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The Valiant Hardcover – February 14, 2017
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"Livingston has written an exciting and absorbing tale that is deftly paced and deliciously detailed." —Booklist
“This title manages to weave political intrigue and pitch-perfect dialogue with gladiatorial combat in a way that will engage fans of all genres.” —School Library Connection
“Livingston (the Wondrous Strange trilogy) skillfully illustrates Fallon’s emotional growth as she becomes a fearsome gladiatrix.” -Publishers Weekly
“It’s easy to be swept into this ambitious novel that offers romance, ferocious battles, political intrigue, and even an appearance from Cleopatra.”-BCCB
“Spectacular, brutal, tender, and romantic… I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.”
—Mary E. Pearson, New York Times bestselling author of the Remnant Chronicles
“The Valiant has everything I love in a book: danger, violence, and a badass protagonist with a sword.”
—Julie Kagawa, New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey series
“The Valiant is an absolutely delicious read filled with forbidden romance and packed with action!”
—Morgan Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms Series
"Set in ancient Rome; this fierce tale of becoming a female gladiator grabs hold of your heart-strings and doesn't let go until its spell-binding conclusion. Lush and adventurous, THE VALIANT is the girl power novel we've all been waiting for." —Summer Webb, ButterMyBooks
“During a time of political unrest in Ancient Rome, this captivating story explores one girl's quest for honor--and how each of us must choose how to define it. Fallon and her sisterhood of girl gladiators flip power dynamics in thrilling ways, particularly through stunning action sequences and lethal combat scenes. Long after I turned the final page, I could feel chariot wheels vibrating beneath my feet and blood lust burning in my veins. THE VALIANT is nothing short of spectacular, and I cannot wait to watch it set the world on fire.” —Wendy Darling, The Midnight Garden
“Lesley Livingston’s THE VALIANT had me entranced from the first page with her vivid descriptions and kick-ass heroine Fallon. We follow her journey from Celtic princess to being a female gladiator in ancient Rome. Livingston weaves themes of betrayal, loyalty and family into a story rich in action scenes and battles of will.” —Kristen Williams, My Friends Are Fiction
“THE VALIANT is an illustrative novel as brutal as it is beautiful. A riveting blend of an explosive storyline, a forbidden romance, and the valiance of an unbreakable sisterhood in a ruthless period of history. Gladiatrices, betrayal, honor and freedom—need I say more about this rich page-turner?”
—Hafsah Faizal, IceyBooks
"A courageous and action-packed story that defines sisterhood and the meaning behind honor, THE VALIANT captivated me from the first page to the very last. This book will leave you feeling empowered and ready to take on the world yourself." —Carmen Seda, Oh the Book Feels
“Following a fierce heroine who desires blood and vengeance for her warlord sister's death, Leslie Livingston's take on the female gladiators of Rome is bloody, exhilarating, and poignant.” —Thea James, The Book Smugglers
“Sensational! THE VALIANT has everything I love! A strong heroine, a romance that swept me off my feet, gladiator battles, lush world building, and a rich Roman history. This is a beautifully told, captivating story I enjoyed every moment reading. I didn't want this book to end.” —Katie Bartow, Mundie Moms
About the Author
Lesley Livingston is an award-winning author of teen fiction, best known for her Wondrous Strange trilogy. She holds a master's degree in English from the University of Toronto and was a principal performer in a Shakespearean theatre company, specializing in performances for teen audiences, for more than a decade. Visit her at www.lesleylivingston.com and follow her on Twitter @LesLivingston.
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Top customer reviews
I will probably be adding to this once my brain stops with excitement over this book, so moving on with the review!
Okay okay okay. I don't usually like to give out five star ratings (because let's face it, not every book is perfect) BUT GODS BE DAMNED THIS BOOK WAS PERFECT. Although I could do with more time between her relationships (you'll see what I mean when you read it, because I refuse to spoil anything).
Fallon is, in so many ways, a true warrior. We always end up reading about girls that already know how to fight. But in this case we see Fallon's failed efforts, brilliant wins & most importantly her PROGRESS. This girl is one hell of a bad ass female. She surpasses my expectation. She is also BY FAR one of my favorite female characters in ANY book. Yes I said it. A-N-Y book.
This book has equal parts drama, action, a hint (that's a lie it's no hint now that I think of it) of mystery & of course a bit of romance. What I mainly fail to comprehend is how Lesley Livingston was able to straight out SURPRISE me. There are some things I saw coming, yes. BUT there's others I didn't see coming at all. I have to applaud her for that. The book does end on semi happy notes - like most do. Which is good because it just builds up my anticipation for the next book in this series.
Lesley's power of description is her best partner. If that makes any sense. She is a master at it. Everything I read, I saw. Insanely vivid. I could hear the clashing of metal, the wheels of the chariots & the battle/war cries. But most importantly I connected with the main character CAUSE WE ALL KNOW IM A WARRIOR, A NINJA, IF YOU WILL. Yea no. That's not why. I felt her pain, loss & affection - most of all her little spark of hope that makes her fight harder each day.
I have to say that I'm thoroughly impressed with this book and I'm excited to see what Lesley does for the rest of this series.
Let me just start by saying that I loved pretty much everything about this story. I had high, high hopes because of some of the raves I had seen floating around, and it truly didn’t disappoint.
Fallon lives in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha who died in battle against Julius Caesar… she strives to be the warrior that she was and hopes her father will appoint her to his royal war band, even pushing the boy she loves aside to attain this one honor. Her father however has other plans for her, and instead of facing them she runs, only to be captured by a ruthless group of slavers who end up selling her to a training school for female gladiators in Rome.
I think what I loved most about this story was the idea of the female gladiators… We’ve all seen Gladiator and I binge watched Spartacus on a weekend, but you never see anything about the women of the time who fought, and The Valiant gives a no-holds-barred look at what that could have looked like for these strong and brutal women. The story-telling is so vivid and filled with so much action that I couldn’t put this book down.
But underneath the blood and violence, the story encompasses so much more, exploring themes of sisterhood, politics, freedom and honor, and Livingston did an amazing job keeping me riveted to the story.
Of course there is some romance here and Fallon, in her homeland, is in love with Mael, who from the first page you can tell is sweet and lovely and you can see how their friendship evolved into more… sort of. Admittedly the beginning part of the book kind of rushes by to set up Fallon’s falling into the hands of the slavers and then being delivered to the training school, but the connection between the two rings true to me. That is until she meets Cai, a young Roman soldier. This is where the romance gets a bit muddied because while Fallon fights against the idea of falling for Cai, Mael seems to become a distant memory pretty quickly, and I don’t know that I truly believed the evolution of these two falling for each other. I think I needed more of their connection to buy into it. That said, the romance is really not what this story is about.
Sisterhood is a major theme here... Fallon’s new family are the gladiator’s she is forced to fight among and I really enjoyed watching her build bonds and relationships with those around her. Elka is probably my favorite secondary character in this book and I hope we see so much more of her in book 2. There is a bit of a twist that I’m not going to spoil, but just know that you might see it coming and you might not. I kind of a had a feeling about it so it didn’t come out of left field for me, but Livingston doesn’t make it easy to guess for sure.
There is also a bit of a side-plot where someone is threatening Fallon upon her arrival to the training camp, and while it wasn’t readily given away who was behind it all, it is pretty easy to figure out who it is, though ultimately, I wasn’t sure how this really was meant to impact the story as a whole, because big picture it really didn’t, and at times it sort of felt like unnecessary filler.
The end of this story is amazing! Everything builds into this spectacular, action-packed ending that will have you turning the last page and dying for more. I love where this story ends for Fallon and I can’t wait to see what Livingston has in store for her in the future.
If you’re a fan of historical fiction and kick-ass women then this is the book for you. I promise you’ll get a wild, adventure filled with battles, friendship and romance that you won’t want to put down until you turn the last page.
I couldn't put this book down! I finished it within hours of starting it. The author has a story line that kept me intrigued. She kept it interesting and made me want to keep reading with the cliff hangers she left in certain chapters. After reading this book, I'm going to look into the author and see if she has any other books for purchase.