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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Release Day Review! The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

The Valiant (Valiant #1) by Lesley Livingston
Genre: Young Adult (Historical Fiction)
Date Published: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Penguin Razorbill

The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha's legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father's royal war band. But she never gets the chance. Instead, Fallon is captured by a band of ruthless brigands who sell her to an exclusive training school for female gladiators—and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, Fallon's worst enemy, the man who destroyed her family, might be her only hope of survival.

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, chilling threats and the dangerous attention of Caesar himself to survive the deadly fights that take place both in and out of the arena—and claim her place in history among the Valiant.

My favorite movie is Gladiator, so when I found out about this book, I was beyond thrilled. The Valiant by Lesley Livingston was a well told story of a girl who's not your typical princess from the beginning. This girl is tough. She's confident. And, she might very well be one of the strongest female characters I've ever read about. She doesn't need someone to save her. Through Fallon's point of view, the author captured the feel of this time period while still keeping her relatable. Fallon does have moments of insecurity, but she fights through them, literally and figuratively. She goes through many phases as she grows as a character including figuring out what freedom really means to her, and how it doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. I found those parts of her experiences to be almost as interesting as the actual fighting and romance. Actually, the other women in her "sisterhood" were all quite interesting in their own ways. We know very little about the real life female Gladiators, and the way this author fills in those blanks with her imagination was very believable. Reading The Valiant gives you an intoxicating feeling of girl power without being obnoxious and annoying! There's definite potential for a sequel, and it looks like there will be one! I will definitely be reading it.

The ARC of The Valiant by Lesley Livingston was kindly provided to me by the publisher through Edelweiss for review. The opinions are my own.

Have you read the next book yet?

Check out my review of another book by this author!

Lesley Livingston  is the author of Once Every Never, winner of the inaugural Copper Cylinder Award and shortlisted for the CLA Young Adult Book Award and the BC Stellar Book Award. She is also the author of the Wondrous Strange and Starling trilogies. She lives in Toronto.

To learn more about Lesley Livingston and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads and Twitter.

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