In honor of the 25th anniversary of Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire, Brazil has just published a 25th Anniversary Portuguese version of the book. This picture here is my copy signed by Steven Pressfield when I met him back in 2019.
Any book that has been around for that long and that is still in print is saying something. This is one of the best historical fiction books set in the ancient world in my opinion. This book was his first book after spending years writing screen plays. Before that he spent years trying to write novels. Then screen plays. And then Gates of Fire. It was his second novel.
The Legend of Bagger Vance was first. That book was adapted to into a film by Robert Redford.
I’ve read Gates of Fire a few times and there is hardly a better adventure story out there. Poignant, gut-wrenching, and lovely. It’s a great read. It will immerse you in ancient Sparta.
It may surprise you that it’s a great read for women as well. We learn from King Leonidas that the 300 Spartans who were sent to hold back the Persian army in a valiant act of self-sacrifice, were chosen because of their women.
“’When the battle is over, when the Three Hundred have gone down to death, then will all Greece look to the Spartans, to see how they bear it.
“’But who, lady, who will the Spartans look to? To you. To you and the other wives and mothers, sisters and daughters of the fallen.
“’If they behold your hearts riven and broken with grief, they, too, will break. And Greece will break with them. But if you bear up, dry-eyed, not alone enduring your loss but seizing it with contempt for its agony and embracing it as the honor that it is in truth, then Sparta will stand. And all Hellas will stand behind her.’”