Title: The Valiant (The Valiant Book 1)
Author: Lesley Livingston
Published: February 14, 2017 by Razorbill
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Stars: 4 Content Rating: 4
Synopsis: 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.
This was an amazing read. Let me clarify, I actually listened to this one. This was an amazing book to listen to. The narrator was incredible. She spoke with a British accent which makes sense because Fallon is from “The Island of the Mighty.” (Britain) The narrator did all the accents and voice changes and did them very well. I really enjoyed listening. It added a little something extra that I would not have gotten if I read it myself. Since I listened I’m afraid I don’t know how to spell anything! I’m going to have to go to the library and borrow the book just to know how to spell everyone’s names!
Alright. I went to the library. They do not have this book (sigh). I guess I will have to just buy my a copy!
-3 Weeks Later-
Alright.. I bought it. I’m holding a new hardback copy in my hands and it is STUNNING. Now I can look at it for reference. Ha ha. But seriously.
As always I don’t like telling you all about the book. What fun is it to read a book that someone has already told you all about? That is what the synopsis is for. This book reminded me of the movie Gladiator with Russell Crowe. Only way more bad A because it is princess warrior in the arena kicking butt. This story follows Fallon’s journey from princess to slave to gladiator and what it means to be free.
Her story starts out as a young warrior Princess of the clan. It is her birthday and she can finally join her father’s Royal War Band. She also realizes that she is in love with her best friend Mael who wants to marry her but because she wants the to be in the war band first, she tells him to wait and they will get be warriors together and be married after. Her father refused to see his other daughter killed in battle and denies her a place in his war band. Instead (not knowing of the affection between Fallon and Mael) offers her hand in marriage to Mael’s older brother Aeddan. Honestly, all this is the first few chapters of the book. I was HOOKED. When the narrator said, “Chapter 2” I about died. No way did all this happen in one chapter. No way was I this into it and interested that fast. I was. Oh. I was.
She gets captured to sell as a slave. The captain of the this particular ship seems to recognize her sword and knows she will catch a huge profit. As they travel along making their way to Rome, Fallon finds herself chained to a girl from the North. She is a Viking warrior named Elka. They immediately don’t like each other but I think it’s common for the best of friendships to start out that way.
Fallon gets sold to the Lady Achillea. She is expected to fight for the entertainment of Rome and She wants no part if it. She wants to escape. Fighting in the arena for sport has no honor. Becoming a Gladiatrix is not part of her plans. The harder she tries to fight the sisterhood the more she realizes how much she needs it. She needs a home. She needs family. She needs to fight for her freedom in the arena. After she earns her freedom she will help others with theirs.
Along the way of finding friendships and mourning all that she has lost she finds Cai. They have a thing. It’s a little bit wierd because I don’t feel like these two have a very strong connection. I wasn’t in love with the idea of them. They don’t seem to have the same level of spark that you get at the first of the book with Mael.
I felt like this story was a really fun one. I haven’t read one like this before and the characters were so full of personality and interesting to get to know. For example; one if the other fighters that Fallon has to spar with is called Meriel. She has red hair and fights with a net and trident. (Kind of cheesy because obviously I am thinking of Ariel from The Little Mermaid) The friendships that were made in the sisterhood were strong. They are are fighting for the same thing and helping each other. Cai is there supporting Fallon. Helping her reach the dream of being free. There are some twists and surprises along the way.
Fallon meets Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. You get a feel of ancient Rome and I love when books can bring in a little history. I really enjoyed this read and recommend it to those who love a princess warrior fighting for what is right and finding who she is along the way.