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BIRTH OF A WARRIOR by Michael Ford


by Michael Ford

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8027-9794-0
Publisher: Walker

This first sequel in Ford’s series set in ancient Sparta rockets into the beginnings of the Greco-Persian wars with its hero, young Lysander, a half-Helot, half-Spartan boy rescued from slavery, now training to become a warrior. Lysander and his archenemy, Demaratos, must depend upon each other as they’re sent into the mountains for their coming-of-age ordeal, under the guidance of an older boy who seems intent on letting them die. Their mountain survival story actually comes across as more compelling than the war in the latter half of the book, even though it provides plenty of exciting battle scenes. Although the 14-year-olds have little difficulty slaying large numbers of fully grown Persians, the narrative consistently keeps the history as real as possible. The action rarely lets up, with continuing cliffhangers keeping readers involved. Next stop: Thermopylae? A good series for teaching some authentic history as well as for exciting young readers. (Historical fiction. 10-14)