I had such high hopes for this book. Female gladiators? How could that not be an awesome book?! I’ll tell you – slow pacing and a boring plot.
Super short recap: Fallon, the daughter of a King and Queen, is stolen from Rome and fights as a slave.
I feel I have started to appreciate historical fiction books, as this felt like it had a lot of history to it, but it was just so painfully boring. The pacing was off, everything was slow moving, and there was no action until the very end of the book. That being said – do not fall for the cover. It gives you the impression that there will be a lot of fighting in arenas, swords clashing, blood being shed, and cheers erupting from the crowds. I’m here to tell you that is not the case. I would have appreciated reading some sort of action but it was nowhere to be found in this book.
I had a lot of problems with the overall plot. I found it incredibly difficult to believe that even though Fallon was the daughter of a King, nobody knew who she was and they still kept her as a slave being prepped to sell at auction? Are you mad? In what universe does that even make sense? On top of that, Fallon’s own sister knew what happened to her and still did nothing about it. Yet her sister claimed to have fought to find her and buy her freedom. Pfft. Ok. She bought Fallon but it certainly wasn’t for her freedom. There is supposed to be a sister relationship theme throughout the story but I just was not feeling it. It, as like much of the rest of the story, was underdeveloped.
Speaking of Fallon, her character could have used a lot more development. She started out pretty badass but quickly fizzled out. She lost that kick butt attitude and edge and became, well, an idiot. She turned into a very stubborn character that, for whatever reason, stopped using all of the years of logical training she had with the best teachers. Not sure I want to talk too much about the fact that she also became boy crazy for a boy she barely knew. It wasn’t instalove but it was close. Fallon spent the rest of this book pining over him. Sigh. There was no chemistry. No burning passion between them. It was underwhelming to say the least.
This book let me down in every way possible. I do not like how there was one epic battle at the end and then roll credits. Boom – done. On to book 2. I don’t feel this story deserved to be made into a series. If it had been developed and delivered really well, it could have been a great stand alone. I know that I am not interested enough in finding out what happens next so I will not be picking up the next book.