Friday, May 01, 2009
The Fire of Ares
Ford, Michael. 2008. The Fire of Ares. Walker. 245 pages.
'That's fifty. Stop now!' Lysander heard from behind.
Set in Ancient Greece, The Fire of Ares is the often-ruthless story of a young boy (former slave) named Lysander who discovers--quite by chance--his true parentage (he's half-Spartan) and that discovery leads him down a different path. He begins training (though the typical age to begin is seven and he is already twelve or thirteen) to become a Spartan warrior. Lysander's most precious possession--and it's "illegal" for him to "own" anything by the way--is a jewel, a pendant necklace. The so-called Fire of Ares. This gem has been passed from father-to-son for many generations--if the legend is to be believed--since before the fall of Troy. This necklace is legendary for protecting its wearer and giving strength and courage as well. And then there is the ever-mysterious prophecy.
Though Lysander has inherited this necklace from his mother--his father died in battle before he was born--the necklace soon is lost to him. A few chapters into the book, the reader witnesses the theft of the gem and the brutal beating of the boy.
This is an action-oriented novel full of adventure and mystery and above all else violence. It was a bit too violent for my liking. But I suppose it's true to the culture. They are Spartans after all. So if you can get past the brutality of it--the blood and gore of it--then you'll find yourself an interesting story about a boy with a few choices to make about his Destiny.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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