Steven Pressfield’s novel relates a fictionalized account of the Battle of Thermopylae, the famed battle of the 300 Spartans. This book has seen a resurgence in popularity with the release of the movie “300”, which is based on a graphic novel based on the actual event. Gates of Fire is told from the point of view of a captured Spartan squire as he relates the Spartans side of the battle to Xerxes, the Persian king.
The book is a fairly fast read. It takes some time to reach the actual battle, but remains interesting throughout. In fact, I found the narrative of the battle to be less interesting than the relationships between the soldiers, their families and their country. The fight between the Spartans and Persians became a bit tedious after awhile and focused mostly on the gore. Although violent, the battle scenes are not stomach churning. If, like me, you have an interest in this historical event or enjoy tales of bravery and patriotism this is definitely a book for you.