Book II of the Leonidas Trilogy: A Peerless Peer
Now a young man, Leonidas is determined to prove himself a "peerless peer" -- the perfect Spartan citizen.
In search of a wife, he courts a beauty, but another young woman knows she is destined to be his queen: Gorgo.
Together they increasingly gain the respect of their fellow Spartans as the power of distant Persian increasingly threatens the world they know and love.
Leonidas: The Hero of Thermopylae
In 480 BC he would defy an army half a million strong.
But who was Leonidas?
"I love it! Just the best trilogy i have ever read. I feel as tho i was there, the characters my friends. She took a little known ancient and personalized him, his family friends and life. I cannot remember when i last cried reading a book. I wish she would do another character." An Amazon Reviewer
"This is a highly recommended "must read" for anyone interested in ancient Sparta. Most novels (and motion pictures) dealing with Sparta dwell mostly on the military aspects of this strange society, and rightly so--Sparta may have arguably produced history's most formidable soldiers. Helena Schrader's "A Peerless Peer" takes a different tack. Schrader's approach is to create a story rich in the detail of relationships, from the inevitable rivalries between the Royal houses to the more mundane lives of the Spartan state serfs known as Helots.
"Leonidas, the future king and hero of Thermopylae, is the main character. The novel (second in a trilogy) follows his life after he becomes an adult in the Spartan army. In intricate and at times speculative detail, Schrader builds a very human portrait of this legendary king while contrasting him with his brothers, especially his twin Cleombrotus. Through a myriad of experiences and interactions, Leonidas character is built, layer upon layer, revealing his altruism, courage and personal integrity in a society where virtue was the ultimate measure of a man.
"The character of Gorgo, his future wife, is developed as richly as Leonidas. She is precocious, headstrong, intelligent, and a driving force in the story. All the other players of the era are addressed from Cleomenes to Aristogoras, adding a Herodotean authenticity to the novel." An Amazon Reviewer
"The depiction of Sparta is based on actual historical data - the author provides historical notes at the back of the book, giving historical references and works used as a foundation for her presentation of Sparta. As any historian he must make assumptions due to the lack of historical data. I find the assumptions and extrapolations Helena makes from available historical data to be very logical and sensible. And I especially like about her works is that she doesn't exclude common sense and human nature when she constructs her historical view of a society. It results in a very probable depiction of a society which feels natural and real." An Amazon Reviewer
B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree