Monday, November 27, 2017

Book Review: The Valiant (The Valiant #1) by: Lesley Livingston

Release Date: February 14, 2017
from Razorbill
Goodreads | Amazon

"Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

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

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. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is 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. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier."

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books I’m torn on. When I was reading it I really enjoyed it, but once I put it down there was no burning desire to pick it back up. And because of that it took me a while to get through.

I think part of my problem was that I saw a lot of the story coming. As bloggers, we know that it’s hard to surprise us because we read so much, but usually something catches me a bit off guard, but here I never really got that feeling. And I felt like the story was building to something big and then the end just felt rushed upon us and kinda anticlimactic. It’s weird cause I liked this one, but I don’t know if I have a real desire to read the sequel. I don’t know if there really needs to be a sequel. I know there are some loose threads, but I feel like they could have been wrapped up in this one but just weren’t.

Aside from my complaints, I did enjoy this one. Fallon is a great heroine and I liked her a lot. I liked her fighting spirit and her fierceness. I wouldn’t say she goes into the heroine hall of fame, but she was strong and enjoyable. Elka was also great and I liked her friendship with Fallon. Cai, our love interest, was swoony as one would expect, but I wish I had gotten to know him better and see why and when he fell for Fallon. Honestly, their dynamic and the inequality of power was tough for me. I liked them together but I wish it had been fleshed out a bit more. My favorite character of course disappears within the first few chapters so that royally sucked.

All in all, The Valiant was a good read, even if it didn’t live up to my high expectations. I really liked Fallon and even though it was a bit predictable I liked her story. The female gladiators are definitely badass and it was interesting seeing that explored.


  1. Oh man. I'm really bummed to read this review. I've been dying to get my hands on a copy for a long time now. I mean, the cover and the synopsis are so amazing that I thought this would be a real page turner. I'll still hold out hope that my library gets a copy in but maybe I will take it off of my "buy" list for now.

  2. Hmm, sorry this one didn't really trip your trigger, Teresa. I've been curious about it since I read Livingston's Beautiful Strange series and enjoyed it. I may still check out this one but I won't be rushing. :)


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