Press Release: The Bull from the Sea

The Bull from the SeaBFS1
Mary Renault

Illustrated by Geoff Grandfield

‘Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers … She leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us’
hilary mantel

The Minotaur is dead and the Labyrinth defeated. In this sequel to Mary Renault’s rousing The King Must Die (published by The Folio Society in 2016) a young Theseus returns to Athens to find his father dead and himself the new king. Caught between a hunger for adventure and his own powerful sense of duty, the son of Earth-Shaker Poseidon narrates his eventful life, detailing skirmishes with pirates, the glories of battle and the complex intrigues of the Palace itself. When a chance meeting reveals the secret rites of the Amazons, Theseus sees his destiny in the face of their youngBFS2 queen, Hippolyta. Their love, however, incites the jealous rage of his betrothed, Phaedra, and a shadow falls over the couple’s future.

Mary Renault’s Theseus books conjure the Greek hero in all his morally ambiguous splendour. Moments of recognisable humanity, such as Theseus’ bemusement that his son should be so much taller than him, sit alongside otherworldly mysteries that are ancient and ineffable even to our hero. Woven throughout the story are Renault’s themes of sacrifice and the inexorable nature of fate, while bright strands of other familiar stories are threaded through this tapestry of myth: we see glimpses of Achilles, witness the doom of cursed Oedipus and hear of the exploits of Jason.

Geoff Grandfield has created eight colour images as well as a striking binding design. The illustrations thrum with drama, envisioning in stylised figures the forbidden dance of the Amazons and Theseus’ blind rage on the battlefield. Produced in series with The King Must Die and The Alexander Trilogy BFS3(for which he won Illustrator of the Year from the Association of Illustrators, London) the slipcase for this edition is emblazoned with the eye of the bull – a symbol intertwined with the fate of Theseus and his sons.

Product information
Quarter-bound in cloth with Modigliani paper sides printed with a design by the
artist. Set in Haarlemmer. 264 pages. 8 full-page colour illustrations. Blocked slipcase.
9½˝ x 6¼˝

UK £34.95 US $57.95 Can $72.95 Aus $72.95



For media enquiries please contact

UK & ROW Nicola Handley, Cherish PR
020 8735 4245,

US & Canada
Cathleen P. Williamson (617) 435-5505,