV side, comparable elements can be found in REIGN (formerly on CW) and ROME (HBO). Highly recommend. It's about time someone told the woman's story in the epic journey of one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever known.
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Realm fell flat for me. I wasn't interested enough in the subject matter of this book. I don't think it's for me.
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