The King Must Die / The Bull from the Sea

The King Must Die / The Bull from the Sea


In two remarkable historical novels, Mary Renault fashions from the myth of Theseus a convincingly flawed hero and weaves a thrillingly plausible account of the Labyrinth and the infamous Minotaur.
The King Must Die follows the young Theseus as he discovers that his true father is the King of Athens, and volunteers to join the annual tribute of Athenian girls and youths sacrificed to a bull-worshipping cult on the island of Crete. Trapped in the labyrinthine palace of King Minos, Theseus enlists the help of high priestess Ariadne in a daring plan to free his people.
The Bull From the Sea begins after Theseus's triumphal return to Athens. He is now king, but his confidence will be shaken by a life-changing encounter with the queen of the Amazons, the birth of a son who will insist on choosing his own path, and the tragic results of his wife's treachery.
Renault's deep knowledge of the Greek world, her sure grasp of psychology and genius for inspired speculation bring the distant world of the legendary past enthrallingly to life.

About the author

Mary Renault

Mary Renault was educated at Clifton High School, Bristol and St Hugh's College, Oxford. Having completed nursing training in 1937, she then wrote her first novel Promise of Love. Her next three novels were written during off-time duty whilst serving in the war. In 1948 she went to live in South Africa but travelled widely. It was her trip to Greece and her visits to Corinth, Samos, Crete, Delos, Aegina and other islands, as well as to Athens, Sounion and Marathon, that resulted in her brilliant historical reconstructions of Ancient Greece. Mary Renault died in 1983.
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