Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
on 17 March 2003
I have just finished this book, I would have to say if you have read 'gates of fire' and other Pressfield stuff or any ancient authors you will probably be disappointed. The book must have lost a lot in the translation. There seems to have been many Spartan based books released in the last few months, this period is having a bit of a renaissance. I found the historical accuracy a bit lacking, as the previous reviewer noted 'who was there?' well a lot of historians were there, or able to write about the times - from Homer, Xenophon, Herodotus, Thucydides etc...
I felt the narrative was missing something from the first few pages, I read the dust jacket and realised that the book is a translation, I think this is where it falls down. The detail is too sketchy, Marathon a three page wonder, Salamis is just mentioned, Thermopylae gets fouteen pages, the Persian adventure slightly more.
This book portrays the Spartans as gungh, screaming spear shakers, cries of ALALA! and impulsive charges are just not SPARTAN in my eyes. The dense Spartan phalanx would just fall apart under a charge, the ranks fanning out and the order breaking down.
All in all something lacking.