1. Travis Perry says:

    My first reaction to this story was to get wrapped up in the details of its history, since this is historical fiction and not speculative fiction. The versions of the names offered in the story are generally the Greek-language versions (and also Latin-influenced versions) and not the original Parthian versions.

    Example: “Phraates” would be “Frahat” in Parthian. The choice to go with the Greek versions is perhaps understandable–even the Parthians themselves used Greek as one of the languages of their empire. But still, it seems a bit distancing to me from the original story.

    This also appears to be an issue with words like “Arsacid” and perhaps most Latinized Greek of all, “Cataphract.”

    Anyway, these details have no direct bearing on the story itself and perhaps what I ought to do is ask Mr. Carr why he made the choices he did.

    Thanks for sharing this bit of a story. I hope Mr. Carr is very successful with it.

    • You’re right, Travis. The only “speculative” element as we know it, is the treatment of the star and some dream/prophecy. While that provides motive, so far (and I’m about half way through the story) the story revolves on the political intrigue more than anything. Within the story, and in appropriate places, there is some mention of the various languages and the use of one more than the other, or that such and such was known this way in the west but as something else in the east. Of course, Hebrew comes into the mix as well at appropriate places.

      If ever there was a book that would benefit from a prologue, this is it. Chapter 1 is really just that, but it’s not named a prologue. Truly this is a well-told, intriguing story. Some surprises along the way. I’m enjoying it.


What do you think?