Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary from GoodReads
FORGED IN BATTLE...
FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA...
A LEGEND WILL RISE
The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus...
For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.
Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.
Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.
Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus...
The story continues in Fire and Ash, coming in 2019 from Tor Teen.
This was a week where I jumped from one historical book to the other. The Roman period offers lots of chances to many authors to showcase their talent in the YA section. This was the case with the amazing debut novel of C. Wyk!
Attia is a Thracian princess forced to become a slave after the fall of her people. Told in a time where also some significant historical events took place, I liked how the author also encompassed the slaughter of the Christians in the Colosseum, the descriptions, but mostly how amazing the voice of Attia was along with her relationship with Xanthus.
This pair was made to be! Attia is a fierce warrior who struggles to obey in her new situation while Xanthus is forced to be the star gladiator knowing that any failure would mean his death. The romance between them was all-consuming and fiery...despite the brutal ending.
Because you do get to witness the fall of Pompeii too!
I don't know what will happen to the sequel, but I can expect bloody revolutions, the rise of Attia as Spartacus and maybe a reunion? Because I ended this book crying...
About the author:
C.V. Wyk is the author of BLOOD AND SAND, debuting from Tor Teen in winter 2018. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Wyk now resides on the east coast along with a precocious mini poodle and demanding guinea pig.
In her not-so-spare time, she enjoys playing MMORPGs, kayaking, coding, hiking, staring listlessly at blank walls, and nursing a totally healthy coffee addiction.
Find Wyk online at www.cvywyk.com.
The Defiant by Lesley Livingston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads
The darling of the Roman Empire is in for the fight of her life.
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.
My wonderful group of gladiatrix returns! I really enjoyed the sequel of "The Valiant" with the action, the romance and the mystery! Fallon is the star gladiatrix of her ludus with her sister and her fellow warriors ready to enjoy a life of freedom. But when folly forces them to escape, followed by Cai and his friend Quintus, they will discover a plan to even overthrow Ceasar himself.
With cameo appearances of Cleopatra, sea travel to an island of 'Amazons' and lots of time to have banter, romantic declarations and even some funny times, this book became one of my favorites in January! Not to mention that the battle scenes were movie worthy!
About the author: