The Family hears about a community in Northeastern Iowa called Sparta. Sparta was formed after the war by a group of professors and a remnant of a national guard unit. A history professor suggested that they emulate the Spartans since the community would need to be strong to survive and the Spartans were strong. Blade takes Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and a warrior named Teucer in the SEAL to make contact with a possible new ally for the Freedom Federation.
They arrive and find that the Spartans have indeed gone full out in emulating the Spartans. They have build a city using the classic Greek architecture. They wear red cloaks and bronze helmets with short swords. Although they do have modern automatic weapons those are only used against outsiders. Spartans must use ancient weapons when fighting another Spartan. They are ruled by two kings. They train from the age of seven on how to fight and can’t marry until they are thirty. And they also live for war and are unquestionably loyal to their rulers.
Blade’s arrival and invitation to join the Federation starts a civil war. One king is for it and the other opposes the idea. Now Blade and his fellow warriors are caught up in the middle of a war that threatens to tear apart their potential new allies.
I have to say that this has to be one the goofiest groups that Blade has run into. I know that’s saying a lot but these guys are actually play acting at being ancient Spartan warriors. They have kind of gone off the cosplay bend if you get my drift. The apocalypse sure does bring out the wackiness in people.
It is a fun story with plenty of action and a history lesson about ancient Sparta. The Federation gains a new ally and we get introduced to another warrior Teucer. Teucer picked his name from a bowman from the Iliad. He is skilled with a bow and has a fondness for poetry. He was a warrior introduced back at the beginning of the series but it took twenty-five books until he finally got his place in the sun.