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Books I’ve Been Reading: Gladiatrix

Gladiatrix tells the story of a Spartan priestess, Lysandra, who becomes part of a new craze sweeping across the Roman Empire: female gladiators, otherwise known as the gladiatrix (plural is gladiatrices, by the way). She doesn’t want to, and her Spartan pride wins her an enemy (the Gladiatrix Prima, the best gladiatrix, no less… lol) and the frequent beatings of her trainers, including the (very evil) Nastasen. But she has a natural gift for fighting, and soon she has to face her toughest enemy, and I think you know who that is…

First note: This book is not a kid’s book. There are some kind of… mature scenes and a few swear words, but if you are a mature person, you could handle them. They don’t take any enjoyment away from the story, as they are an important part, but you can skip them if you want. I’m just saying.

On a more positive note, the book is really good! There is less description than in some books, but there is so much action you wouldn’t need it. The way it is written just conjures up the scene in your mind. And the style of writing is really good! The fight scenes are described perfectly, and you really get how people would feel, fighting in the arena. All the other scenes are of course great, but the fight scenes are REALLY great.

Lysandra is so full of Spartan pride!! Her personality doesn’t change much, and people could think that’s lazy writing, but consider this: she was born in Sparta (the toughest ancient Greek state) and raised eating ‘blood soup’ (described in the book) and training to fight. So she is pretty stubborn, and it’s an interesting thing for the story. Usually, the main character is totally perfect, but Lysandra has some flaws, for example, she finds it hard to speak about her feelings. “Spartans fear nothing.” she says a lot, but it isn’t really what she thinks with her heart, just what she is taught to say. So yes, she has some flaws.

Overall, the book is an exciting, tense, slightly gory tale worth reading if you are interested in the topic and can handle some mature/gory scenes, with a fair amount of blood. I give it… 10/10!

Your Roman gladiatrix, Jaz

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