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Ambitious, exciting follow-up to the bestselling Gates of Fire, chronicling the devastating conflict between Sparta and Athens that became known as the Peloponnesian War.
Steven Pressfield is the author of the novels The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, Tides of War and Last of the Amazons. He lives in Los Angeles.
The battle of Thermopylae doesn't sound like best seller material, but Pressfield made it work in Gates of Fire. Here he moves on to Greek military leader Alcibiades (c.450-404 BCE). Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
After Pressfield's stunning 1998 best-seller, Gates of Fire, which documented the Spartans' heroic last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., comes this follow-up epic novel of the Peloponnesian War, as Athens and Sparta slug it out for Greek hegemony during the Hellenic Age. Once again, Pressfield's narrator is a condemned man, in this instance the Athenian soldier and assassin Polemides, who is awaiting execution for treason. Spanning the 27 years of conflict, famine and plague that marked the Peloponnesian War, Polemides' death-row confession reveals the rise and fall of the powerful and mercurial Alcibiades, a brilliant general and shrewd politician, whose ego and ambition were as threatening to his jealous friends and allies as to his enemies. As his formerly trusted bodyguard, Polemides shows Alcibiades battling his enemies in his relentless pursuit of glory and power, only to die in exile at the hand of a familiar assassin. Despite his bloody victories on land and sea, Alcibiades changes sides too often to ensure his long-lasting legacy, and though over time he fights for the Athenians, Spartans, Persians and Thracians, he eventually discovers that he is an outcast and perceived as a danger to all of them. The voice of Polemides is ideal, for he relates this astounding, historically accurate tale with the hot, sweaty hack-and-stab awareness of an armored infantryman, the blood lust of a paid killer and the wisdom of a keen observer of complex and deadly Greek politics. Pressfield is a masterful storyteller, especially adept in his graphic and embracing descriptions of the land and naval battles, political intrigues and colorful personalities, which come together in an intense and credible portrait of war-torn ancient Greece. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"PRAISE FOR TIDES OF WAR: 'The very qualities that distinguish Ridley Scott's Gladiator are here in greater concentration...it is nigh unbeatable'" * Amazon.co.uk * "'Extraordinary...Pressfield produces an even greater spectacle - and, in its honest, incremental way, an even greater heart-tugger - than in his acclaimed tale of the battle of Thermopylae ...The political complexities between Sparta and Athens, not to mention the cultural competition between them, are handled with a clarity that enlightens and captivates the reader at once...On every page are colour, splendour, sorrow, the unforgiving details of battle, daily life, and of the fighter's lot. Unashamedly brilliant, epic, intelligent, and moving'" * Kirkus Reviews * "'Pressfield has an impressive grasp of military history and an even more impressive ability to convey his passion in print. His battlefield scenes rank with the most convincing ever written - you can almost feel the slash of sword on skin and sense the shattering mix of panic, bravery, blood lust and despair'" * USA Today * "'Every inch the equal of its predecessor' Publishing News 'A brilliant evocation of an heroic age...which sets alight the imagination and which thrills the soul with the trumpet tone of battle'" * Northern Echo * "'Brings the destruction of ancient Athens vividly to life...Steven Pressfield has literally bookended the golden age of classic Greece...He continues to excel in depth of research, humanization of antiquity and power of description'" * Los Angeles Times *