This is Abhishek Boinapalli, from Another Author. I do fiction review, for bluebell books once every two weeks. So here is my review for this week:
Gates of Fire is a 1988 historical fiction novel by Steven Pressfield that recounts the Battle of Thermopylae through Xeones, a Spartan Helot and sole Greek survivor of the battle.
Most of us, are familiar with movie 300 which was based on comic series by Frank Miller. The movie was awesome without any doubt. If the movie has left you with a desire to see more Spartan action, then the book is definitely for you.
The book is story, told by Xeones to king Xerxes. Quite a few pages are dedicated to personal history of Xeones which though boring (due to fact that not much action is described here), covers a lot about the Greeks, their way of life, various cities which existed back then, the culture, the trade, various sects in Sparta, training of Spartans and all such.
When you get to read, the first battle between Spartans and Syrakusans and the Antirhionins, trust me, you shall be amazed and in awe of military tactics and discipline of the Spartans. You yourself shall feel, that the Spartans are invincible in battlefields.
A lot more is spoken about Spartan women, the place for Sparta in hearts of Spartans, the rigorous training they undergo, the need for sacrifice, the way the 300 warriors are selected, the way their two kings rule, the way their king participates in the war and all such
And then, major part of book, of course covers the action, the valor, the discipline shown by Spartans and their allies at the Gates. There is lot more action than what is shown in movie. You get to know about secret plots to kill king Xerxes in his tent, the way people of various counties under
Persian empire fight, the way in which King Leonidas and the 300 warriors know about their death, about the traitor who helped Persians.
The final parts of the book are tragedy. Death of King Leonidas, all the 300 Spartans & countless foe. Ample gore, description of horrible death, flesh and mud ending with final happy note, which says, King Xerxes lost the war against Spartan main force.
I would personally recommend Gates of Fire to every military enthusiastic, to everyone who are done with Percy Jackson series and are interested in Greek stuff, to every man and woman who are looking out for inspiration.
with warm regardsAbhishek Boinapalli