From Publishers Weekly
Manfredi, author of a trilogy about the life of Alexander the Great (Alexander), here tells an epic tale of Sparta and its rivalry with other Greek city-states in the face of repeated Persian invasions in the fifth century B.C. Two Spartan brothers, sons of a famous Spartan warrior, are separated as babies. One boy, Brithos, is healthy and strong, destined to become a soldier like his father. The other baby boy, Kleidemos, has a crippled foot and is left on a mountainside to die, in accordance with Spartan law. However, Kleidemos is found by an old man, a Helot (serf), and is raised as a Helot shepherd. As years pass, both boys grow into men, neither knowing of the other. Brithos becomes a Spartan warrior, and Kleidemos the shepherd (renamed Talos by his Helot family) learns a powerful and mysterious secret from his Helot grandfather. The paths of the two brothers cross in several unexpected ways as wars with Persia and conflicts and intrigues between Sparta and Athens inflame all of Greece. As master and slave, the two brothers fight alongside King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans at the battle of Thermopylae, and they develop a bond neither can explain or understand. Brithos's fate is tied to Kleidemos, but the cripple's future is determined by the disturbing secret revealed by his grandfather. When Kleidemos finally learns that he is both a Spartan and a Helot, he is tormented by his divided loyalties. Manfredi is a masterful storyteller, carefully weaving in political and military history, realistically describing the brutality of hoplite warfare and vividly depicting the treachery and betrayal of kings.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Capitalizing on the success of his hugely popular Alexander trilogy, Italian archaeologist and novelist Manfredi has crafted another compelling saga set in ancient Greece. Born with a crippled foot, a baby is reluctantly abandoned by his aristocratic parents in accordance with Spartan law. Rescued by a Helot shepherd, young Talos grows to manhood, unaware of his noble roots. When destiny intervenes and Talos is brought face to face with his brother Brithos, a brutal Spartan warrior, the two engage in a puzzling contest of strength and wills. Eventually discovering the truth of his birth, Talos is torn between the Spartan blood coursing through his veins and the Helot pride instilled in him by his adoptive father. Plenty of action, passion, and drama underscore this authentically detailed historical adventure. Margaret FlanaganCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved