- The Domino Project: Designed for organizations big and small, the ideas in The Domino Project will change things for the better.
|Amazon Price||New from||Used from||Collectible from|
Thus reads an ancient stone at Thermopylae in northern Greece, the site of one of the world's greatest battles for freedom. Here, in 480 B.C., on a narrow mountain pass above the crystalline Aegean, 300 Spartan knights and their allies faced the massive forces of Xerxes, King of Persia. From the start, there was no question but that the Spartans would perish. In Gates of Fire, however, Steven Pressfield makes their courageous defense--and eventual extinction--unbearably suspenseful.
In the tradition of Mary Renault, this historical novel unfolds in flashback. Xeo, the sole Spartan survivor of Thermopylae, has been captured by the Persians, and Xerxes himself presses his young captive to reveal how his tiny cohort kept more than 100,000 Persians at bay for a week. Xeo, however, begins at the beginning, when his childhood home in northern Greece was overrun and he escaped to Sparta. There he is drafted into the elite Spartan guard and rigorously schooled in the art of war--an education brutal enough to destroy half the students, but (oddly enough) not without humor: "The more miserable the conditions, the more convulsing the jokes became, or at least that's how it seems," Xeo recalls. His companions in arms are Alexandros, a gentle boy who turns out to be the most courageous of all, and Rooster, an angry, half-Messenian youth.
Pressfield's descriptions of war are breathtaking in their immediacy. They are also meticulously assembled out of physical detail and crisp, uncluttered metaphor:
The forerank of the enemy collapsed immediately as the first shock hit it; the body-length shields seemed to implode rearward, their anchoring spikes rooted slinging from the earth like tent pins in a gale. The forerank archers were literally bowled off their feet, their wall-like shields caving in upon them like fortress redoubts under the assault of the ram.... The valor of the individual Medes was beyond question, but their light hacking blades were harmless as toys; against the massed wall of Spartan armor, they might as well have been defending themselves with reeds or fennel stalks.Alas, even this human barrier was bound to collapse, as we knew all along it would. "War is work, not mystery," Xeo laments. But Pressfield's epic seems to make the opposite argument: courage on this scale is not merely inspiring but ultimately mysterious. --Marianne Painter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The warrior's emotions Steven Pressfield is able to capture in this book is astounding. It makes the reader feel as if it is the reader is on the battlefield fighting for his... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Jonathan
This. THIS BOOK, y'all. This book is so great, I want to yell it at the top of my lungs from the tallest tower in the largest kingdom with the most gigantic of bullhorns. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Sika28
Pressfield does a great job putting flesh on the bones of history. I would recommend this to any history buff...Published 3 days ago by Josh Self
The book was wonderful. It was incredible storytelling and the battle itself made it seem as if he was there. Truly recommend it.Published 4 days ago by omar ortuno
This is a great book written from an unexpected viewpoint. I enjoyed Mr. Pressfields writing style and familiarity with the culture and mentality of the Spartans and the Greeks of... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
A Slow Start but Builds Into a Really Great Read. As the Story Unwound I found It To Be Quite Thought Provoking.Published 6 days ago by Rebeçca Aultman
First time I read this author. Great read. As a ex-marine I can say he does an excellent job of conveying the warrior ethos and unit cohesion. The Spartans set the standard. Read morePublished 9 days ago by scott fitzgerald
I really enjoyed learning more about the brave 300. These warriors were something else, extremely tough and honorable. A very interesting read!!Published 12 days ago by Chris Baker
Liked the fact that it was written from a point of view from a servant who believed in the true meaning of a warrior poet.Published 13 days ago by Jeff