Books: Alexander's Band

FIRE FROM HEAVEN by Mary Renault. 375 pages. Pantheon. $7.95.

"I only say, ask yourself who gains most. Olympias gains everything, because this match will lose her everything, if the King outlives it. Demosthenes gains the blood of the man he hates worse than death; the Athenians gain a civil war in Macedon, if we play our part, with the kingship in doubt, or passed to a boy they make light of, the more so since he's in disfavor. Darius, whose gold you want to keep even if it hangs you, gains even more . . .

After a while, the battle-wan...

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