The Persian Epoch Continues: Cyrus II Becomes King of Persia and Media
Cyrus II, a prince of ancient Persia, continues to influence the antiquity of Iran in this third novel. He is forced to contend with numerous family problems. Cyrus marries happily, but his mother becomes contentious out of female jealousy. His father bans his cousin, a dangerous princess, from their country, and she satisfies her vindictiveness and personal hatred by gaining remarkable influence with King Astyages, the Great KIng of Media, who is Cyrus' grandfather. King Astyages taunts Cyrus and his father and wages war against Persia with the encouragement of the beautiful banned princess. Cyrus and his father's problems are further compounded in commerce. A dishonest Median minister assigns unjust tax burdens to them out of cruelty and also plots directly with the banned princess against Prince Cyrus to either cause him trouble with his grandfather, or to kill him. Cyrus and his father are severely injured by shocking physical punishments. This leads to the death of his father and Cyrus inherits the crown, but he is unable to reign in peace. Friends are hard to find. Tribal and clan leaders in Persia are reluctant to trust the new king's ability to govern or to protect their peasants. He seeks support from other nations and extended family members, but their response is shallow. King Cyrus gets limited aid from secret allies. A powerful man Cyrus respects provides timely help, and unexpected success presents the new king with broader problems.