Reviews for On the Sunny Banks of the Cydnus
absynthedrinker chapter 6 . 3/24/2012
It's been a long time since you wrote this story and it is my hope that you are still receiving these comments because this was absolutely wonderful.

The imagery, the quick and clever character development, and the other subtle touches made this a delicious and worthwhile read. Not being able to have an actual peek into the lives of these men is made a little less painful with the reading of this remarkable story. Well done!


absynthedrinker chapter 1 . 3/24/2012
This is certainly a promising beginning. Wonderfully done! Can't to see where you are taking this!


moon71 chapter 6 . 12/16/2007
What can I say, as this wonderful story reaches a close?

Well, first of all, sorry for taking so long to post a review! I have been a bit overwhelmed of late and wanted to read it properly and post an intelligent review, as it deserves.

Every chapter of this has been a treat. This for me is "Alexander for Grown-ups" - it concentrates on a particular moment in Alexander's story and expands it from the POV of men remembered but barely known by history. You've chosen a relatively difficult subject (the medical logistics and practises of the army)from a very original viewpoint and made both convincing. You've made Critodemus and Philip really come to life!

Actually if anything I love this more for the fact that it doesn't focus soully on Alexander and Hephaestion. Stories from the point of view of someone on the "edge" of the action can be demanding to write but I do sometimes find them the most satisfying to read. It's always so interesting to see Alexander or Hephaestion through someone else's eyes.

The last scenes here are the perfect example. First of all, Alexander's sense of showmanship is so clear - I really felt I was watching the army as they would be in such a situation; on the one hand down to earth as Macedonians would be, on the other that faint sense of threat against Glaucias, the bitterness of Philip and the question of the soldiers' being punished reminding us that Alexander is king and general and this is an army where crucifixion was one of many punishments he didn't hestiate to use.

But most outstanding and mature of all was that last scene where the surgeon watches Hephaestion return to Alexander. I was wondering if there would be a last Alex / Heph scene but in the end I was satisfied with this. Nothing is said outloud but plenty is suggested. Hephaestion's confidence as he enters Alexander's rooms apparently without invitation speaks for itself - Macedonians and Greeks would surely be far more alert to body language and attitude when it came to male / male relationships than we are today, and the fact that Cleon didn't need to explain anything sounded so natural.

Well I know you're probably studying very hard at the moment, but I hope you have a little time to read this... and maybe just a little time to write something else! You're a natural!

M x
Tastytime chapter 6 . 11/5/2007
I am so glad you decided to update this. I enjoyed this chapter immensely in every respect, it tied up all the loose ends, and of course it also allowed us a glimpse into how Alexander is seen by the army and those who surrounded it, as well as the role Hephaestion could have played both to Alexander and to the army. The end was heart warming- "I forget; you're not from Pella." "Cleon grinned amiably. "If you'd seen them growing up, you'd know. But they do keep marvelous quiet about it. Still," he sighed, "I warrant someday Alexander's going to declare it to the world, somehow – something unbelievably grand. . . . The two of them –"

With a fond chuckle, he left off there, as if no more needed to be said.

Only the best for Alexander"

What a lovely paragraph- because of course Alexander did. Ah can't wait for more stories in a similiar vein.
amicus92 chapter 6 . 11/4/2007
I absolutely love this story. The a/n in chap 2 about Glacius was pretty funny. I hope you continue to write Alexander stories.
Norrsken chapter 6 . 11/4/2007
Dear Joyee,

I am so pleased to read the conclusion to this story at long last. I have been thinking about it for a long time, I was even about to put it on a Wanted! list!

Nothing surpasses a true Happy Ending - and you make this come as a natural conclusion to a series of events. I can see *your* Alexander before my Inner Eye, he is still weak and trembling from his recent ordeals, but his mind is ever eager and alert, and now he is in full Command again!

The doctors get their just rewards, Philip and Critodemus are being singled out for their good services, and Glaucias escapes with just being frightened almost out of his wits. I especially like it how you describe when Philip gets the Royal red cloak of the Companions. I like it even more when Critodemus gets his new surgical instruments from the skilled blacksmith Cleon. Alexander thinks of all the details, ( or might it have been Hephaestion ? :) )

There is still intrigue amongst the Companions and Generals, but one senses that now it's business as usual. Parmenion's renewed command restores security for the Army, and this, too, makes the men feel less concerned and alarmed.

Yes, Alexander deserves only the best, and you let us see this through Critodemus' eyes as he notices the True Steadfast Friend, always at the side of the Beautiful Godlden One. A onderful ending to a wonderful story.

All the best wishes, and many thanks for sharing,

/ NorthernLight

OT For all of you who have followed my own fics here at the FFnet, I have some *bad* news. Both my home and work computers have recently become *incomapatible* to the FFnet's complicated uploading systems. I won't be able to upload any fics here until these problems are solved. :( I will be back with updates when this is solved. :)
Tastytime chapter 5 . 8/10/2007
A true pleasure to read. This is what happens to me when I'm lazy, and neglect to keep up with Alexander fiction, I come back and find myself five chapters into something I should have been reading from the beginning. A lovely, lovely story- I love the subtle and rare combination that you have managed to achieve of accuracy, and emotional content. There is little better and more enjoyable than a historical fiction complete with all the little details of medical instruments, tonics, tents, armies, physicians, and the thousand and one little things that gave your story the ring of authenticity. Fascinating to read, and the references to the histories, and playwrights, and the Iliad gave it smoothness and depth. I enjoyed it very very much, and loved the main characters depiction- Alexander and Hephaestion obviously, but also Craterus, Philip, Diades and Critodemus, each of whom was distinctly and sharply depicted.

One of the subtle joys of this was your Hephaestion. He is very different from both how he is usually written, and as I write him myself, and to be honest is great for it. The stoicness and tender simnplicity of him was lovely. 'his features gone in half a heartbeat from blistering wrath to the most ridiculously tender, anxious expression ' that sums up so perfectly, someone who is truly strong in more ways than one- emotionally strong, as well as physically, and who without making himself *less* than Alexander, is still careful of his needs, and puts him before himself. It's a very hard line to walk- subservience as versus dislikable arrogance and you trod it with the confidence of an excellent writer. Have added this (and Kingly Gift story) to my C2- hoping thats ok with you, and you to my fav authors
moon71 chapter 5 . 7/24/2007
Every chapter of this story has been a treat, and this is no exception. Above all, I still think the characterisation is amongst the best – if not THE best – I have come across. For me, this is how Macedonian military men would talk to each other. They are capable of showing respect, compassion, even kindness – but they still behave like men who have seen and done a great deal and been hardened into unsentimental realism by their experiences.

I always do love it, as I’m sure I’ve said, when real but minor figures are taken from the histories and allowed to have a voice. Philip and Critodemus are both so wonderful and also so distinctive from one another – Philip comes across as more refined and more sensitive, while Critodemus is by necessity practical and no-nonsense (something an army surgeon would surely have to be – one can only imagine the kind of operations he had to perform, perhaps without anaesthetic, and the conditions he might have to work in. And once again I love hearing their views – the views of non-combatants surrounded by gung-ho warriors.

Now to this wonderfully long Alexander / Hephaestion dialogue! You have nothing to worry about. Once again Hephaestion and Alexander talk to each other so naturally – as men, as soldiers with a common goal, as old friends and yes, as lovers. Fun as it is to have long scenes of them kissing and romancing, I just feel this is more realistic. (It reminded me a bit of Melissa Scott’s “A choice of Destinies” where Hephaestion and Alexander talk shop even as they’re getting ready for a night of love! I love the way Hephaestion plays on Alexander’s fantasies of battle and uses them to trip him up – I got the feeling that Hephaestion knew he was taking a risk playing a trick like that, and you provided us not only with a tense moment but with a real insight into just how Hephaestion indeed might have played Alexander – if he was the one who had the most freedom to advise him, or disagree with him, by this stage he must have been good enough at it to take such a risk. I really felt Alexander preparing himself for a tantrum and Hephaestion knew it but was prepared to stand his ground, and it was Alexander in the end who had to give in to the voice of reason. And the ending – with Hephaestion realising that Alexander could be on the mend at last, was perfect. Better than a banal sex scene any day.
atreiu chapter 5 . 7/7/2007
I love this couple when they talk to each other like waging war! Calculating and maneuvering. I am a hidden fan of your Alexander series. I emerge out of my cellar to squeeze another chapter from you. Thank you so much for the great chapter and pleaseplease give us MORE!
Norrsken chapter 5 . 7/5/2007
Dear Joyee,

Of course I'm still interested! I've been waiting eagerly for this update, and I'm not disappointed. You give us such a good rendering of these disastrous times. *Your* Hephaestion has such great qualities, he certainly is the very best for Alexander. I admire him a lot, as you portray him. He stays calm and manages to take good care of his friend who is very seriously ill. At the same time he manages the Government and his Army work. Even if there are dire rumours and threatening turmoil he manages to keep a semblance of Order. That sure is a True Steadfast Friend!

You give us a vivid picture of the seriousness of Alexander's illness. He remains unconscious and delirious for two weeks! Hephaestion must be very glad when he finds his friend in a tantrum, scolding his helpers and throwing vases at them! He handles the King's bad tmeper and impatience very well. When Alexander wants to march upon Darius all at once he calmly tells him what will happen. This bedtime tale is simply priceless! At first he makes Alexander feel confident and proud over himself and his brave Army, then he gives a vivid and truly horrible picture of the calamity that will happen if he rides out before he has made a proper recovery from his serious illness. Alexander listens to this calm reasoning, and knows what is best for him.

Their calm and friendly supper together is endearing, also their warm embrace. They are ready to face the whole world together, also the Persian menace and Darius' overwhelming army. They are so complete together, and when Alexander is ailing, Hephaestion's calmness, diplomacy and sense of order keeps the Army together.

All the best wishes, and hoping for a faster update this time. :)

/ NorthernLight
lighrose chapter 5 . 7/5/2007
Better and update soon!
Alexander Obsessed chapter 5 . 7/4/2007
Awesome, simply awesome.
Rowan Rosethorne chapter 5 . 7/3/2007
thank you for FINALLY updating. lol. as usual, this latest chapter was great. i love how you write your stories, the words that you use are phrased very descriptively and i can actually almost imagine this story really happening when alexander, the great fool, jumped on the icy cydnus. i love your fic so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE UPDATE SOON. CHEERS :)
PaddyWaddy chapter 5 . 7/3/2007
Oh , he's a little better now, is he?
PaddyWaddy chapter 4 . 6/28/2007
Haha, I just watched the movie about 15 minutes ago and am already reading fanfiction.

Please update soon?This is wonderful!
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