After victory against the Persians, Lysander and the other young warriors from the Spartan barracks are in desperate need of a rest from battle. But a messenger has brought news that Taras, a distant outpost of the Spartan empire, is under siege. The citizens of Taras have organised an uprising and Sparta is in danger of losing a vital trading port. Lysander and the other boys set sail immediately for southern Italy. They quickly discover that the men of Taras are far more organised than they thought, and will not be easily beaten. In the heat of battle Lysander finds himself in front of the great statue in the main square. The figure is wearing the Fire of Ares - he must be Lysander's ancestor. Shocked, he knows that he must find out his connection to this town and its people, and in so doing uncover a little more of his mysterious heritage, hidden from him for so long.
Michael Ford read English and Classics at Oxford University, before a stint teaching English in Greece. He worked in children's non-fiction publishing for several years before becoming an editor of adult fiction in West London.