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A Peerless Peer (Leonidas of Sparta Book 2) by [Schrader, Helena  P.]

A Peerless Peer (Leonidas of Sparta Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in Leonidas of Sparta (3 Book Series)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Leonidas is arguably the most famous of all Spartan, but no serious biography has ever been written, and what is most often portrayed is his death.  Leonidas is remembered for commanding the Greek forces that defended the pass at Thermopylae against an invading Persian Army. Leonidas has come to symbolize the noblest form of military courage and self-sacrifice. 

But Leonidas was not a young man at the historic battle where he gave his life. He had lived half a century (if not more) and reigned for ten years before he took command of the Greek alliance defying Persia. It was those years preceding the final confrontation with Persia that made him the man he would be at Thermopylae. To the extent that we admire his defiant stand, learning more about his early life and tracing the development of his character is important. Yet so very little is actually known about his early life that historians have been discouraged from attempting a biography.

Novelists, fortunately, enjoy more freedom, and what we do know about Leonidas' early life is enticing. In the first novel in this trilogy, A Boy of the Agoge, I built upon known facts about his birth and family situation and Sparta's unique educational system to construct a plausible picture of Leonidas' boyhood.  In the second book, I focus on the next stage of his life, the years when he was a common citizen before becoming king. This is the period in which he married his niece Gorgo and gained experience in battle and politics.  Building on the few known facts, listening to the sayings attributed to Leonidas and Gorgo, and knowing how Leonidas met his destiny at Thermopylae, I have written this novel.

The characters that emerge are greater than the historical input. Leonidas is consciously portrayed as the quintessential archaic Spartan, because that is what he has become in legend. Gorgo, likewise, epitomizes that which set Spartan women apart from their contemporaries, without robbing her of individual traits and personality. The two principals are surrounded by a large cast of secondary, largely fictional characters, each of which is unique and complex.

About the Author

Award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader earned a PhD in History from the University of Hamburg. She has published numerous works of non-fiction and fiction. As a novelist, she has focused on historical and biographical fiction.
Her novel set in the 7th Crusade, St. Louis' Knight, won the 2014 Chaucer Award for the Best Historical Fiction set in the High Middle Ages, and also placed third in the 2014 Feathered Quill Literary Awards for Historical and Spiritual Fiction. The first book in her Balian d'Ibelin biography, Knight of Jerusalem, is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree.
Visit her website: for descriptions of her publications or follow her blog: for updates on current works in progress or recent reviews and publications. 

For more on the Schrader Tales of Chivalry series visit:, for more about her current work-in-progress, a biographical novel of Balian d'Ibelin, and the crusader kingdoms visit:  defenderofjerusalem or follow her blog on the Crusader Kingdoms at:

Helena is a career Foreign Service Officer currently serving in Africa.

Product details

  • File Size: 2747 KB
  • Print Length: 541 pages
  • Publisher: Wheatmark (August 10, 2011)
  • Publication Date: August 10, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005KC3MEE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,436 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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