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Stealing Fire
By Jo Graham

Discussed July 2010

Buy from Amazon.com

Dramatis Personae:

In Egypt:
       Lydias of Miletus
       Ptolemy I
       Thais
       Chloe
       Eurydice
       Bernice
       Artashir
       Rania
       Amina
       Bagoas
       Glaukos
       Cleomenes
       Artamenes
       Manetho

In Persia and elsewhere:
       Perdiccas
       Roxane
       Polemon
       Seleucus
       Krateros
       Darius
       Arrhidaeus
       Olympias
       Cassander

In the past:
       Tehwaz
       Sati
       Sikander
       Alexander
       Hephaistion
       Stateira
       Sisygambis

Questions:

  1. Did you finish the book? Have you read any of Graham's other Numinous World books?
  2. Did you like the book? Why or why not?
  3. Did you find Lydias a sympathetic character? Were you particularly drawn to any of the secondary characters?
  4. How did you feel about the book's pacing? Did you find the opening engaging? The ending satisfying?
  5. Flashbacks form a substantial portion of the book. Did you find the alternations between past and present intriguing or confusing? Which sections did you prefer?
  6. Lydias also dreams of his future and past lives (for example, pp. 86-87 and 157-58). Were you able to place the historical periods he was dreaming about?
  7. Would you shelve the book under historical fiction or fantasy? How did you feel the fantastical sections, such as Lydias and Ptolemy's desert adventure, meshed with the more prosaic parts of the book?
  8. How much do you know about the period during which Stealing Fire is set? Did you feel the book was historically accurate? Were you able to keep track of the many political players?
  9. Graham casts the Greeks as virtuous liberators of Egypt from Persian rule. Were you comfortable with this portrayal? Lydias considers their melting pot philosophy to be Alexander's great gift to the world. Were you convinced?
  10. How did you feel about the book's portrayal of homosexual relationships? Did you think about Lydias/Bagoas as a homosexual relationship, or did you consider Bagoas to be a third gender?
  11. The book comes with its own set of book group questions. Were there any you particularly wanted to discuss?
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