Lion of Macedon is a historic fantasy novel written by English author David Gemmell . It is the first of two books following the character Parmenion. The book was first published in 1990. The sequel, Dark Prince, was published in 1991. Parmenion is a Spartan in training but faces prejudice and violence due to his parents being both Macedonian and Spartan and the influences of a sorceress who seeks to make him an iron general that will defeat the Dark God who seeks to destroy the world.
It is also the first book of the Sipstrassi series.
As the story opens, Tamis, a sorceress, is seeing the future. She discovers that only a mixed-blood Spartan called Parmenion can help her. Parmenion is a half-blood Spartan (a Mothax) whose mother is from Macedon and his Father was a Spartan Hero who died earlier. He is an accomplished runner and a strategic genius, yet he is despised by the young Spartan nobles for being a half-blood. He kills a love rival, Nestus, in duel for sending her to her death because she lost her virginity to Paremenion, a crime in Sparta and an insult to Nestus' honor and then flees to Thebes after killing him.
There, Parmenion starts a new life as a professional runner. Thebes is under the control of Sparta, governed by a puppet-government of pro–Spartan Thebans and occupied by a Spartan garrison. Parmenion becomes involved with Thebian conspirators who seek to overthrow Spartan control. Their revolt succeeds and the Spartans are expelled but it ultimately leads to an extended war between to the two city states, ending with Parmenion crushing the Spartan army, destroying the Spartan legend of invincibility in the process.
Some years later Parmenion is a famous mercenary general, winning battles all around Asia. He is then offered a chance to rebuild the Macedonian army of the young Philip II of Macedon. Philip, living in Thebes at the time of the Sparta's decisive defeat in the Battle of Leuctra, was inspired by Parmenion's strategic brilliance to develop his own, highly effective approach to tactics and armament. The book ends with the birth of Philip's son, Alexander the Great, who would go on to develop his father's theories to an entirely new level.