Release Date: April 27, 2015
Type: Historical Fiction, Fiction with Romantic Elements, Gladiators, Roman Empire, Slavery, LGBT, "lesbian gladiator novel"
About the Book: An action-packed tale that exposes the brutal underside of Imperial Rome, "Sword of the Gladiatrix" brings to life unforgettable characters and exotic settings. From the far edges of the Empire, two women come to battle on the hot sands of the arena in Nero's Rome: Afra, scout and beast master to the Queen of Kush; and Cinnia, warrior-bard and companion to Queen Boudica of the British Iceni. Enslaved, forced to fight for their lives and the Romans' pleasure; they seek to replace lost friendship, love, and family in each other's arms. But the Roman arena offers only two futures: the Gate of Life for the victors or the Gate of Death for the losers. [From Goodreads.com]
My Review: First off, let me say that this author has definitely done her homework. I love ancient cultures and history - in fact, I have a degree in it. And Faith L. Justice has written an amazingly wonderful historical novel. Even if you read this and end up not liking the romantic element, or even the story - you'll at least love the vivid, historical setting.
At the very beginning of the novel, we see Cinnia and Afra at their end (or is it?) - then we flash back to the very beginning of the long road that is their lives to that point. Just knowing how it was possibly going to end had me desperately reading as fast as possible so I could see what happened. Both characters are strong in their own right, and have fascinating backstories and lives. Every time I had to put the book down, I angsted over what would happen to them next. Afra and Cinnia are easy to love.
And speaking of love, this novel does feature two women that love one anther. But I wouldn't say this book is a romance. It's more a historical novel with a romantic element. If romance isn't your thing - there is still so much in this book that would work for you.
Faith L. Justice is one of those authors that I cannot understand why she hasn't gotten more press. More people need to read her books and see how much detail and story weaving went into the book. Even though it was years and years ago, I still remember how good "Selene of Alexandria" was, and how much I enjoyed reading it. And that is high praise indeed.
Cover Lovin': This cover is definitely simple, but there is definitely beauty in the simplicity. Thumbs up.
Recommendation: For fans of Historical Fiction, certainly.
Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5)!
Visit the author's website HERE.
Get your copy of Sword of the Gladiatrix and Selene of Alexandria today!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.