Colossus By Colin Falconer

book cover Post by Kezza G.

This is an alternate history that features Alexander the Great and his campaign to rule the world.

Majestic, enormous and confrontational, Colossus is a war elephant, drafted into the army of Alexander the Great as he pillages and plunders entire cities in his quest to be the ultimate and only ruler of men. The war elephants are to be Alexander’s powerful new weapon, never encountered by any of his adversaries, they have been brought back from India to help with Alexander’s conquest of the world. Restless, ruthless and allegedly immortal, Alexander sets his sights on the empire of Carthage as his next coup. It is an epic tale of evil, pitiless gods and sacking of cities, but also a tale of the profound friendship between an Indian boy called Gajendra, a mahavat, and his elephant charge, Colossus. Gajendra is anxious to prove himself as both loyal and useful to Alexander, hoping to improve his lot in life. He dreams of being a general and marrying the most beautiful woman in Alexander’s harem.

It is a story of glory, ambition, betrayal and bravery. We follow Gajendra and Colossus into battle after battle, and as man and animal gain notoriety for their tactics and courage, they come to the attention of Alexander. Gajendra begins a dazzling climb through the ranks of Alexanders Macedonian army, protected by the fierce but devoted Colossus. Woven through is a tale of love and restoration as we ride along with Gajendra from elephant dung boy to a General in Alexander’s army, his ultimate dream comes true, or so he thinks. This is a time of great confusion for Gajendra as he grapples with the personal fight between fulfilling his dreams and living a life he never knew he wanted… until he met Mara. Mara is a Carthagian priestess and daughter of General Hanno. After destroying and sacking Carthage, Mara is put under the protection of a dwarf loyal to Hanno who disguises her as a boy and when they are enslaved, Mara becomes Gajendra’s elephant dung ‘boy’. Mara and Colossus have an instant connection and love for each other. There are some beautiful and delightful descriptions of Colossus and his protective and playful emotions, great imagery and some charismatic characters but it is Colossus who is captivating to the end.