An epic story of passion, courage and adventure in ancient Sparta, by the author of the ALEXANDER trilogy. Herodotus tells us that not all of the three hundred Spartan warriors died at the hands of Xerxes, King of the Persians, in the battle of the Thermopylae: two were saved
bringing a life-saving message back to the city…This is the saga of a Spartan family, torn apart by a cruel law that forces them to abandon one of their two sons – born lame – to the elements. The elder son, Brithos, is raised in the caste of the warriors, while the other, Talos, is spared a cruel death and is raised by a Helot shepherd, among the peasants. They live out their story in a world dominated by the clash between the Persian empire and the city-states of Greece – a ferocious, relentless conflict – until the voice of their blood and of human solidarity unites them in a thrilling, singular enterprise.
Bullied at school for his suspiciously dark skin and lack of a father, Hart soon learns to fight — and win. At eighteen, his world is shaken by his mother’s revelation that his anonymous father is willing to give him a vast inheritance — provided he can prove himself worthy of the prize as an officer in the King’s Dragoon Guards. At a time when racism and prejudice are rife in Victorian society, Hart struggles to come to terms with his identity. Forced to leave the army, he decides to head to South Africa, and a fresh start. But George Hart has soldiering in his blood, and once in Africa the urge to serve again is strong. Yet now he is caught between two fierce and unyielding forces as Britain drives towards war with the Zulus. Hart must make a choice — and fight for his life.