Gates of Fire

Gates of Fire

An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

Book - 1999 | Bantam pbk. ed.
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Random House, Inc.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “An incredibly gripping, moving, and literate work of art, rarely does an author manage to re-create a moment in history with such mastery, authority, and psychological insight.”—Nelson DeMille

At Thermopylae, a rocky mountain pass in northern Greece, the feared and admired Spartan soldiers stood three hundred strong. Theirs was a suicide mission, to hold the pass against the invading millions of the mighty Persian army.

Day after bloody day they withstood the terrible onslaught, buying time for the Greeks to rally their forces. Born into a cult of spiritual courage, physical endurance, and unmatched battle skill, the Spartans would be remembered for the greatest military stand in history—one that would not end until the rocks were awash with blood, leaving only one gravely injured Spartan squire to tell the tale. . . .

“A novel that is intricate and arresting and, once begun, almost impossible to put down.”—Daily News 

“A timeless epic of man and war . . . Pressfield has created a new classic deserving a place beside the very best of the old.”—Stephen Coonts

Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the battle of three hundred Spartan warriors against a huge force of Persian soldiers in 480 B.C.

& Taylor

An ambitious, cinematic historical novel chronicles the battle of three hundred Spartan warriors against a huge force of Persian soldiers in 480 B.C. against the background of life in ancient Sparta and its extraordinary culture. Reprint.

Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, c1999, c1998.
Edition: Bantam pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9780553580532
Characteristics: 442 p. : maps ; 18 cm.


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Jan 09, 2019

Recommendation from Jason Mills

KRockstar10 Aug 14, 2013

Wow! This book was a big departure for me...I don't generally do military fiction, and I have (sadly) forgotten most of my Greek history. However, this book was great! Very very dense and a bit tough to get through at times, especially when you have to make multiple guesses about how to pronounce things, but well-written and extremely detailed. My only major complaint is that the narration frequently jumped around in time and if you weren't paying attention, it got very confusing. Other than that, I really enjoyed this and I'm glad I stretched myself outside of my comfort zone.

JCLGreggW May 24, 2013

So you've seen the movie "300" and have a feeling that the historical record probably didn't play out that way with rippling abs and a heavy CGI budget. Steven Pressfield takes the Battle of Thermopylae, where the representatives of the tiny city-states of Greece defend themselves against the massive army of Persians led by emperor Xerxes who is thirsting for revenge, and uses the battle as a framing device for a wonderfully-written historical novel about the Greek way of life. The story is told from the point of view of Xeones, a Greek refugee who comes to serve as a squire, or battlefield assistant, to the Spartans; Xeones is captured by the Persians in the wake of battle and forced to tell his tale of why and how the of Greeks were able to turn back the Persian tide. Xeones takes us from his own upbringing and how his village was destroyed by war, and how he traveled to Sparta - the enemy of his town's invaders - and joined them. We get to know several of the Greek warriors, from kings and generals to sergeants and raw recruits, culminating with the war with the Persians. Pressfield is a master at the war narrative - his descriptions of the specific battles and the tides of war will suck you in and leave you heartbroken. This works as a historical novel, as it gives you a great look at the daily lives and dramas of historical figures, and also as a war novel, with battles and dramatic action sequences. Once you'll read this, you'll wonder why the filmmakers just didn't use this as the source material instead of a Frank Miller graphic novel.

jaysullivan Dec 24, 2011

An inspiring story of what it must have been to become a Spartan guarding the gates. What a tale and it rings true, although no one really knows the details of what happened in the last days to those few at the gate.

Feb 05, 2011

This book is awsesome. Way better than the movie 300. Way more engaging.


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