Note: I listened to this as an audiobook.
Also it is possible this review includes material that some sensitive souls may regard as spoilery. If you are a sensitive soul, not only should you stay away from this review, but the actual book as well I think!
Had a love hate relationship with this one, and consequently find myself torn between the 2-star "it was OK" rating and the 3-star "liked it". Aspects of it were utterly fascinating, but all too often I found myself shouting in frustration at the author, who had a terrible tendency to bang on and on with the melodrama, trying to artificially heighten the suspense by chucking big long descriptive passages at various scenes, dwelling on minutiae of what characters were thinking and doing. I got the feeling at times that he was anticipating the book being turned into a movie, and was actually including notes for the film-maker. The result: boring, pointless detail. Characters were taken apparently well past the point of certain death time and again, just to be rescued - usually by the hero. Tedious, tedious. I hated most of the female characters most of the time. I hated the way Gaille was referred to as "the girl" so often, although admittedly this was sometimes a device to indicate the contempt with which a particular one of the many arrogant men in the book regarded her. I hated the way that in spite of her having little discernible gumption, courage, chutzpah or personality, she became the hero's romantic interest. I can only say thank God there was no sex scene between them. (and don't get me started on the sex scene that was in the book. *shudders*)
The historical and archeological aspects of the book were brilliant. Alexander is one of the most interesting and amazing leaders in history, and I really enjoyed all the details of his legend woven into this book. For me, that was what made it worth finishing. Will I read the next in the series? Maybe. But not until time has numbed the irritation I felt from this one.