Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West

Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West - Tom Holland I recently read The Classical World by Robin Lane Fox, which makes only a passing mention of the Battle at Thermopylae, Battle of Salamis and the invasion of Greece by Xerxes, King of Persia. So I decided to fill in the gap with Persian Fire by Tom Holland.

The author provides a well written narrative of the rise of the Persian Empire, the political experimenting/squabbling of the Greek city-states (such as Sparta and Athens) and the eventual clash of Persia and Greece. Holland has the ability to make long-dead people (e.g.Darius, Xerxes, and Leonidas), as well as ancient battles, come alive on the page.

Enough battle details and maps are provided to explain what is going on without bogging the text down with minute details. The author also provided a timeline at the back of the book, so you know when everything is happening.