Terri's Reviews > Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
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's review
Mar 05, 11

bookshelves: own, historical-fiction, favorites, europe-fiction
Read from February 23 to March 05, 2011

What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said here on it's review page...ah, not much. :-)
It is a terrific book. Dense, and detailed and clever and, in many places, exhilarating. Sometimes I felt that the author was being too clever. Sacrificing flow for sometimes not so relevant story background. There is quite a lot of too-ing and fro-ing in this book. Jumping backwards and forwards between different times and sometimes it worked for me and sometimes it didn't. That is why I nearly gave Gates of Fire 4 stars instead of 5...but I didn't.
I didn't have a problem with the backwards and forwards through the meat of the book, but by the last third of the book, once it was time to leave for Thermopylae, and once they were there, the flow was often a bit too constricted by Pressfield jumping out of the tense rushing storyline, into other slower laid back storylines. It took a long while, it seemed, before the real battle of Thermopylae was fought. And when it was. My heart broke.
It is odd. You know the story of those three hundred. Knew their fate, but it didn't make it any easier when the time came for the end. They went to the Hot Gates to die, and die they did.
Pressfield is a man of high talent when it comes to writing and I can't believe it has taken me this long to finally read this book. But boy am I glad I did.
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Reading Progress

02/28/2011 page 70
13.0% "Gates of Fire has grabbed me from the start. Just as I hoped it would."
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message 1: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Hi Terri it just arrived this morning
I feel I will enjoy this immensely
the last of the Amazons was my first read of Steve Pressfield looks like a long list to further enjoy

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