Stacie (MagicOfBooks)'s Reviews > Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
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Feb 27, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, historical-fiction, myth-gods-heroes
Read from March 04 to 10, 2012

** spoiler alert ** My dad read this book first and recommended that I read it, too. I don't typically read this type of historical fiction, but I ended up really liking it.

Steven Pressfield really gave me a sense of living in Greece. He had beautiful description and he clearly did his research when it came to detailing clothing, food, military armor, military techniques, battle, and location. Though, I could also mark this against Pressfield, because his description of battles (and there were a lot) sometimes had me zoning out---he was so detailed and I didn't quite understand everything, so I kind of found some of the battles a little boring because of the excessive use of detail in those given chapters.

So what did I love? The characters and the character relationships. The narrator, Xeones, and his bromance with Alexandros was the greatest thing. I also loved Xeones love of his cousin---Xeones is married, has children, but his thoughts still always go back to his cousin, Diomache. We learn more about her than about Xeones own wife which I think says a lot. Rooster and Polynikes were another duo of my favorite characters. Loved the strong women in this as well: Arete, Gorgo, and Paraleia. Just an amazing scene near the end between Paraleia and Leonidas that I just have to quote:

Leonidas: "I chose [the Three Hundred] not for their valor, lady, but for that of their women."

Gah! Heart wrenching! Leonidas basically tells her that he chose The Three Hundred because of the nature of their wives who are strong and loyal to Sparta, not because The Three Hundred were strong and brave.

If you like historical fiction, great characters, and great story, I highly recommend this. So many things about this book that I could go on about, but I don't want this to turn into a big long essay, haha!
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03/04/2012 page 27
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