FIRST LINES FRIDAY 56: Feelings are for the Weak

First Line Fridays” is by Hoarding Books and is all about the first line of a current/upcoming read. Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you turn to page 56 (or 56%) in what you’re reading a find a snippet that jumps out at you. The idea to combine the two came from Kat @ Here There Be Dragons

I found this meme on The Writerly Way. And I’m doing this on a Thursday just to be difficult.


“To your feet! The weak do not survive here, boy!” Felix, the man training us, shouted.

All the boys were being put through the agoge, the training to prepare us for the Spartan army, and my small body had yet to grow accustomed to the hardships that such preparation entailed.

My vision blurred, and I placed my hand upon the earth, about to push myself up, when I was hit in the back with a large object, sending me crashing back down into the confines of the dirt.

Everything hurt.

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pg. 56 of 310

I then understood why he’d tried so fiercely to provoke me during the fight, but the truth didn’t make me feel better. He believed me weak. Too fragile to live the life of a Spartan.

“You’re mistaken,” I said, shaking my head. The movement caused a ringing in my ear, and my sight momentarily blurred, but it quickly passed. I’d had worse beatings in my life, so that was nothing. “I already see the world for what it is. Only, I choose to rise above the flames and refuse to succumb to its bleakness.”

When he started walking from the arena, I kept pace beside him. Each step I took was easier than the one before it, although I still weighed with fatigue.

“You can only stay above the flames for so long before you fall back to earth and burn,” Eryx said as we passed two helots carrying baskets of vegetables.

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I am Axios of Sparta, and I was born to kill. At age seven, I left home to train with other boys where we were taught obedience, solidarity, military strategy, and how to withstand pain. My harsh upbringing stripped me of my weaknesses and forced me to become strong. Ruthless.

But, I craved something greater—a life I could never have.

Against all odds, and the toughest training a warrior could endure, I found an unexpected love in the arms of a fellow Spartan. He was the very air I breathed and the water that sustained me. Fighting side by side with him, we were invincible. Where he went, I followed.

However, there was no place for love in Sparta. Feelings were for the weak. The only life for a Spartan was one of battle and brutality with no guarantee of tomorrow. In times of war, all men were put to the test, but the greatest challenge for us was not one of swords and spears, but of the heart.

This book makes me want to watch 300. Would you believe I haven’t seen the movie? Not a fan of men in tiny skirts but if this book is as good as it sounds, I might just give those Spartans a chance.

What first lines grabbed your attention this week?

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