The Peloponnesian War has begun. An army of merciless Spartan invaders have arrived at the gates of Plataea, bent on obliterating the independent city-state and its inhabitants. Plataea’s oldest allies, the Athenians, are spread too thin in their own campaigns to send help. Cut off and alone, the Plataeans have dug in behind their high walls for the coming attack, while the tyrannical Spartans prepare to lay siege.
On a rugged mountain road, a young Plataean warrior named Nikias rides to Athens on an urgent quest. He carries with him a bag of ill-gotten gold, hoping to raise an army of mercenaries to help defend his citadel from the Spartan assault. But in the sprawling stronghold of Athens, Nikias encounters perils that prove to be more dangerous than those he has faced on the battlefield.
Noble Smith's Spartans at the Gates transports us to the dawn of one of history's most famous wars--a fight that would tear apart the great powers of ancient Greece.
She was a creature foaled from the West Wind—a muscular white mare racing down a fog-covered road at dawn. A young horseman leaned over her neck, his strong legs hugging her rib cage, moving with the rhythm of the animal’s strides, floating above her lather-slick back. He uttered the name of the Great Protector, begging him for help with every exhalation from his heaving chest:
“Zeus … Zeus … Zeus…”
The rider’s name was Nikias of Plataea, and the god of death was hunting him down yet again.
“It takes an author with real talent to engross us in a story. It takes even more talent for an author to convince us we're completely in his world. The guy knows his subject! But forget the meticulous research. Open the first page, sit back with your favorite beverage, and let Smith work his magic. Terrific action, with a wickedly brilliant plot, visceral combat, and nail-biting treachery, even the love story.... In the end you'll be as delighted as we were to discover a skyrocketing new talent in historical fiction, and wanting more.”
—W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, authors of People of the Morning Star
“Those interested in ancient Greek history, particularly warfare, should be looking forward to the sequels.” —Historical Novels Review