Review: Alexander the Great: Master of the Ancient World by Doug Wilhelm


Title: Alexander the Great: Master of the Ancient World

Author: Dough Wilhelm

Publisher: Scholastic

ISBN: 978-0531228210


May Contain Spoilers

I have been reading more non-fiction than normal, and I seem to be on an ancient history kick.  Anything set in ancient Greece, Rome, or Egypt is fair game right now.  When I saw the Scholastic A Wicked History series, I decided to request one of the titles from the library.  I chose Alexander the Great because, well, he was pretty darn awesome.  Drunk on his own power, maybe,  but gosh!  He was relentless in his determination to conquer the world, and he pretty much got it done.  What would the world  look like today if he hadn’t died when he was 32?

This book doesn’t get bogged down with lots of boring details, and instead follows Alexander as he marches his army across Europe and Asia, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.  No one was safe when Alexander’s army was on the move; not villages, not walled cities. Nothing.  A master strategist, Alexander quickly saw weaknesses in the enemies’ ranks and mercilessly exploited them.  Starting at home in Macedonia, he brutally subdued all opposition to his rule.  Even in a time of ruthlessness, Alexander gave the word a new meaning. 

While I would have preferred that the text be more fleshed out, the book does deliver a compelling read.  Because of the straightforward presentation of the material, this would be an excellent book for reluctant readers.  The battles never end, and illustrations are used to effectively add to the drama of Alexander’s campaign.  Alexander the Great: Master of the Ancient World, is a good, solid read if you have any kind of interest in subject matter.  The book would be a good springboard for further studies into the life of this driven and ruthless leader.

Grade: B+

Review copy obtained from the library