The King Must Die
By Mary Renault
Why this book?
I first read this when I was twelve, and it was a reading experience that has really stayed with me. I was totally drawn into the story of Theseus and the Bronze Age world – I had read a lot of mythology but this was the first time that I had seen mythological characters come to life as real people. When I started writing about the Aegean Bronze Age myself, I realized what a huge debt I owed to Mary Renault for this mixing of archaeological evidence with ancient myths. In fact, for fear of being overly influenced, I was afraid to reread The King Must Die until after I’d finished writing my book, which in many ways was truly inspired by this work.
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