March 5, 2017 by ceresbooksworld
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Book one in the series
Publication date: February 14th, 2017
Source: eArc from the publisher
Rating: 5 hearts
Princess. Captive. Gladiator.
Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.
When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.
Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.
Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.
Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.
Fallon is a princess, she wants to be a member of her father’s war band but her father has other plan for her. It won’t go well for Fallon who will be captured and sold to the Ludus Achillea, she will fight in the arena as a gladiatrice.
First of all I must say that I love this book and all its meaning. Fallon is strong girl who wants to fight, like her sister did before she was killed. Her heart will be destroyed by her father, not because he didn’t love her on the contrary. He wants to protect her and he doesn’t want her to fight, he wants her to marry a young man, sadly Fallon isn’t agree. Fallon is a very interesting character, she is strong, she knows how to fight but she isn’t the best fighter in the Ludus. She made some friends but she also made some mortal enemies. I like her, she was a free woman from a free country, For her liberty is essential, and Caesar is a monster. I like how she open her eyes, hesitates and begin to understand that all monsters have some qualities. And that being a slave in Rome mostly as a Gladiatrix is to have some power, because if the people love you, Caesar loves you.
There is a romance in The Valiant, and no love triangle. Cai is a Decurion, he is a part of Caesar’s army and he is a good guy. I love him, he’s attracted by Fallon almost instantly, he’s trying to save her from slavery but Fallon is an independent woman and she wants to gain her liberty by herself.
The other girls in the Ludus are Elka, Ajani who are friends with Fallon and Nix, Lydia and some others who hate her. Her mistress is Achillea, she was the first Gladiatrix and she fight to be here. She is an important character because she is a slave, Caesar trusts her but she remains his slave.
I like The Valiant, the setting in Rome is very interesting, I received an eArc and I haven’t a map but I would love to see one. If there is one in the Hardcover, I will buy it just to see how the Europe is represented. I’m French and I’m always interested by books who take place in Europe. Lesley Livingston did a good job with this book; there is action, romance, family, friendship, Ceasar, Cleopatra and a vision of Gladiator but with female. I like her writing style, there aren’t too much descriptions and the characters are all interesting, their feelings are intense and I totally can put myself in the head of Fallon.
The good news is that there will be a sequel next year, I’m so happy with that.
Quick Word: A action-paced adventure in ancient Roma.
About the author
LESLEY LIVINGSTON is a writer living in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of twelve books to date. Her first novel, WONDROUS STRANGE, was winner of the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year 2010, a White Pine Honour Book, shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Speculative Fiction, and in 2015 was named one of CBC’s “100 YA Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian”. DARKLIGHT, the second book in this series was a finalist for the Indigo Teen Read Awards. The concluding volume in the trilogy, TEMPESTUOUS, was a finalist for the Monica Hughes Award. These books have sold to more than ten countries to date, and WONDROUS STRANGE has been optioned for film/TV by Shaftesbury Films. Her other trilogies have both won the Copper Cylinder award for Young Adult fiction.
In addition to her books for teen readers, Lesley is also co-author of a Middle Grade series with Jonathan Llyr called THE WIGGINS WEIRD. The first book, HOW TO CURSE IN HIEROGLYPHICS was shortlisted for the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award and was longlisted for the Canadian Booksellers Association’s Young Readers Book of the Year award. It was also chosen as one of the selections for the 2016 First Book Canada All-Star Reading Challenge.
Lesley’s newest novel is a YA historical epic, THE VALIANT, which will be published in February 2017 by Penguin Razorbill (US) and HarperCollins (CAN) and tells the story of a 17-year-old girl’s journey from fierce Celtic princess to female gladiator and the darling of the Roman Empire.
For almost three years, Lesley hosted weekly late-night movie marathons on the nationally broadcast television show, SPACEBAR, as the Waitron-9000, a sparkly holographic waitress with an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure B-movie trivia. For almost two decades, she was a principal performer with Tempest Theatre Group, a Toronto-based Shakespearean theatre company.