430 BC. Darius has been orphaned by the plague in Athens. To escape the sickness he runs off to join his Uncle Alcmaeon who is a general with the Spartan army. But he finds the Spartan way of life quite shocking. To the arrogant and ruthless Spartans, he is as worthless as a mouse. Then his uncle falls sick and only Darius can find a cure. Now Darius is a hero and his uncle offers him a life of luxury in Sparta. Still Darius finds the brutal Sparta too much and wants to go back to plague-stricken Athens. As Aesop said, 'Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.'
Terry Deary began his writing career with fiction for A&C Black. He is now author of over 140 fiction and non-fiction books, which have been published in 32 languages. His historical fiction for older children Tudor Terror has been praised as "a marvellous blend of fact and fiction" (School Librarian). His non-fiction has been consistently in the best-seller lists since 1994. His Horrible Histories celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2003, having sold 10 million copies worldwide and been adapted as television animations, theatre tours and museum exhibitions. Terry Deary was voted "Outstanding children's non-fiction author of the 20th Century" by Books for Keeps magazine.