Review Time – The Valiant
Fallon is the daughter of a Celtic king. She is a proud, strong and confident seventeen year old with a single dream of becoming a legendary warrior just like her late sister.
When Fallon was a young child Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland and her sister was killed in battle. Fallon was determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps to protect her land and die for her people if necessary.
She’s in love with her best friend Mael and they intend to marry when Fallon is given her warrior title.
With his own determination the King destroys Fallon’s dreams. He does not want lose his youngest daughter in battle too and he declares she will not follow her in her sister’s footsteps and become the warrior she so desires. During Fallon’s birthday celebrations the King’s wishes are shared and he announces that she is betrothed to Mael’s estranged brother Aeddan.
Devastated with this news Fallon runs from the lavish party with a plan forming in her mind. Mael follows and she shares her plan to run away with him to start a new life. With a determination for freedom Fallon readies to leave her life behind and runs off into the night.
Just as she leaves she stumbles upon Mael and his brother fighting over Fallon. To her dismay Mael is killed and she runs for her life, away from her betrothed, her father and her princess status. Shortly after fleaing Fallon is captured by slave traders and is sold to an elite training school for female gladiators. This particular school is owned by Caesar himself the very person who is to blame for her sister’s death.
Fallon not only has to overcome her hatred for Caesar to survive she also has to battle with fellow bitchy gladiators, survive deadly fights and training obstacles and keep grave secrets that could not only ruin her life but her fellow trainees. This tale is jam packed with action, surprises and strong female characters.
I really enjoyed this book. There are some elements that I dislike but overall it is a good read. It’s addictive and I will definitely be picking up the upcoming sequel.
It was great to pick up a historical book that is based in an era that I know little about. And witnessing a new period in time from a strong female’s perspective was enthralling. The only other gladiator story I have experienced is Ridley Scott’s 2000 blockbuster with Russell Crowe.
Fallon is the kind of person you would love to be friends with. She has an awful lot of admirable characteristics. Overall I loved her strength and determination to get what she wants.
The the love story between Cai and Fallon was a nice element. Cai, a Roman soldier is the type of person that Fallon would avoid falling for. I mean her strong dislike for Romans would ordinarily lead me to believe she would prefer him dead. But hey-ho. I do love a forbidden romance. It did annoy me slightly that she got over her true love and best friend (Mael) quite fast but the love story wasn’t at the forefront of the novel. It was a nice to see it on the side line and to be reminded of it every now and then. During the next instalment(s) it would be great to see a little bit more of how this relationship would work and what they have to overcome to be together.
As I have stated, I really did enjoy this book. However, there were several instances that I thought it could be improved. One particular point that I thought could be better was how some parts of the tale were rushed. I believe that Livingstone didn’t go into enough detail throughout vital moments of the story. For example, when Fallon first runs away from home she was caught instantly. I feel like it would have been much more interesting if she has survived a little longer. Yes, she is a brave, strong independent character and all of this is portrayed throughout the rest of the book but this could have been demonstrated an awful lot more outside of fight scenes. We could have experienced her living in the wilderness for a little while before her capture. I believe this would have helped us get a deeper understanding of Fallon’s character.
I loved how the representation of strong women started from the very beginning of the book and the friendship between two strong female characters made this story better. Fallon and Elka’s relationship is great. It was so nice to experience a friendship where the two characters are so different yet they complement each other so well.
I recommend this book for anyone who loves an action packed read full of strong, inspiring female characters.
There is only forward. Only tomorrow. No yesterday, no going back. And nothing of value is left behind, so nothing is truly lost.