Series: The Valiant #1
Published by Razorbill on February 14th 2017
Princess. Captive. Gladiator.
Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.
When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.
Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.
Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.
Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.
The Valiant is a book that I thought sounded intriguing but I let it slip off my radar due to other review commitments. But then after I saw a couple of glowing reviews for it, I realized I had to find time to read it.
Turns out I absolutely LOVED this book, yes, it is worth of the all-caps.
Fallon is the daughter of a Celtic King, and has been training her entire life to be a fighter worthy of joining the war band. We quickly learn that part of what motivated Fallon is that she idolized her sister, who was lost in war, and is determined to become the fierce warrior her sister was. In her tribe, men and women fight side by side. She is head strong and independent, so wants to prove herself as a warrior before thinking of such things as getting married. So pretty much, she is exactly the type of female protagonist that I absolutely love reading about.
The day before her seventeenth birthday starts as amazing. She is with Mal, her best friend since childhood, but she is starting to see how their close friendship could evolve into something more. And there is the anticipation of being inducted into the Cantii war band. But when everything falls apart, she is victim to several heartbreaking events in quick succession. What started as a hopeful and uplifting day of eagerness and love and anticipation, ends up landing blow after to blow to her dreams and her life. The final blow is being captured by slavers who are taking her from the land and life she has always known.
She must come to terms with her new life, new reality and new station in life. It is quite a change to go from daughter of a King, to being enslaved, treated not much better than cattle.
When it comes down to it, I absolutely loved Fallon’s character. Her attitude and how she handles adversity, and well, to be honest, her ability to kick ass, all kept me fully engaged the entire time. I loved the story as well as the character. It was exciting and fun. Definitely recommend this one (and thanks to those who read and reviewed it before me, because without the hype, I would have really missed out)