In the ancient Greek city-state of Plataea, teenage warriors trained in the ways of the battlefield long before they reached the age of eighteen. They also trained in the vicious, no-holds-barred form of unarmed combat called pankration. Similar to today’s Ultimate Fighting and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), this extreme style of man-on-man battle was featured in the original Olympic games.
And sometimes, those pankration techniques were used not just for glory on the battlefield or in the Olympic stadium, but in the fields outside the city gates to settle personal, deep-seated grudges between fighters.
The short story The One-Armed Warrior introduces the young pankrator Nikias, the hero of Noble Smith’s forthcoming novel Sons of Zeus, a work of historical fiction that will appeal to fans of Steven Saylor, Steven Pressfield, and Simon Scarrow.
Praise for Sons of Zeus:
“Noble Smith gobsmacked us with Sons of Zeus! 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 Sons of Zeus is going to have you on the edge of your seat. 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
A Short Story