To stand for the people before the gods, that is kingship. Power by itself is the bronze without the gold. (Mary Renault, The bull from the sea, 1962)
I read historical fiction before I ever read history: Mary Renault, Rosemary Sutcliffe, Henry Treece, Geoffrey Trease. Mary Renault’s book before this one, about the Minotaur, The King Must Die, is a better book I think. The ones of hers I love most are the Alexander the Great trilogy.