Thursday, April 24, 2008

36. "Gates of Fire" - Steven Pressfield

I have long been fascinated by the Spartan culture; in fact, my husband has had the following quote at the bottom of his email for years -- "With your shield or on it." (what Spartan mothers would tell their sons before battle.)

Gates of Fire takes the warrior-making culture and breaks it down philosophically, spiritually, and psychologically - but all of the tales are from the eyes and heart of a Spartan slave who chose to join its ranks rather than be a slave of Athens.

The final battle of Thermopylae is not the fantastic choreography of 300 or Braveheart. It is the blood and shit and piss of battle. It is the fierceness of fighting for your brother-at-arms whom you protect with your shield. It is an amazing interpretation of the honor and steadfast beauty of the Spartan warriors.

4.5 out of 5.0 Bonapartes Secret Greek Battle.


Lezlie said...

I'm so glad you liked this! I loved, loved, loved this book! I nearly sobbed when King Leonidas gave his final speech. Pressfield has another one very close to my heart called, "Last of the Amazons". And I have "Tides of War" on my shelf to read soon. I think Pressfield is an amazing author.


Kristin Dodge said...

I'm going to have to check out the others.

Today I watched "300" and was sorely disappointed. Its version of Leonidas was reckless and angry. Visually, it was a stunning, unique attempt of making a graphic novel into film, but the story became more overdone when the simple truths are more emotionally rewarding.

Thanks for the recommendation... well worth it. I owe you!