Gates of fire

Throughout history, warriors and myths of legends have defined how a soldier should act in modern day. From Greek mythology’s Hercules to Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Middle East, men have been given prime examples of strength, heart, and a passion for defending their country. In the novel, Gates of Fire, author Steven Pressfield shows an unseen viewpoint of the Battle of Thermopylae. In this novel we see the Spartan army, unlike any other of its time, leading a prime example in strength in individual characters, heavy training and passion for their profession.Gates of Fire delves into the life of a young boy from Astakios, a small port city in Greece. The story is told mainly from a first perspective of the young man himself, who fought in the battle of Thermopylae, the stand of the 300. Presumed dead, he was left, but Persian doctors were able to resuscitate him and “His Majesty”, Xerxes, asked him to tell the story of the average soldier, not from a hero’s perspective; the life, training, and hardships. The historian of Xerxes’ perspective, generally in the beginning of chapters and always italicized, tells a portion of the book, as he fills in details on what goes on between the Greek, Xeones, telling his own story, and also including the “present day” story of what currently went on. Starting at the age of 9, Xeones tells the story of how he lost his city, Astakios, and searches with his cousin, Diomache, for a new city to call his own. The book progresses, but constantly jumps back and forth in ages as it will go 5 years into the future to when he was 14 and then 3 years back to when he was 12 to another 4 years forward and then back to when he was 9. But, no matter the age, Xeones was bent on getting to Lakedaemon, the legendary Sparta. He wanted to become a warrior or anything he could to call Sparta his city. The novel written by Steven Pressfield was, indeed, an impressive one. As a lover of classical history, I was…