Historical fiction of the battle of Thermopylae and the making of the Spartan soldier. Maybe not quite the emotional impact of Killer Angels, but very much in that company. Apparently included (at one time?) in the Marine Corps’ Reading list.

Question from an author interview: “Which other authors do you admire most, and why?”

“Authors? Outside of Shakespeare, Chaucer and Tolstoy, nothing good has been written in the
past 2500 years. Just kidding. Well, only halfway. I really admire the ancients, Eastern as well as
Western. I can’t read novels and the more contemporary they are, the less they mean to me.”

Presumably his own work excluded…