synopsis from the paperpack cover
Resolute, fearless, inheriting his mother's striking beauty, the boy Alexander still needed much to make him The Great. To become the man who would conquer the Persian empire, erase the word 'barbarian', and Hellenize the world, he must emerge from aprimitive, almost Homeric society, love the heroic virtues of old Greece, and confront her present decadence. He must aurvive, though with lifelong scars, the dark furies and deadly rites of his Dionysiac mother, who kept him uncertain even of his own paternity; respect his father's talent for war and kingcraft, though sickened by his sexual grossness; and wrestle within himself with hi heritage from both. He must learn science from Aristotle, yet feel the limitations of the great man's humanity, turning back to the voice of his own instructive genius, and his own capacity for love.