Is it a good idea to learn history through fictionalized accounts? Given my limited exposure to ancient history, it's probably better than nothing. Presumably the author has a firm grip on the subject matter, and Alexander's charisma came through loud and clear. But...I didn't like Bagoas. It seems unfair to dislike an enslaved, castrated child with no agency. I do empathize with what he went through and do admire the fact that he was able to open his heart to love and make something of himself. Beyond that, I just found him annoying. Whether that was the author's design or simply my interpretation I do not know. I do know that I got enough out of it to read more of Mary Renault's titles.