Monday, January 15, 2018

Blog Tour Review—The Valiant by Lesley Livingston



A richly-imagined, gripping historical fantasy for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Cinda Williams Chima, The Valiant recounts a seventeen-year-old's tumultuous journey from fierce Celtic princess to legendary female gladiator and darling of the Roman empire.
The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha's legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father's royal war band. She never gets the chance.

Instead Fallon is captured by a band of ruthless brigands who sell her to an exclusive training school for female gladiators--and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, Fallon's worst enemy, the man who destroyed her family, might be her only hope of survival.

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, chilling threats, and the dangerous attention of Caesar himself to survive the deadly fights that take place both in and out of the arena - and claim her place in history among the Valiant.

Every now and then I’ll read a book that scares me like no other. ‘The Valiant’ is terrifying in a way that makes me glad I don’t live in a time where slavery is a thing. Where being bought was entertainment and fighting to the death was a sport. Just thinking about if our world today was like that, has me shaking in my boots. (It’s not lost on me that there are countries out there like this. Makes it all the more scarier.) That all being said, I loved the absolute sh*t out of the book for so many reasons. The main one being our main character. Fallon is a bad-ass warrior princess fighting for freedom. 

All Fallon wants to do is be a warrior in the Cantii war band—it’s all she’s ever wanted since she could remember. Sorcha, Fallon’s older sister, is the best fighter and the one person Fallon looks up to. Once she becomes the warrior she’d worked so hard to become, she’ll also have the honor it comes with and possibly new, blossoming love. That all changes the night she gets taken and readied as a slave in Rome. The place she gets sold to is an academy that trains women to be fighters—to be a gladiator. The thing is, not everything is what it seems. Fallon must train hard in order to become ready to fight. It’s either that or die in the arena. 

“He turned, suddenly, as if he’d sensed me watching him. I felt a wave of heat wash over me as he stared at me across the distance. Even through the veils of smoke and sparks from the campfires, I thought I saw a raw longing in his gaze.”

Then, there’s the whole forbidden romance aspect to the story. Which I loved because who doesn’t want something they can’t have? Romance is my jam and I’m glad to say that this one didn’t disappoint. While it’s not the focal point of ‘The Valiant’ it was still nice to get bits and pieces here and there. Throughout the book, it was consistently slow. I kept putting the book down and getting easily distracted while reading. But eventually I became engrossed and wanted to know what happened next. 

Overall, I think if you like stories about women who fight for what they want—no matter what’s standing in the way, then this is for you. While it was predictable at times, it was still a great book about Ancient Rome. Plus we get to see Julius Caesar, the enemy! I can’t wait for the next book. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

The darling of the Roman Empire is in for the fight of her life in this lush sequel to the acclaimed historical fantasy The Valiant.
     Be brave, gladiatrix... And be wary. Once you win Caesar's love, you'll earn his enemies' hate.

Fallon was warned.

Now she is about to pay the price for winning the love of the Roman people as Caesar's victorious gladiatrix.

In this highly anticipated sequel to THE VALIANT, Fallon and her warrior sisters find themselves thrust into a vicious conflict with a rival gladiator academy, one that will threaten not only Fallon's heart - and her love for Roman soldier Cai - but the very heart of the ancient Roman Empire.

When dark treachery and vicious power struggles threaten her hard-won freedom, the only thing that might help the girl known as Victrix save herself and her sisters is a tribe of long-forgotten mythic Amazon warriors.

The only trouble is, they might just kill her themselves first.

Lesley Livingston is an award-winning author of teen fiction, best known for her Wondrous Strange trilogy. She holds a master's degree in English from the University of Toronto and was a principal performer in a Shakespearean theater company, specializing in performances for teen audiences, for more than a decade.

January 8 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Warrior women throughout the ages
January 9 – Gladiator Glory – Bookstagram Picture and Review
January 10 – Allison in Bookland – Review
January 11 – Melimimi – Book Review and Social Media Promo
January 1 – Blots of Ink and Words – Review 
January 15 – The Lovely Books – Review 
January 16 – Good Choice Reading – Excerpt + Giveaway 
January 17 – The Fandom – YA Gladitrix matchups we'd like to see 
January 18 – Book Briefs - Review
January 19 – Utopia State of Mind – Review and Interview
January 23 – ButtermyBooks – Review or Playlist
January 24 – The Fiction Fare – Review
January 25 – A Page with a View – Review
January 29 – Arctic Books – Playlist
January 30 – Oh the Book Feels – Review
January 31 – Effortlessly Reading – Review
February 2 – Alexa Loves Books – Gladiator Gift Guide

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