Book Reviews of Gates of Fire

Gates of Fire
Gates of Fire
Author: Steven Pressfield
ISBN-13: 9780385492515
ISBN-10: 0385492510
Publication Date: 10/20/1998
Pages: 400
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 11 ratings
Publisher: Doubleday
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

21 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Gates of Fire on
Helpful Score: 2
This is NOT 300! No disrespect to that terrific graphic novel. This is a work of historical fiction that rings with authenticity. Pressfield, as he does in all of his books, lets the characters speak for themselves seamlessly blending the real historical words of the characters themselves (where possible) with the contemporaneous philosophical details that lets you see the world through their eyes. He does this while creating a novel of compelling action. The story is told in the voice of a mortally wounded Spartan helot the fictional last survivor of the battle of Thermopylae to the Persian king Xerxes. This is a great book for those who find great words and ideas as compelling as great history.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is an excellent description of the Battle of Thermopylae written by the fictitious only survivor of the battle. As a historian I found the novel extremely well written and a great counter point to the cartoonish movie "300 Spartans" of a few years ago. The blood and gore are still there, but the warriors are made human by an gifted author in Pressfield. We're always told that history needs to come alive to be appreciated. This book does it better then anything I've ever read.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A little slow in the beginning, bear with it, it soon becomes gripping. The battle scenes are gory, but there is much philosophy about what made the Spartans tick! Flash backs give glimpses into the background before the battle and depicts everyday life of key characters. Very good. Movie rights to this were sold before "300" was published and turned into a movie.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is an amazing story. The Battle of Thermopylae is recounted by the main character of Xeones, a man who was not a Spartan but joined their ranks and learned their ways. This gives us a great perspective as we see the Spartans from the inside with an outsider's perspective. The bulk of the novel consists of painting a picture of just who the Spartans were before the battle at the hot gates and does a wonderful job developing intense and deep characters. Pressfield does a great job here.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 60 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Even though most of this story is focused on technical battle scenes, it remains fresh and compelling through to the end. I found myself desperately craving a happy ending even though history says otherwise. Those who are not crazy about "war" stories will still appreciate the incredible story telling in this novel.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 42 more book reviews
I did not read this, but my husband, who is keenly interested in ancient battles, says it is well done.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 6 more book reviews
I had to read this book for my sophomore history class and enjoyed it but not as much as some of my classmates who thought it was one of the best books we have read. Good for people who enjoy war stories and ancient Greece.
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A good read!
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 16 more book reviews
Amazing! Pressfield brings the famous battle to life through the narrative of a Spartan squire who served one of the 300. The story is magnificent and he tells it in a superb manner. I could not put it down and highly recommend this to anyone who is a history or military buff.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 3 more book reviews
A Fantastic book! Beautiful imagery, amazing battle scenes, and a real feel for the time period. To me it felt like Pressfield really captured the day to day life and mind of a Spartan.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 31 more book reviews
Excellent tale of ancient Greece. Very realistic style. Explains Spartan philosophy and lifestye.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 30 more book reviews
I can't say enough good things about this book. Easily one of the best historical fictions I've ever read. The author is able to take you into a position to feel & see the struggles of a time & battle that took place thousands of years ago (allegedly)! Very powerful book. Not an easy read, so be prepared to stick with it. But you will be glad you did.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 19 more book reviews
A fascinating look at the Spartans of Greece, and the pivotal battle they waged against the invading Persian army.
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The Greek stand at Thermopylae as told thru a survivor to Xerxes the Persian King. The survivor tells of the mettle of the men, tactics, battle plans and home life as requested by the King whose army just suffered terrible casualties at the Gates of Fire.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 12 more book reviews
An amazing tale. Really takes you back to the days of this battle to understand the Spartans and the world they lived in. Characters that come to life. Hard to put down. Gory and realistic war scenes that are hard to read yet not gratuitively violent. Highly recommended.
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Historical fiction, featuring Greek battle of Thermopylae
reviewed Gates of Fire on
My husband (a Navy SEAL) and sons love this book!
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 4 more book reviews
I only read 100 pages or so. It was too graphic for me. It's hard for me to read about whippings & rape, etc. over and over.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 25 more book reviews
Very good book.
reviewed Gates of Fire on + 19 more book reviews
This is supposed to be an excellent book, but I was disappointed.