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a novel of Alexander the Great (EPIC HISTORICAL FICTION) A sweeping tale of courage, honor, and betrayal in the army of Alexander the Great Babylon, 323 BC. Alexander the Great has survived every effort to kill him. Restless, ruthless, he wonders which world to conquer next. He has a powerful new weapon—the war elephants he brought back from India. He also has a conquest in a novel of Alexander the Great (EPIC HISTORICAL FICTION) A sweeping tale of courage, honor, and betrayal in the army of Alexander the Great Babylon, 323 BC. Alexander the Great has survived every effort to kill him. Restless, ruthless, he wonders which world to conquer next. He has a powerful new weapon—the war elephants he brought back from India. He also has a conquest in mind—the fabulous empire of Carthage. As Alexander plots, a war elephant named Colossus violently lashes out against the soldiers who are tormenting him, and only one trainer has the courage to calm the massive beast. When Alexander notices the young man’s bravery, Gajendra begins a meteoric climb through the ranks of the Macedonian army, protected by the fierce but devoted Colossus.As captain of the elephants, Gajendra is deeply loyal to Alexander, the great General who plucked him from obscurity. But as he sees how luxury and power have corrupted his champion, he faces a terrible choice: Just as Gajendra glimpses the ultimate prize, he realizes that in order to become the heir to Alexander's throne and gain all he’s dreamed of, he must betray everything he loves...Colossus is an epic tale of immense evil, pitiless gods and burning cities, of dwarves, priestesses and kings, and of the profound friendship between animal and master. It is the story of two men—one with boundless ambition, and one who reaches for undreamed-of power, all set against the warp of history as Alexander's army approaches the gates of Rome.


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a novel of Alexander the Great (EPIC HISTORICAL FICTION) A sweeping tale of courage, honor, and betrayal in the army of Alexander the Great Babylon, 323 BC. Alexander the Great has survived every effort to kill him. Restless, ruthless, he wonders which world to conquer next. He has a powerful new weapon—the war elephants he brought back from India. He also has a conquest in a novel of Alexander the Great (EPIC HISTORICAL FICTION) A sweeping tale of courage, honor, and betrayal in the army of Alexander the Great Babylon, 323 BC. Alexander the Great has survived every effort to kill him. Restless, ruthless, he wonders which world to conquer next. He has a powerful new weapon—the war elephants he brought back from India. He also has a conquest in mind—the fabulous empire of Carthage. As Alexander plots, a war elephant named Colossus violently lashes out against the soldiers who are tormenting him, and only one trainer has the courage to calm the massive beast. When Alexander notices the young man’s bravery, Gajendra begins a meteoric climb through the ranks of the Macedonian army, protected by the fierce but devoted Colossus.As captain of the elephants, Gajendra is deeply loyal to Alexander, the great General who plucked him from obscurity. But as he sees how luxury and power have corrupted his champion, he faces a terrible choice: Just as Gajendra glimpses the ultimate prize, he realizes that in order to become the heir to Alexander's throne and gain all he’s dreamed of, he must betray everything he loves...Colossus is an epic tale of immense evil, pitiless gods and burning cities, of dwarves, priestesses and kings, and of the profound friendship between animal and master. It is the story of two men—one with boundless ambition, and one who reaches for undreamed-of power, all set against the warp of history as Alexander's army approaches the gates of Rome.

53 review for Colossus

  1. 5 out of 5

    Reeda Booke

    Gajendra is just a poor slave boy serving in Alexander's army, but he has great plans for himself. Through a series of events, he quickly rises up through the ranks to become the general of the elephants that lead the charge against Alexander's war on Carthage. He looks up to Alexander who seems undefeatable and immortal. He is at the top of the world and part of Alexander's inner circle. But when Alexander threatens someone he cares about, will Gajendra stay loyal? This novel, although historical Gajendra is just a poor slave boy serving in Alexander's army, but he has great plans for himself. Through a series of events, he quickly rises up through the ranks to become the general of the elephants that lead the charge against Alexander's war on Carthage. He looks up to Alexander who seems undefeatable and immortal. He is at the top of the world and part of Alexander's inner circle. But when Alexander threatens someone he cares about, will Gajendra stay loyal? This novel, although historical, speculates on what might have happened had Alexander not died in Babylon in 623B.C. Apparently, he had plans to go on a campaign and invade Carthage and Sicily before he died, so this book does that. The use of elephants to strike fear in the opposing army was fascinating. This was my favorite part of the book even though the thought of training and using these gentle giants that way was heart-breaking to read. This book was all about war, it was at times bloody and gory. Although there was the small romance on the side, it was a very small part of the book. It shows Alexander as an arrogant, drunken and sometimes sadistic person albeit military genius that he was. Recommended for historical fiction fans.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Hennigan

    The story is set in the age of Alexander the Great, following his expedition to India and beyond the time when history records his death in Babylon. This story speculates what might have happened if Alexander had lived and fulfilled his plans to conquer Carthage? He now has war elephants from India in his army, and Gajendra is in charge of the biggest one of all – Colossus. But Gajendra has a secret. He is in love with a woman destined for one of Alexander’s generals. When Alexander conquers Carth The story is set in the age of Alexander the Great, following his expedition to India and beyond the time when history records his death in Babylon. This story speculates what might have happened if Alexander had lived and fulfilled his plans to conquer Carthage? He now has war elephants from India in his army, and Gajendra is in charge of the biggest one of all – Colossus. But Gajendra has a secret. He is in love with a woman destined for one of Alexander’s generals. When Alexander conquers Carthage, the surviving non-combatant Carthaginians are taken as slaves. One of them is Mara, a young widow who is disguised as a boy to keep her safe. Her father, lost in the fighting, has charged a tattooed dwarf, Catharo, with the job of protecting his daughter at all costs. Gajendra and Mara are drawn together by the mighty beast they both love, but Gajendra cannot see the truth in front of him for the longing in his heart for a woman he cannot have. There are battles and deaths and disaster, and through it all strides Alexander. But the mighty warrior takes a supporting role to Colossus in this tale, and that perhaps is the best way for writers to deal with him. We thus see Alexander through the eyes of those who serve him; in particular the mahouts and servants, some of whom love him while others hate him. There are one or two curious errors among the minor details in the story – like the references to Hercules (the later, Roman name for the Greek hero Heracles) in place of Achilles. It is the latter who Alexander considered his forebear, and the reason why he slept with a copy of the Iliad under his pillow. A small, but obvious, error to any scholar of the Age of Alexander. But never mind the minor details – Colossus is a rip-snorter of a novel, a tale of ancient battles and hopeless love, a king who conquered the world, and an elephant who towers over them all. It thunders to a thrilling climax that I wouldn’t want to have missed. Review by Kerry Hennigan 18 November 2015

  3. 4 out of 5

    Richard Myers

    Wonderful book This book is about Alexander and some of his supposed battles and is seen through the eyes of one of the mahavat of his elephant groups. The characters are well defined and I will be getting more of the author’s books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Violeta Petrovska

    So zadovolstvo bi gi procitala site knigi na Kolin!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Josh Reisinger

    I like the idea of a book being based on an alternate history in a way that doesn’t center around the concept of the world being totally backwards because of the historical changes. This book is just about what hypothetically could have happened had Alexander the Great lived just a little while longer. As far as the narrative goes, it was a fairly easy-to-read and fun book. I was not bored by it by any means. But I have two main issues with the book. 1. It doesn’t seem to commit to anything plot-wi I like the idea of a book being based on an alternate history in a way that doesn’t center around the concept of the world being totally backwards because of the historical changes. This book is just about what hypothetically could have happened had Alexander the Great lived just a little while longer. As far as the narrative goes, it was a fairly easy-to-read and fun book. I was not bored by it by any means. But I have two main issues with the book. 1. It doesn’t seem to commit to anything plot-wise. POV jumping I think is an awesome strategy for storytelling when done well but in this book it made it seem like it was jumping around for no reason. Also, the book is CALLED Colossus. Colossus is an enormous elephant that is an extreme force on the battlefield. The book’s setup lead me to believe it would be about this elephant and Gajendra’s relationship with him. But then it just abandons that to chase after a deeply uncomfortable love story while making me borderline forget that Colossus even exists. Which leads me to my second issue. 2. The romance between Gajendra and Mara is weird and unnatural. And about 1/4 of the way through the book, the plot latches onto it almost exclusively. Mara dresses up as a boy and joins Gajendra to take care of the elephants which causes a lot of men to stare. The fixation on raping her becomes tedious after a while because the author will not leave it alone. The concept of military men in an Ancient Greek army wanting to rape who they think is a child, I’m sure, is historically accurate. But it is the subtext of every interaction and conversation for a good third of the book and it feels drawn out and tiresome. However, good guy Gajendra never wants to rape Mara. Wow, what a great guy he’s so different. Therefore, he gets the girl and her devotion. Never mind the physical and emotional abuse he causes or the fact that he doesn’t really do anything to stop any sexual harassment. The whole thing seems very unjustified and if the author just left the romance for another story it wouldn’t have been a huge deal to me. But it’s hard to root for the good guy when he isn’t all the good at all. Eventually the story moves past it a little bit and the final act of the book was a lot of fun.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews

    Gajendra was a young boy from India. With a couple strokes of good luck and a whole lot of ambition he became a general in the army of Alexander the Great, leading his elephants head first into battle. I enjoyed following his adventures from Babylon to his instrumental help in the sack of Carthage and beyond. When I picked up Colossus I was expecting to read about a massive beast crashing through masses of infantry, and I certainly got this. But I got so much more. I never expected Colossus to be Gajendra was a young boy from India. With a couple strokes of good luck and a whole lot of ambition he became a general in the army of Alexander the Great, leading his elephants head first into battle. I enjoyed following his adventures from Babylon to his instrumental help in the sack of Carthage and beyond. When I picked up Colossus I was expecting to read about a massive beast crashing through masses of infantry, and I certainly got this. But I got so much more. I never expected Colossus to be a love story. Colin Falconer wove a wonderful relationship into this story filled with death and destruction. It was not your typical relationship, more of a, “You can’t always get what you want…” a la Rolling Stones. It was well paced and not forced at all. Gajendra and his love interest’s relationship developed slowly and unexpectedly, you might say that “they get what the need.” What I enjoyed most about Colossus was of course the elephants. The details that Falconer gets into regarding their characteristics, their habits and their mucus was essential to the story. I imagine he spent many hours researching these gentle animals, who made for incredible weapons of war. It was nice to finally find an author willing to tackle Alexander. He was probably the greatest general of antiquity and there are too few works of fiction drawing from his life and times. By reading Colossus, I got a real feeling for what it was like to fight under such a great leader. 4 Stars I received a copy of the book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zitong Ren

    Colossus is the name given to a war elephant in Alexander the Great’s army and as much much of the book centres a lot on elephant warfare and during the book, it is through elephants that Alexander gains his victories. The book itself is decent enough that is filled with large scale battle scenes, yet it lacked depth that historical novels do have. It is not a long book by any means and focusing on campaigning, it loses a lot of the sense of beauty that is Antiquity. I also don’t really know how Colossus is the name given to a war elephant in Alexander the Great’s army and as much much of the book centres a lot on elephant warfare and during the book, it is through elephants that Alexander gains his victories. The book itself is decent enough that is filled with large scale battle scenes, yet it lacked depth that historical novels do have. It is not a long book by any means and focusing on campaigning, it loses a lot of the sense of beauty that is Antiquity. I also don’t really know how I feel about this whole alternate history thing where Alexander lives beyond his time at Babylon. There also does not seem to have been a lot of research into this book. The soldiers of Alexander had refused to enter India and then mutinied at Opis, and yet they still march thousands of kilometres to take Carthage and invade Sicily? The author also greatly Alexander and it takes several hits, falls and stabs from a bloody elephant to kill him. I get the idea that he thought of himself as a God and that many believed that he was the Son of Zeus, yet in the end he was still a normal human who took over from the foundations that his father established. Lacks depth and historical research, but manages to provide a fast paced novel. 4.5/10

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    Usually a big fan of his, but this novel was not in the slightest bit interesting or written well. I didn't finish it. Usually a big fan of his, but this novel was not in the slightest bit interesting or written well. I didn't finish it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Judith Anderson

    Make believe and wonderful A work of speculation of what Alexander's future would have been had he lived a few years longer.It is fascinating that while the title might stand for Alexander the Great himself in this book it is the name of a war elephant, and while we never see the story from Collosus' point of view, there are hints. The look at Aexander's.personality and battle tactics is very interesting. And if believed, this story gives the background of how Carriage had war elephants. Make believe and wonderful A work of speculation of what Alexander's future would have been had he lived a few years longer.It is fascinating that while the title might stand for Alexander the Great himself in this book it is the name of a war elephant, and while we never see the story from Collosus' point of view, there are hints. The look at Aexander's.personality and battle tactics is very interesting. And if believed, this story gives the background of how Carriage had war elephants.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Good Read I use a generic header 'Good Read' on all of my reviews. This book was not a good read. I did not like this book. I did not like this alternative history. Every time I got interested in the storyline, I had to remind myself that it was not true. Alexander the Great did not factor in the story at all because he was already dead. Thankfully the places were real or I would have been in an alternative universe! Mr. Falconer can write historical fiction with the best of them, and he is one Good Read I use a generic header 'Good Read' on all of my reviews. This book was not a good read. I did not like this book. I did not like this alternative history. Every time I got interested in the storyline, I had to remind myself that it was not true. Alexander the Great did not factor in the story at all because he was already dead. Thankfully the places were real or I would have been in an alternative universe! Mr. Falconer can write historical fiction with the best of them, and he is one of my favorite authors. While I may be disappointed in this book, I will still go to the well with Mr. Falconer every time I get the chance! Thank you, Mr. Falconer, for the read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jose Marquez

    Muy entretenido este libro y la verdad no me importo que no tuvieras el rigor de una novela histórica; lo recomiendo para descansar de un riguroso tratado de historia o una novela histórica pesada o voluminosa

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    * Read for the '2019 Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge' task: A book featuring an historical figure * Read for the '2019 Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge' task: A book featuring an historical figure

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rod

    Sadly a book without much depth or serious historical perspective. With so much to work with historically, it wouldn’t have taken much to up the ante and make this in to a ripping yarn.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wiebke Kuhn

    I could not get into this one. Alexander the Great through the eyes of an elephant handler sounded interesting but the style is not working for me and the story is too simplistic.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Petr1108

    3.5 stars

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Colossus by Colin Falconer This is an alternate history that features Alexander the Great. The main heroes of the story are Gajendra and Mara. Gajendra rises swiftly in Alexander’s army, going from an elephant boy to general of the elephant forces. Gajendra’s personal elephant is Colossus who is the largest bull elephant in the army. Mara starts off as a grieving window who has lost her children as well and becomes an elephant boy herself (hiding her gender). Colossus is an important force in th Colossus by Colin Falconer This is an alternate history that features Alexander the Great. The main heroes of the story are Gajendra and Mara. Gajendra rises swiftly in Alexander’s army, going from an elephant boy to general of the elephant forces. Gajendra’s personal elephant is Colossus who is the largest bull elephant in the army. Mara starts off as a grieving window who has lost her children as well and becomes an elephant boy herself (hiding her gender). Colossus is an important force in the army but also an important side character in this story, often being the reminder of more gentle things for both Mara and Gajendra. I have long been fascinated by Alexander the Great, having read several fiction and nonfiction works about him. So when I saw this alternate history featuring him I had to give it a read. I was not disappointed. In fact, if you didn’t know much about Alexander, you could read this book and believe every bit of it; the story so masterfully intertwines fiction and facts. Gajendra is a very interesting character. His Uncle Ravi took him in when he was a small boy and taught him the secret language of elephants. Right from the start of the story, Gajendra has mighty aspirations. He fell in love, or lust, the instant he spotted a certain noble woman, Zahara. Since then, he knows he must rise high in the army if there is to be any chance of winning her. But he knows he must treat the elephants well, not just because he cares for them as deeply as his uncle does, but because he knows they are the key to his success. As Gajendra rises in the ranks, he comes to the attention of Alexander himself. Throughout the tale, these two share some very intense conversations. Indeed, just remembering a few specific ones makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Now Ravi and Gajendra march together in Alexander’s army and they march upon Carthage. Many of Alexander’s foes have never faced elephants in battle and their mere presence unnerves both soldiers and horses. Of course, they take a lot of care when the army isn’t battling anyone and a disgruntled elephant can do quite a bit of damage to Alexander’s army as well. Indeed, I feel I learned some important things about elephants in reading this book. They were definitely an integral part of the plot and not just scenery. It took longer for me to like Mara. We meet her at the depth of her grief, having lost all her family except her father, a general of Carthage. When the city is attacked by Alexander’s army, her father orders the loyal family servant to protect her at all costs. Lucky for both of them, Gajendra is the one to find them in the aftermath of the attack and take them in as the lowest of elephant boys, mucking dung and fetching water. Eventually Mara’s grief crystallizes and she puts it to good use. Colossus is key in her return to life. By the end of the book, I was very glad I had made the journey with Mara as I came to admire her efforts. There are very few female characters in this book. Zahara is essentially a love interest and has very few lines. There are perhaps 2 priestesses mentioned and I seem to recall one of them having a few lines. Mara has the greatest presence in the book for the ladies. She is written well and has full depth of character as well as a character arc. My one little quibble is that I would have liked a few more female characters that had a bit of depth. I received this book free of charge from the publisher (via Audiobook Jukebox) in exchange for an honest review. The Narration: Neil Shah did a great job. His voice for Alexander was excellent and I can imagine it was a bit difficult to maintain. Alexander’s voice is described in the text as having a kind of high pitched grating to it. Shah did a great job of getting this across to the listener while also keeping Alexander’s voice commanding and intense. His voice for Gajendra was also excellent having a light Indian accent. His female character voices were believable. 

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nerine Dorman

    My problem is I went in expecting the deathless prose of Mary Renault, and ended up with a pale ghost. Granted, if you weren't looking for Renault, this would probably be a completely serviceable novel but I'll go into more depth once I've had a chance to write a full review. Full review: Many great stories begin when an author asks “What if…” and Colossus by Alexander Cole is one of those. In this case, Cole’s question is: “What if Alexander the Great survives an attempt on his life in 323 BC?” a My problem is I went in expecting the deathless prose of Mary Renault, and ended up with a pale ghost. Granted, if you weren't looking for Renault, this would probably be a completely serviceable novel but I'll go into more depth once I've had a chance to write a full review. Full review: Many great stories begin when an author asks “What if…” and Colossus by Alexander Cole is one of those. In this case, Cole’s question is: “What if Alexander the Great survives an attempt on his life in 323 BC?” and we go from there, as Alexander casts his eye towards Carthage and, eventually, Europe. Central to the story is the role Alexander’s war elephants play in this alternative history, which is told primarily from the viewpoints of Gajendra, who starts out as merely an elephant boy, and Mara, the daughter of the Carthaginian general Hanno. The elephant, Colossus, is as his name suggests, massive, and only Gajendra can control him. This enigmatic beast also displays quirks, which make for quite a number of fascinating scenes; in fact I would have loved to have seen more involving the pachyderms. Gajendra is ambitious, and will go to great lengths to prove his worth. His work with the war elephants lends Alexander a great advantage in battle, and he soon enjoys a meteoric rise within the ranks of the army. This does not, however, come without cost. Alexander is painted out as a capricious, often fickle man, who is prone to discarding his favourites at whim as fast as he elevates them in status. Gajendra’s success may well prove ephemeral. Mara has suffered great personal loss and seeks solace as a priestess of the goddess Tanith. When Carthage falls, Mara must disguise herself as a boy in order to avoid the inevitable fate many women suffer during war times. Her path crosses Gajendra’s and though their friendship is far from smooth, their dynamics are nonetheless engaging. While this novel is mostly military fiction, with focus on tactics, there are some romantic elements. I found myself almost unconsciously wanting to compare this to the writings of Mary Renault, in which case Cole’s prose falls short of that benchmark. Cole’s decision to write in third person present tense is jarring at times, the narration clunky; the overall offering could have been a bit more polished. That being said, this is still an enjoyable tale and is filled with interesting characters (including a little person, which should please fans of Tyrion Lannister), as well as plenty of action. Lovers of historical and military fiction will be in for a perfectly satisfying read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    A Reader's Heaven

    (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.) Babylon, 323 BC. Alexander the Great has survived every effort to kill him. Restless, ruthless, he wonders which world to conquer next. He has a powerful new weapon--the war elephants he brought back from India. He also has a conquest in mind--the fabulous empire of Carthage. As Alexander plots, a war elephant named Colossus violently lashes out against the soldiers who are tormenting him, and only one trainer (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.) Babylon, 323 BC. Alexander the Great has survived every effort to kill him. Restless, ruthless, he wonders which world to conquer next. He has a powerful new weapon--the war elephants he brought back from India. He also has a conquest in mind--the fabulous empire of Carthage. As Alexander plots, a war elephant named Colossus violently lashes out against the soldiers who are tormenting him, and only one trainer has the courage to calm the massive beast. When Alexander notices the young man's bravery, Gajendra begins a meteoric climb through the ranks of the Macedonian army, protected by the fierce but devoted Colossus. As captain of the elephants, Gajendra is deeply loyal to Alexander, the great General who plucked him from obscurity. But as he sees how luxury and power have corrupted his champion, he faces a terrible choice: Just as Gajendra glimpses the ultimate prize, he realizes that in order to become the heir to Alexander's throne and gain all he's dreamed of, he must betray everything he loves... Gotta say I was quite pleasantly surprised by this book. I know what you are thinking - "Why bother reading it if you didn't think you would like it?" - and that's a fair enough question...and here's why. It's not so much that I didn't think I would like it but more of a case of I really liked his high action, thriller novels from the past and wasn't sure how well he would write historical/alternate history fiction. And that's where the surprise came in...he did it well! What surprised me even more than Falconer's ability to write good historical fiction was the deep and engaging romance/love story that developed between Gajendra and Mara. Whilst not of the "traditional" love story, it was still a captivating sub-plot to keep the reader interested in what happens to both these characters. The action sequences in this book were all pretty good. Plenty of blood, death and devastation to keep even the most dubious reader entertained. While one could say they were overdone in places, I didn't mind one little bit - I think the author handled them really well. If you have even a passing interest in historical fiction or alternative history - especially during the period of Alexander the Great, then give this one a whirl. You won't be disappointed. Paul ARH

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mick

    On the 11th of June 323 BCE King Alexander III of Macedon died in his bed in Babylon, aged 32. He had spent much at the head of a great army fighting its way across Asia, and had conquered the lands of Egypt, the Levant, Persia and modern-day Afghanistan, into Pakistan, and only stopping when his men refused to cross the Hyphasis River into India. Had Alexander lived, it's long been speculated that he might have turned his attention westwards, having reached the eastern limits of conquest. In Co On the 11th of June 323 BCE King Alexander III of Macedon died in his bed in Babylon, aged 32. He had spent much at the head of a great army fighting its way across Asia, and had conquered the lands of Egypt, the Levant, Persia and modern-day Afghanistan, into Pakistan, and only stopping when his men refused to cross the Hyphasis River into India. Had Alexander lived, it's long been speculated that he might have turned his attention westwards, having reached the eastern limits of conquest. In Colossus, author Alexander Cole explores this what-if by having a cup of poison meant for Alexander intercepted by one of his lieutenants, an Indian elephant-handler named Gajendra. What follows is an alternative history of the Mediterranean in which Alexander's army, spearheaded by Gajendra and the mighty Indian war elephant Colossus, take on Hellenic usurpers and the fledgeling city-state of Carthage. Gajendra, ambitious but ultimately moral, is an interesting point of view character and a fascinating contrast to the brilliant and increasingly megalomaniacal Alexander. A second point of view character, the vengeful Carthaginian noblewoman Mara who has to pose as a boy in order to survive, represents those who lost everything to the king of kings' ambition. In tone and reading level, Colossus is suited to young adult and above. The author presents a complex and intricate view of the ancient world, with a lot of details about military tactics and strategy of the time (especially with regards to elephant-handling, a subject I knew nothing about). I do have a few gripes, notably that Carthage succumbs too quickly to Alexander's assault (though this is probably warranted, given the historical record) and that the descriptions of the battles are often brief and could have been fleshed out more. Also, the blurb hints at conflict with the Roman Republic (a full generation before Pyrrhus' invasion - with elephants - of Italy marked Rome as a formidable power), but this did not happen in the novel. Still, Cole's narrative is compelling and the alt-history world is rich enough to make this an enjoyable read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Monique Snyman

    Colossus by Alexander Cole is an alternative history that assumes that Alexander the Great didn’t perish in Babylon 323 BC. It follows the story of Alexander the Great to Carthage, where he undertakes a campaign in Sicily against a rebellious army. It also includes the stories of Gajendra – an Indian mahout – and Mara – daughter of the Carthaginian general Hanno – on a journey that revolves around the conquests of a military mastermind as well as the rise and fall of Alexander the Great. There ar Colossus by Alexander Cole is an alternative history that assumes that Alexander the Great didn’t perish in Babylon 323 BC. It follows the story of Alexander the Great to Carthage, where he undertakes a campaign in Sicily against a rebellious army. It also includes the stories of Gajendra – an Indian mahout – and Mara – daughter of the Carthaginian general Hanno – on a journey that revolves around the conquests of a military mastermind as well as the rise and fall of Alexander the Great. There are some beautiful descriptions in Colossus, great imagery, some intriguing characters and just for good measure, we have some large elephants (Alexander the Great’s signature war machines) just to balance everything out. Of course, it did start off a bit slow and I constantly had to push away the thought that this was not Circles in a Forest by Dalene Matthee (when I hear ‘elephants’, my mind almost always go to that book). However, when you get into the groove of reading the book, Colossus is a good read, especially if you enjoy alternative history. Personally, alternative history is a hit/miss genre for me. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, sometimes it reminds me just a little too much of fan-fiction… Colossus on the other hand was unique in its ability to captivate me from beginning to end. I would like to see what else Alexander Cole is able to do. There’s a lot of talent here that just needs a bit of harassing. So, keep your eyes open for this book and author. Colossus is not exactly a must-read, especially if you’re not into alternative history, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Alexander Cole – otherwise known as Colin Falconer – has a few tricks up his sleeves. (review originally posted on www.killeraphrodite.com)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jaffareadstoo

    Before I started reading Colossus I didn’t know very much about either, elephants or Alexander the Great, but the epic journey undertaken in the story of Colossus goes a long way in explaining much about both. The story begins with an introduction to Colossus, a huge war elephant who is erratically but successfully managed by one young mahout, Gajendra, who alone has the courage to manage this colossal beast. As part of Alexander the Great’s war entourage, Gajendra starts a impressive rise throu Before I started reading Colossus I didn’t know very much about either, elephants or Alexander the Great, but the epic journey undertaken in the story of Colossus goes a long way in explaining much about both. The story begins with an introduction to Colossus, a huge war elephant who is erratically but successfully managed by one young mahout, Gajendra, who alone has the courage to manage this colossal beast. As part of Alexander the Great’s war entourage, Gajendra starts a impressive rise through the ranks of the Macedonian army to become captain of the war-elephants, but he also sees at firsthand how corruption and power are diminishing Alexander’s hold on reality. What then follows is a well imagined alternate history, in which it is assumed that Alexander survived the Battle of Macedonia in 323BC to lead his battle troops on to the very gates of Rome. For me, the book got off to a slow start, there is much to take in, with a complex network of characters and places to get to grips with, but about a third of the way into the novel and the story started to come together and became much more interesting. There is no doubt that the author has the ability to tell a good story, his manipulation of the narrative and his imaginative use of history, is something that I am sure will appeal to those who have an interest in alternate history novels. Interview with the author can be found on my blog http://jaffareadstoo.blogspot.co.uk/2...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Where would Alexander the Great have headed if he had not died in Babylon in 323 BC? This alternate history follows Alexander (and his elephant general) to Carthage and further, combining Gajendra's story with that of Mara, a female victim of the fictional Carthage conquest. The novel mixes military alternate history with a love story to varying degrees of success and with a style that is a little hit and miss. The characters - including the elephant but excluding Alexander - are appealing in pl Where would Alexander the Great have headed if he had not died in Babylon in 323 BC? This alternate history follows Alexander (and his elephant general) to Carthage and further, combining Gajendra's story with that of Mara, a female victim of the fictional Carthage conquest. The novel mixes military alternate history with a love story to varying degrees of success and with a style that is a little hit and miss. The characters - including the elephant but excluding Alexander - are appealing in places. Alternate history is not a favourite genre of mine and this book did nothing to change that.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    The moment I saw it was going to be an imagined story about Alexander the Great I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book. But, I am glad I continued reading it. I won't discuss the story, which is interesting and keeps you craving to see what will happen next, and will recommend it just for the beautiful descriptions of war, love, authority, destiny... and elephants. Ever since I finished the book I see them with different eyes, what amazing, beautiful creatures they are, able to feel affection, The moment I saw it was going to be an imagined story about Alexander the Great I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book. But, I am glad I continued reading it. I won't discuss the story, which is interesting and keeps you craving to see what will happen next, and will recommend it just for the beautiful descriptions of war, love, authority, destiny... and elephants. Ever since I finished the book I see them with different eyes, what amazing, beautiful creatures they are, able to feel affection, pain and anger. The writer did an amazing job.

  24. 4 out of 5

    samsarella

    A pesar de un par de escenas cuestionables, el libro en general es muy muy bueno y entretenido. Las escenas de batalla emocionantes, los diálogos del "semi dios" aunque a todas luces inverosímiles, totalmente disfrutables, y unos personajes que te dejan con las ganas de saber más de ellos y de las situaciones en que se vieron involucrados. "Ten cuidado con él. Hace frío en las sombras cuando el sol decide llevarse su calor a otra parte". A pesar de un par de escenas cuestionables, el libro en general es muy muy bueno y entretenido. Las escenas de batalla emocionantes, los diálogos del "semi dios" aunque a todas luces inverosímiles, totalmente disfrutables, y unos personajes que te dejan con las ganas de saber más de ellos y de las situaciones en que se vieron involucrados. "Ten cuidado con él. Hace frío en las sombras cuando el sol decide llevarse su calor a otra parte".

  25. 4 out of 5

    Edward Jenner

    Probably his most readable book Have read 4 others, I found this the most readable and enjoyable to date. Initially rather slow but the good groundwork leads to a great story. Covid20/21.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Ettery

    Excellent book. The author weaved a very good - and credible - story on the backdrop of a prominent historical figure. Falconer's background research on the characters and history is clearly shown in the novel. Excellent book. The author weaved a very good - and credible - story on the backdrop of a prominent historical figure. Falconer's background research on the characters and history is clearly shown in the novel.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Little Pieces

    Ameno (las batallas, etc.). Personajes simpáticos aunque no demasiado reales (un Alejandro Magno interesante). Buenas psicologías. Trama en sí no muy novedosa.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alan Porter

    Recommend

  29. 4 out of 5

    Francisco

    Entretenida. Y poco más.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laurentiu Lazar

  31. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  32. 5 out of 5

    Chris F

  33. 5 out of 5

    Darcy

  34. 5 out of 5

    Magda Kossakowska

  35. 5 out of 5

    Atlantic Books

  36. 5 out of 5

    happy

  37. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  38. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Sumner

  39. 5 out of 5

    Juliew.

  40. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  41. 5 out of 5

    Alicja

  42. 4 out of 5

    Dieter Cross

  43. 4 out of 5

    Marlon Dalais

  44. 4 out of 5

    Canaan Merchant

  45. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  46. 4 out of 5

    Vivek

  47. 4 out of 5

    Cristian

  48. 4 out of 5

    J.S. Hope

  49. 5 out of 5

    Pinar

  50. 5 out of 5

    Lee

  51. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  52. 4 out of 5

    Swilky

  53. 4 out of 5

    Michael Rutherford

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