No spoilers in this rapid review of The Valiant by Leslie Livingston. I give it 3.5 stars.
The Valiant follows the tragedy and triumphs of a Celtic princess, Fallon, who is kidnapped and sold into Roman slavery. She eventually finds herself at a training facility for female gladiators (also known as gladiatrices). I found the premise very intriguing and while reading the notes from the author, Leslie Livingston, I learned that she had been studying about the Roman Empire and about gladiators in particular. Evidence has been found that female gladiators may have actually existed and so Ms. Livingston asked herself the question: what might her life have looked like? Strong willed, tough as nails, Fallon was born of the answer.
Fallon is a strong female lead who wants to elevate her own name using her own merits, not lean on the name of others. She is determined to eventually buy her freedom, though the forces against her are many. Her story gets even more interesting when she starts to fall for a soldier in the Roman Army, a man who fights for her people’s enemy, Julius Caesar.
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While I enjoyed the read, the ending was slightly abrupt and a few elements of it were unbelievable. All in all, I recommend this book and I will certainly be reading the second and final installment of this duology, The Defiant.
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