An epic story of passion, courage and adventure in ancient Sparta, by the author of the ALEXANDER trilogy. Herodotus tells us that not all of the three hundred Spartan warriors died at the hands of Xerxes, King of the Persians, in the battle of the Thermopylae: two were saved bringing a life-saving message back to the city...This is the saga of a ...
An epic story of passion, courage and adventure in ancient Sparta, by the author of the ALEXANDER trilogy. Herodotus tells us that not all of the three hundred Spartan warriors died at the hands of Xerxes, King of the Persians, in the battle of the Thermopylae: two were saved bringing a life-saving message back to the city...This is the saga of a Spartan family, torn apart by a cruel law that forces them to abandon one of their two sons - born lame - to the elements. The elder son, Brithos, is raised in the caste of the warriors, while the other, Talos, is spared a cruel death and is raised by a Helot shepherd, among the peasants. They live out their story in a world dominated by the clash between the Persian empire and the city-states of Greece - a ferocious, relentless conflict - until the voice of their blood and of human solidarity unites them in a thrilling, singular enterprise.
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-10-20 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. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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