Published by Tor Teen on January 16th 2018
FORGED IN BATTLE...FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA...A LEGEND WILL RISE
The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus...
For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.
Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.
Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.
Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus...
The story continues in Fire and Ash, coming in 2019 from Tor Teen.
One of my favorite movies as a kid was the 1960 Stanley Kubrick film Spartacus. I watched it on two VHS tapes (shut up, yes I’m old) that I got out of the library with my first library card. This was the movie that inspired my love of ancient cultures and I spent years learning about first the Romans, then the Greeks and Egyptians. So when I was told that this book was a gender swap of Spartacus I was psyched.
Attia is the daughter of the War king of Thrace. Cool, you have my attention. But other than one daring escape attempt right at the beginning this book has a bit of a slow start. This book describes the very beginnings of “Spartacus” so the best parts don’t come along until over halfway through the book. But the thing that irritates me most? That Attia becomes Spartacus OVER A GUY.
You did not just cheapen her story by making a man her catalyst.
Over everything else in this book I could not let go of how quickly this girl, a self sufficient warrior, could turn around and make her life all about one man. What happened to never wanting to marry? What happened to all your plans? Nope, all that character work gone. What a waste.
The rest of the book just came off as nothing special. It was fine, it hit all the points it needed to and there was one really good twist near the end. The action scenes were written pretty well and they keep my attention despite the problems I had with the characters.
Overall the story plotting was well done but I think the character development needed work. Attia needs other motivations than just a guy. Xanthus doesn’t need to be obsessed with her from the word go. These are two individuals, not love robots. Give them more individuality in their motivations!
I would definitely read the second book in this series. It had sufficient pull to keep me interested and by the end I’m pretty well invested. Is it a NEED TO READ sort of situation? No, not really. I have no problem waiting, I’m not ravenous for it. But I am interested and that’s something at least/
All in all, an ok book. Read it once but maybe don’t invest a lot of time and money into the series as it stands now. I probably wouldn’t go back for a reread.
Tor Teen has provided 3 Hardcovers to be sent to 3 winners in the US or Canada. You must be 12 years or older to enter.
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