Gr 6-10- Lysander is a slave in Sparta. His one valuable possession is a mysterious amulet, called the Fire of Ares, handed down from his dead father whose true identity he never knew. After it is stolen by warriors, one of the most powerful men in Sparta comes to Lysander's aid, and the man realizes that the amulet belonged to his son, a Spartan warrior, and suspects that the boy is his grandson. Once confirmed, he puts an end to the boy's backbreaking fieldwork and enrolls him in Spartan warrior training. Lysander's dying mother, a slave who did not reveal her son's paternity to keep him safe from those who hate mythokes , or "half-breeds," begins to receive care. Lysander meets with prejudice and anger from his fellow students, one of whom he is sure stole the amulet. He must continually prove himself until at last he prevails at the annual games, beating his tormentors. Ford's engaging work weaves information about ancient Greek customs into the story of an underdog who triumphs. The characters are stereotypes, but recognizable ones with whom readers will feel comfortable. The author doesn't sugarcoat the abusive treatment of slaves by Spartans or of the young warriors by their teachers, and mythology and fact intermingle well in the characters' names. Give this to fans of the movies Gladiator and 300 .-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA
The Fire of Aresby Michael Ford
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Lysander is a slave in ancient Sparta - the lowest of the low. But a chance meeting reveals his noble heritage and soon Lysander is training to be a Spartan warrior, alongside boys who once despised him. But theres a twist when an amulet - the Fire of Ares - is stolen from Lysander. Can Lysander live up to his true destiny and can he stand up for the things he believes in - truth, equality and justice? With loyal friends by his side, Lysander hopes he can make his grandfather proud of him and prove to that anyone can be a true hero.
Meet the Author
Michael Ford read English and Classics at Oxford University, before a stint teaching English in Greece. He worked in childrens nonfiction publishing for several years before becoming an editor of adult fiction in West London. Spartan is his first childrens novel.
MICHAEL FORD read English and Classics at Oxford University, before a stint teaching English in Greece. He worked in childrens non-fiction publishing for several years before becoming an editor of adult fiction in West London.
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