I recently posted a Q&A with Ally Sherrick as part of the blog tour. I also wanted to post my review today!
Vita is a member of a privileged family in Roman times, she has servants, is well cared for and at 14, is betrothed to Cassius Agrippa. He is a friend of her father, one with ambition and courage. When she dresses as a slave girl to visit the forum for a play, she is accosted, first by her fiancé who lets her go have fun and then by another slave who offers her freedom. Unbeknownst to her, both men will play a huge role in what happens to Vita.
Waking up to screams, Vita is horrified to see her father has been murdered and still dressed as a slave, she is stolen from his house and sold. She discovers her new home is a gladiator training ground where danger is constant and friends are hard to find. Uncertain of what to do, she keeps her identity a secret until all the puzzle pieces of the events surrounding her father’s death fall into place.
By her side is Brea, the girl she befriends in the training grounds. Both girls are seeking revenge on the same man, a man who is cruel, powerful and deadly. Vita and Brea will need to work together to bring this man to justice but Vita will need to be sure of his guilt first and so a trap is laid. Who falls into that trap is for the reader to find out.
This novel is thrilling, exciting and at times brutal but historically, this is life under Roman rule. Women were not viewed as important but as possessions and slaves were treated cruelly. Gladiators fight friends and were at the mercy of a crowd of jeering, blood thirsty spectators. Animals were baited and fought each other. While my heart spent most of the time in my throat, I read on, compelled to follow Vita and discover the truth she may be unwilling to believe.
A truly remarkable story with heroines who show men how to be strong in new ways. I read this in one sitting and I’ll likely re-read it so I can discover more historical details surrounding Boudicca and the tribes of people coming together at this time.