The Fire of Ares: Spartan Quest

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9780802797445: The Fire of Ares: Spartan Quest

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.

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About 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.

From Booklist:

Lysander, a young Helot slave who is trying to do twice the work demanded of him so his ailing mother can stay out of the fields, is attacked on his way home one night. He is saved by a distinguished old Spartan who is fascinated by the pendant that has been pulled from its hiding place under Lysander’s clothing. Even though the boy is later robbed of the pendant at knifepoint, his fortunes change when it turns out that the old Spartan is actually his grandfather, who enrolls him in an agoge, a school where Spartan boys are trained. Although this historical adventure has no fantasy elements, Lysander follows a path familiar to fans of Harry Potter and Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game (1985) as he acclimates to his new school and sorts friends from enemies. Middle-grade boys who love action and vividly depicted battles will seize upon Ford’s children’s book debut, the first in a planned series called Spartan Quest, and they’ll encounter a large number of interesting facts about ancient Greece along the way. Grades 4-6. --Diana Tixier Herald

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