Fallon is in love with her best friend and hopes to be able to marry him after her father allows her to fight in the army like her sister. However, her father calls her on her 17th birthday not to tell her that she is in the army, but to tell her that she has been engaged to her best friend’s brother. She is against the idea, but when her best friend and his brother get into a duel over her, the brother kills Fallon’s lover. She runs away from home, hopefully to find a way to kill the brother, and she is captured by slave traders and along the way is sold to a gladiator fighting ring owned by Julius Caesar. She must make herself stronger than she has ever been in order to win the fights and survive the brutal arena. Along the way, she befriends a slave girl, struggles with her feelings for a Roman Soldier, and learns many of the secrets of the arena.
I don’t know what it is about me and the Ancient Roman historical fiction stories. Fallon’s character is a strong girl who knows that she wants to be in the army, but also hopes that she will be able to marry her best friend before she leaves for war. She wants to follow in her dead sister’s footsteps and be a hero to her country before she has to settle down, but she needs her father’s permission to do so. Even when she is in danger and is taken by slavers, she doesn’t settle down and simply accept her fate. She fights to the last breath, and then gets accepted to a gladiator ring where she gets to hone her fighting skills. Although there is romance in the story, it does not overpower the plot, and it does not diminish Fallon’s character in any way. The story was pretty well balanced, only in the middle did it seem like it dragged for a short time. Then it sped back up again and I was happy. Overall, an entertaining, quick, and full read.
Overall Rating: 4/5