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The Fire of Ares (Spartan Quest Series #1)

The Fire of Ares (Spartan Quest Series #1)

4.5 18
by Michael Curtis Ford

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Lysander, a young Helot slave, knows little about the mysterious pendant he wears round his neck—the Fire of Ares. When after a chance meeting, he learns that he is of noble heritage, the pendant takes on new meaning as the link to his father's life and death. Suddenly Lysander is thrust into the life of a Spartan warrior and must struggle to prove himself


Lysander, a young Helot slave, knows little about the mysterious pendant he wears round his neck—the Fire of Ares. When after a chance meeting, he learns that he is of noble heritage, the pendant takes on new meaning as the link to his father's life and death. Suddenly Lysander is thrust into the life of a Spartan warrior and must struggle to prove himself worthy. But when the pendant is stolen, he must fight to retrieve it, and fulfill its powerful destiny before it is too late.

This action packed tale of honor, glory and epic battles in Ancient Greece will appeal to even the most reluctant readers, and Lysander's rise from slave to Spartan warrior will leave them thirsting for more.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

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

Kirkus Reviews
This first in a series explores ancient Sparta and the tensions between the ruling Spartans and their slaves, the Helots. Young Lysander lives as a slave with a secret: He possesses a mythical jewel that his ailing mother insists he must never lose. Ford weaves an exciting if somewhat implausible story around the theft of the jewel and Lysander's rise into freedom and inclusion in the Spartan system of barracks-style education. If the plot raises an eyebrow, it doesn't prevent Ford from illustrating daily life in Sparta quite effectively, making its history palatable to young readers. As Lysander struggles with the demands of his tutors, he feels conflicting loyalties to both the Spartans and Helots. Ford includes plenty of thrilling fights and footraces as he propels his story toward a sequel. Blood and sweat enhance the book's appeal. A useful introduction to ancient history for its target audience. (Historical fiction. YA)

Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Spartan Quest Series , #1
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
5.71(w) x 7.66(h) x 1.10(d)
690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Ford read English and Classics at Oxford University, before a stint teaching English in Greece. He worked in children's nonfiction publishing for several years before becoming an editor of adult fiction in West London. Spartan is his first children's novel.

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The Fire of Ares (Spartan Quest Series) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
dylonSu More than 1 year ago
It's a great read. Many surprising twist. I was of edge until the end. You'll think something is going to happen then something complete different happens. I will strongly recommend it to all people who could read. The book doesn't drag on its very exciting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is awesome get it
mrdarcy3 More than 1 year ago
Lysander feels like he's been cheater by life. He's a slave in Sparta. He hopes for a better life as he breaks his back working in the fields to earn food for himself and his sickly mother. The field worker cheats him out of his rations. Lysander doesn't know where to turn or what to do; he keeps thinking there must be something better out there. The only item of worth he owns is the necklace he wears under his shirt. When someone sees that; it could mean trouble for him. While Lysander protects his life and his necklace, someone recognizes it. Lysander finds out that he's half-Spartan. He meets his grandfather who insists that his grandson be live at the Spartan school - where all the boys are turned into warriors. However, he's an outcast at the school because of his mixed blood. Everyone hates him, except one boy. Outcasts together, they attempt to keep up with the other students and learn how to fight. Will Lysander ever be accepted? Or will he have to prove his worth the Spartan way? First in a series and a great tale for anyone loving the ancient world. The battle and action scenes make this an easy sell for boy readers. Plus the cover's so inviting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great, albeit for beginners, i truly enjoyed reading it. I have always wanted to learn more about the agoge and the various spartan training techniques and this book has given me some insight about what they went through. I have been obsessed with the spartan culture ever since seeing the movie 300, and this has given me more knowledge from a child's perspective in the spartan culture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was really great, i loved the fire of ares. it is about a boy in ancient sparta named lysander trying to figure out if he's a spartan like his father or a helot like his mother.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was interesting and gave me an inside view of wat it might be like to live in Sparta. its very action packed and you'll love the character and almost feel like his troubles and triumphs are yours too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book.
MehicEN More than 1 year ago
The Fire of Ares is about a boy named Lysander and he is born into a Helot life. And in that time period it is a slave life. Lysander does not know who his Dad is until Lysander went to buy some medicine for his Mom since she is sick. But he was walking the way home he sees some Spartan boys attacking somebody and Lysander speaks out. And the Spartan boys attack him and Lysander was getting beat up really bad until a elderly Spartan man stops the fighting and telling the Spartan boys to go back to the barracks. But when they were leaving the Spartan man noticed Lysander's necklace which is the Fire of Ares. And that is what his mother gave to him when he was born. And it wasn't long until the Spartan man found where Lysander lived and told him that he is a son of a Spartan warrior. And now Lysander is in the life of a Spartan warrior and learning their ways until someone stole the Fire of Ares. And now he needs to find the necklace to bring peace to himself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome in so many ways. First,if you love spartans this book is gold! Second,this book is really good, for kids of adults And thats all you need! Happy reading!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really good. I liked it because it didn't drag through the whole thing, and it would surprise me alot. Like, i would think one thing would happen but it would turn out the exact opposite. The ending of the book I loved! It doesn't end like the classic happily ever after, although it does leave you wanting to read more. Nevertheless, the ending will be surprising in a good way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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soorry57 More than 1 year ago
Ring-fan More than 1 year ago
Lyssander is a slave living in the time of the Spartans in ancient Greece. He wears an amulet called the Fire of Ares which was his father's. With his mother sick he meets an old Spartan warrior who turns out to be his grandfather. He is then able to train in Spartan school even after he loses the amulet. His slave friend Timeon becomes his slave at the school and Lyssander also meets Prince Leonidas who later becomes one of Sparta's greatest warriors. I look forward to the other two books in the series being a YA writer myself and promise you a great, solid and muscular read. It's so muscular as is Lyssander that you almost smell the testosterone. Highly recommended for young adventure readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago