Thursday, November 9, 2017

Book Review: The Valiant

The Valiant by Lesley LivingstonAbout the Book:
Title: The Valiant (The Valiant #1)
Author: Lesley Livingston
Pub. Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Razorbill 
Pages: 384
Rating: 3.5/5 stars


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.


While I had my doubts when I first started reading Lesley Livingston's newest novel, it turned out to be an amazing story that I can't wait to find out what happens next! I have been a fan of Lesley Livingston for awhile, but unfortunately, her last couple of books fell flat for me. But I was willing to give this book a shot because...FEMALE GLADIATORS!! Who could possibly turn that down?! When I first started reading, it was incredibly slow and all I was thinking was, "Please not again  :(" But luckily this book really picks up and the development of not only the characters but also the plot was astounding! It was well worth trudging through the beginning to arrive at the end fully satisfied and hungry for more.

Fallon, our main character, is an absolutely amazing protagonist for this book. She's badass and genuinely good. She has a strong sense of self and good morals. If Fallon feels someone is being treated unfairly, she sticks up for them, and she truly blossoms into a one-of-a-kind character by the end of this book. Fallon never gives up, and that shines through with every page. I applaud the strong female friendship that Ms. Livingston wrote. It's so rare that such a strong female friendship is even mentioned in YA books these days, and it was refreshing to see. Honestly, the bond between Fallon and Elka was fun and sister-like. They can go from wanting to tear each other's hair out to fighting for each other in a snap....and if that doesn't describe a sister than what does? They both can kick some major butt on their own, but together they're even stronger!

One of my absolute favorite parts of this entire book though was the actual plot and the setting. It was so unique and richly described that I felt as if I was right there alongside of the characters. I loved that she didn't shy away from the more unpleasant things that go along with this time period. You can tell that Ms. Livingston researched the Roman empire and its hierarchy in great detail before writing this book. And the result of that research is what makes this book so incredibly good. 

However, there were two main reasons I had to lower the rating on this book. First was the beginning. It was very boring and slow to me. I did almost DNF it because it was that dull. I kept waiting and waiting for what the synopsis promised and the book wasn't delivering. But, I stuck in there (because after all, this isn't that long of a book to begin with), and was happy I did. The second thing was the romance. It was very much insta-love, but a super awkward insta-love...and that is not a good mix. It's hard to describe, but I just never could get into the relationship that developed between Cai and Fallon. This book definitely didn't need it in any way, and would have been much better focusing on either just Fallon and being her badass female gladiator self with maybe a friendship developing into something more in later books between Fallon and Cai.

I definitely would recommend checking out this book! Although it has a slow start, once you get through this you will never want to stop reading!! With a unique and interesting setting and plot, and a strong female lead, there is a lot to love about this book. I can't wait to see what is going to happen next!!

Happy reading :)


No comments:

Post a Comment