A Review of Gates of Fire

Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of ThermopylaeGates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae by Steven Pressfield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not an easy book.

It is at its heart a deep dive into an ancient culture that is radically different from the one in which we live. By their very nature, the names of people, places and practices are jarring to the eye and to the ear. Focused concentration is required. But there are rewards.

This is not an easy book.

Warriors fight and kill. Warriors fight and die. The descriptions of the battles are intense and graphic. As much as any book that I have ever read, the reader lives rather than merely observes the battles and the impact of those battles upon the bodies, minds, and spirits of the warriors. Pressfield makes you care about the players, and then makes you watch as they die.

This is not an easy book.

At its heart this is a book about ideas. The Spartan approach to life is demanding. To read about it, to understand it, and to live it, through Pressfield’s skill as a writer, is demanding.

Highly recommended.

View all my reviews


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