The first time I read the “Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae” was about 10yr ago and I was very impressed. I rented the book by mistake, but I am glad I read it for the second time. This is very well written book, the narrator is a survivor of the famous battle at the Gates of Thermopylae. He goes on to recount his life story from his childhood to the heroic days of the battle. The author very cleverly changes the time lines, and he teases us with parts of a story and then switches back to another story. I find myself not being able to put the book away. I just wanted to know what will happen next ( though reading it for the second time wasn’t so exciting) . The historical descriptions of Sparta, their traditions, customs, and just daily lives were fascinating
( but I have to say, that the even though the author drew very positive picture of Sparta, in real life Sparta was a ruthless and cruel military nation who terrorized their neighbors) . The final battle was great, even the second time around I was fascinated by the events. The story of individual characters were captivating
I love ancient history books and this is one of my favorites
“The Profession” by Steven Pressfield . I love books set in the future and I really like military books, so this should be a great novel for me to read. Unfortunately it wasn’t. Long descriptions of military equipment or procedures were killing me. The plot was complicated to the point that I needed to go back pages before to see what was going on. There were lots of unnecessary minor characters that made it difficult to concentrate and figure out why there were even there. I had big hopes about this book being great but it was a disappointment, the best way to describe it – boring.