Reviews for Hephaestion's Journal
JacquiDee chapter 1 . 5/19/2014
This is absolutely my favorite story. I can't tell you how many times I've read and reread this. It's absolutely perfect, not one single thing I would change. The dialogue is so realistic and funny in the right places, sober in others. There were parts of frustration with Alexander, I was so mad for Hephaestion in so many places it's perfect. The actual historical events are so spot on - the research must have been painstaking but it's so worth it. I'm so emotionally attached to all of the characters it's actually kind of pathetic lol
Thank you so much for gifting me this I will read this so many more times. Ugh the love is so real for you right now.
lissette chapter 21 . 9/10/2013
OMG! That was such an amzing history! Tell me there's more! Please! What happens now?! OMG! The final chapters were kind of sad... Im a little bit confusing with some of ur historical events and Oliver Stone's movie event.. I mean the secuence... Who of u two have the right secuence of the event?
Norrsken chapter 21 . 1/28/2007
I admire you for managing to give a *happy* ending to this very emotional and sorrowful tale. Hephaestion's dying is so painful, he tries so hard to remain until Alexander comes to him, but he cannot. Then, suddenly he is in the Duat, and very soon he is joined there by Alexander. I find it quite lovely, our dear friends together forever in the beautiful Egyptian Paradise. Egypt, and Siwah, was perhaps the places Alexander liked the most, so it's most appropiate and a consolating thougt they returned there in the Afterlife.

All the best wishes and many thanks for this novel length story. Very well done, indeed. :)

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 20 . 1/28/2007
Oh, this is so sad and deeply moving. As Hephaestion's illnes is getting worse his very high fever makes him write abot the Gedrosian desert hell with extra fervour. Yes, I can understand his detest over desert campaigns, and it's sorrowful how he exerts himself, breaking his own health doing extra marches for seeing to Alexander.

This chapter is so well written, how you let his pain and fever correspond with the horrors of the desert. Towards the end his mind begins to wander, and the telling is coming in short fragments. One can truly feel his pain and understands he is now delirious from fever.

All the best wishes,

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 19 . 1/28/2007
This is a deeply emotional chapter. It's so sad, Hephaestion dying from his severe illness, sitting in bed and writing down his last memories.

The Indian campaign stretches the Macedonians' patience to the utmost. They are so weary of marching and battles, so far from home, and they long for their families and dear ones. The rain makes it all worse, and all together brings on the Mutiny. Then comes the sorrowful "You are nothing without me" episode. Craterus has been horrible to Hephaestion for a very long time, and now he manages to get him humiliated before the whole army. It's hard for Alexander, making up for these hard and most humiliating words. IMO it's one of the saddest episodes in his campaigns. It's moving how you let Hephaestion's men become kinder to him. They know his true value, his unique status as the True Steadfast Friend.

You handle the Mallian Arrow episode well. Hephaestion's POW is deeply moving, especially as one clearly understands he feels he cannot survive his Beautiful Golden One. You give a fine portrayal of his deep feelings of angst and sorrow, also when he hears Alexander is alive, he is so overcome by joy and emotion his legs cannot support him at first so he has to stay in the tent for a while. The ending is so wonderful, they are alive and together once more.

All the best wishes and many thanks for sharing,

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 18 . 1/27/2007
This truly is a complicated wedding. Hephaestion gives sound and reasonable advice, but he is not listened to. I like the deep emotions brought forward by jealousy, also the Sogdians' sinister intrigues and Hephaestion's *diplomacy* in dealing with them.

I think I know who had him beaten up, and the tragedy that will unfold from it. Well, now off to the Conspiracy of teh Pages.

All the best wishes,

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 17 . 1/27/2007
Your first description of Hephaestion's severe illness is deeply emotional, makes me so sorry for him. I can see him there in his sick bed, hands trembling as he tries to complete his story, being chased and harassed by the Grim Reaper at his bedside.

The hard campaigns are well described, especially the winter passing of the Hindu Kush. I miss some of the horrors and hardships on the Scythian Campaign. Your style of writing would have been just perfect for this.

Then comes the Cleitus Murder. This is one of the most horrible things happening in Alexander's whole life. You give a most believable explanation, a tragic triangulation. I feel so sorry for Cleitus. He was an Old Hand, faithful altought rough and outspoken, and he was worth a far better fate. I like it how Hephaestion uses his diplomacy to cover up the horrible and ignominous actions of the King, also the scene of forgiving towards the end.

Yes, now the story darkens, also when the narrator succumbs more and more to his fatal illness.

All the best wishes,

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 16 . 1/27/2007
Another great chapter. I like your description of the jealousy dramas, and especially how Alexander and Hephaestion come together towards the end, Bagoas being put to his right place! I've always resented the way he *stole* Alexander away from his True Steadfast Friend, and his improper jealousy, as described in Mary Renault's Persian Boy, my very own introduction to Alexander.

The Philotas affair is a sheer tragedy, the betrayal of a friend and trusted Companion. I like your handling of it, especially Hephaestion's righteous anger and handling of the interrogation. The torture scenes are of course very cruel, but that's the way things were handled back in these old and cruel times.

All the best wishes,

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 15 . 1/27/2007
It's fine to see Alexander's tender care and kind concern, staying at Hephaestion's bedside when he is very ill from his wound. It must have been comforting for him, seeing the King always there for him. I like your descriptions of the beauty and riches of Babylon, Susa and Persepolis, also how Hephaestion in vain tries to prevent Alexander from the horrible burning of the Palace.

His love affair with Circe adds fun to the story, especially the oats and hay bit. I suppose Acte is a bit jealous. :)

All the best wishes,

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 14 . 1/26/2007
Hephaestion once more is the clever diplomat. His negotiations with Mazaeus wins the Macedonians the Battle of Gaugamela.

Intrigue and triangulation is deepening. Philotas' high rank saves him time and another, but Craterus and Cleitus is faithful and sees throught his deceptions. It's interesting, your view that it was Philotas who did the recall, falsely telling that Parmenio's wing was driven back.

It seems Alexander suspects something about Cleitus and Hephaestion. His reaction when he sees them together predicts the tregic murder.

It's a scary cliffhanger towards the ending, also. Off to next part!

All the best wishes,

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 13 . 1/26/2007
Your Egypt is a place of wonders and hardships, especially on the road to Siwah. Ty and Maks are most helpful when our friends get lost in the desert. I suppose we'll se much more of them in upcoming chapters. I like it when you let Alexander tell all about the Oracle to his True Steadfast Friend.

The intrigue deepens, with Philotas' treachery. Cleitus' passionate night with Hephaestion also complicates things. Did Alexander get to know about it? Could his jealousy have something to do with the horrible Murder? It explains a lot about Cleitus' complicated feelings when it's revealed that he wanted to be Hephaestion's erastes very early on.

All the best wishes,

/Northern Light
Norrsken chapter 12 . 1/26/2007
I like your Egypt since I've been fascinated by it myself since early childhood. It's mysterious and intriguing, marred only by Philotas treacherous and envious talk. Cleitus is right and faithful,in telling him off so expressively!

Akte's and Ankhtefi's dialog gives us a fine description of Alexander and Hephaestion, being as one. I find it most intereting to learn about the Pharaoh Neferkare Pepi and his best general, having this very special relationship, too.

It's fine that Egypt gives our friends some peace and rest, but I truly understand that Hephaestion, always so very sane and practical, balks at Alexander's next adventure. I'm most curious of how you'll handle the voyage to Siwah.

All the best wishes,

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 11 . 1/26/2007
Back on track again! This is such a great chapter, has it all, violent action, hard fighting and strong emotions. I like your descriptions of Tyre and Gaza, especially how Alexander plan on sending Hephaestion on the important diplomacy mission that might have led to a peaceful solution. Tragedy strikes at the delegation, but he is saved by overeating the too delicious chicken. Alexander's words are prophetic, but this time the chicken saves the life of his True Steadfast Friend. The whole scene where Hephaestion notices the sudden silence, and then is informed of the tragedy, it's really scary. The worst is Cleitus' feelings of pain ahd shock when he sees Hephaestion alive in his chambers, when he thinks he was amongst the murdered delegation! He makes up to it when he later saves Hephaestion from drowning, and one can realize the tense feelings involved.

The chapter is filled with angst and deep emotions. The nighttime scene, when Alexander comes to give comfort to Hephaestion, clearly expressing his fears that he could have lost his True Steadfast Friend, is beautiful and you make us understand the fears and tragedies of war.

I also like it that Hephaestion, even when he is feeling very weak from his illness, remembers to send for Solon's widow, trying to comfort her.

He is becoming more and more important, having great knowlwdge not only of diplomacy and logistics, but now even of siegecraft.

Gaza is dramatic, and I like your imagery when Alexander falls into Hephaestion's arms after his almost fatal arrow wound. Their intimate supper is a fine hurt / comfort sequence, and I like it when they wonder if things will get easier soon, feeling that they are in great need of a long rest. You give such a vivid description of the hardships of neverending wars, but there is also tender moments of love and friendship.

All the best wishes,

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 10 . 12/3/2006
Hephaestion is coming into his own, now a General and given more important missions. I like your extensive description of making Abdalonymus King of Sidon, since I'm most interested in gardening myself.

I forgot mentioning how I like your descriptions of Hephastion's fabled talents in logistics. This is very important, since someone famous I've forgotten who, has said "An army always marches on its stomach!" He is very good at prvoding food, supplies and tents, and the soldiers are thankful, if not the envious other Companions and Generals. The humorous Cleitus incident tells us this.

All the best wishes,

/NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 9 . 12/3/2006
I like your rendering of the Gordian Knot. It's simple and may even be very close to the truth. The wagon and knot had been there for a long time, it might have been ready to go with a mere kick. :)

The Cydnus incident once more tells us of Hephaestion's true friendship. He takes care of Alexander day and night when he is very ill, and he does not shirk from the unpleasant details of the care. I smile when I read about how he has to punch Alexander to make him take the terrible medicine. It seems all other Companions found other things to do, rather than facing the difficult patient!

I like your description of Issus and the aftermath, also the famous "Health to you" incident. You make us feel Hephaestion's emabarrassment in a most poignant manner.

All the best wishes,

/NorthernLight
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