From the time Alexander the Great set out on his campaign to conquer the Persians to the day in June, 323 BC when he died in Babylon, ten years had passed. In Volume One of SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON, the journey of the joint-kings from Babylon after Alexander’s death took four years. It was also a long journey!
This map shows the extent of Alexander’ conquests and the routes they took. Some of the same route was taken by the escort of the joint-kings including an unexpected side-trip to Egypt. But can you imagine that on this journey was a tiny child, still an infant when the entourage left Babylon, and barely five years old by the time he reached Macedon.
Can you imagine spending your early childhood being carted from army camp to army camp? Can you imagine that you were the only child, surrounded by soldiers, with no playmates and an over-protective mother?
In some of the research I did for the novel, I read that this was a case of child-abuse and exploitation.Iit was, because the Successors where using this innocent child,Iskander (Alexander IV). as a puppet king by naming him Alexander’s successor along with his dim-witted Uncle Arridaios. And because many of the Macedonian disliked her, every day his mother, Roxana who was Alexander’s Soghdian widow, wondered if someone would murder them because they didn’t want a non-Macedonian inheriting Alexander’s throne.
Nevertheless, the journey was made successfully, even though they had come through a battle at the Nile and various disruptions along the way. And when Iskander arrives at Amphipolis, although he has some trepidations, he is encouraged by his mother who insists that once they get to Pella, the royal city, all will be well, because Alexander’s mother, Olympias, will meet them and welcome them. But will she? Olympias had a notorious reputation. Would she welcome her son’s widow and her grandson? And will Alexander’s son one day inherit his father’s throne?
Volume One of SHADOW leaves you with these questions. How much longer will this journey take before it is really over? What will happen when they arrive in the royal city?
Volume Two: SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES addresses these questions. Watch for it to be published in 2016.
In the front of the book there is a map, drawn by my artist J. Patrick McFarlane, but unfortunately it was printed too small for readers to follow. I’ve put it here so it may be clearer, and it will definitely be enlarged for Volume 2.