Gates of Fire is a historical fiction novel written by Steven Pressfield in 1998. The book revolves mainly around the war between the Greek forces against the imposing Persian army. The Persian forces are being led by the King called Xerxes and he deploys his forces to Thermopylae, which is the only viable gateway into Greece for the Persians. However, the Persians' numerical superiority is limited in Thermopylae as it is a narrow passage but it is the perfect point for the Greek forces, who are led by Spartans, from the city of Sparta. Spartans are extremely well trained in military experience and the Greek forces keep the Persians at bay for as long as they can but the numbers of the Persian army prove to be overwhelming. In the end, the 300 Spartan soldiers achieve victory. The story is told mainly from the point of view from the scribe of King Xerxes.
The book was written by the author to explore the Greek mythology surrounding Sparta and the legacy of their warriors who were extremely adept at fighting. The book was also written to revisit the infamous battle that has been told in Greek mythology many times, that is the battle between the small Greek forces led by Spartans and the impending Persian army led by King Xerxes.
The book was received well by critics and fans alike. The book was congratulated for the unique way in which it told the story and Stephen Coonts, the famous thriller novelist, commented that the book was 'a timeless epic of man and war, exquisitely researched and boldly written' and that 'Pressfield has created a new classic'.