Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

Hey, readers! It's Wednesday!

Today I'm a stop on the official blog tour for Lesley Livingston's latest, The Valiant! Note there is a tour wide giveaway on this one, so be sure to scroll down to the Rafflecopter to enter!!!

Fallon is the daughter of a king. Trained in the art of war, she longs for the day she'll be named part of her father's royal war band. But on the eve she expects the announcement, her life takes a drastic turn. 

Snatched by slavers, Fallon finds herself captive on a ship bound for Rome. When they arrive, she and a fellow slave are chained and forced to fight for the auction audience - sold off as a pair to Julius Caesar's own gladiatrix training school. Now Fallon must fight for her life, her freedom, and the entertainment of the man responsible for the death of Fallon's own beloved sister.

Lesley Livingston's latest is fantastic! Really, really fantastic!

Set in ancient Rome, Fallon is the daughter of the chief of the Cantii tribe of Prydain aka Brittania. She's fierce and brave and hellbent on following in her mother's and sister's footsteps and becoming a warrior in her own right.

Unfortunately, her father has other plans even before she's taken off to Rome. But it all progresses rather quickly, in just a matter of a few pages actually. Livingston's pacing is lightning fast, with never a dull moment or even a chance to really breathe before Fallon finds herself in the thick of trouble - time and again.

Livingston deftly blends history and fantasy to create a realistic setting for Fallon's tale. And the idea that women were gladiators isn't part of the fantasy bit. In fact, Livingston notes that evidence has indeed been found to support the idea of female gladiators in Rome. And Fallon suits the role splendidly.

Fallon isn't alone in her training. Elka makes a wonderful friend and compatriot for our heroine. She also has plenty of foes to face off against - both in the arena and out. And there's even a love interest.

Given how the story began, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the romance aspect of the tale. I did fear it might take away from the rest of the story. Fortunately I was proven wrong. The romance is set up early, and evolves a bit quickly, but more believably than not.

I have to say The Valiant is really an excellent read and definitely one with great cross-over appeal for both teens and adults - especially those craving something in the historical vein. And I'm super excited to have discovered that there will be a sequel too - Livingston announced just last month that The Defiant is due out next spring!

Rating: 4/5

And now for the giveaway! As mentioned above, this is a tour wide giveaway hosted by the publisher. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before March 13. Open US only, ages 13+.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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