The Valiant – Lesley Livingston

This book cured my serious reading slump as I hadn’t read a book for personal enjoyment for a couple of months, which I know is really bad! I’d read books for University but I wanted to read something fun and action packed, and this book had everything I wanted. Its fast pace and short chapters made it really easy to read but addictive so much so that I sometimes struggled to put it down. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book which is set in Ancient Rome and I loved all the mythology that was intertwined in the storyline and I just found it really refreshing and interesting.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar but 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 but is instead 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.

Doesn’t that synopsis sound epic! I don’t want to spoil the storyline but let’s just say it’s packed with action especially those brutal and badass fight scenes in the arena and lots shocking moments that got me very excited. Like I’ve mentioned the books fast pace not only helps to keep you on the edge of your seat but stops you from putting the book down!

I instantly fell in love with Fallon as soon as we met her because she is just such a brilliant character who is hard-working, fierce but also flawed which allowed her to learn and develop as a character throughout the story. I also liked the fact that sisterhood was such a central part of the story both with family and friends and I appreciated that this wasn’t the cliche plot of a girl out to kill everyone and/or overthrow the rulers for revenge. Fallon was fighting for herself. Cai was also another favourite and I think he may have gained a spot of my fictional boyfriend list because his relationship with Fallon is just so darn cute and romantic. My only criticism is because of the fast pace of the book, we skimmed over their relationship a bit and I would have liked to see more of it especially in the developing stages.

Overall, I’m going to give it 4/5 stars and if you’re a fan of the Throne of Glass series and Ancient Greece then this book is definitely for you as it’s filled with powerful female protagonists, a hint of romance and bucket loads of action! I hope this book gets a sequel because the second half of the book set up lots of elements for the possible sequels to build on and plus I want to see more of Fallon!

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