HOLY UNDERRATED BOOK!!
This one took me by surprise.
Gender flipped Spartacus retelling?
I am so here for that!
When Attia, a warrior princess who has lost all of her people to slaughter by the Romans, finds herself handed over as a gift to a champion gladiator, all she can think of is escape. Escape and revenge.
Trained from a young age to fight in hand-to-hand combat, Attia is a force to be reckoned with from the very first pages.
This girl is badass and not afraid to show it. Navigating her captivity, Attia begins to feel out who she can consider an ally and who is an enemy.
Xanthus, the man to whom Attia is gifted, is a prized Gladiator. Known as the best of his kin, he ruthlessly slays down all who come before him. Things are often not as they appear however and overtime you learn Xanthus may not be as ruthless as they would have you believe.
As is often the case, it turns out the rock of a man has a heart of gold, and that’s just how I like them.
Attia and Xanthus become attached to one another in a deep and meaningful way over an admittedly short amount of time. Did I care? No.
If you loathe an instalove trope, you may have some issue with this. Honestly though, the way this is told, you may be too busy dodging the blood and guts to even care.
Ancient Rome was brutal, y’all, and I like that Wyk doesn’t shy away from that. Sure, this is a romance, but it is wrapped in a historical cloak that makes it so much more than that. I found the atmosphere of this vivid and visceral.
There were scenes set in Pompeii that made you feel like you were there. I mean, really the whole book made you feel that way, but I have always been intrigued by the volcano. Fascinating, right!?
Overall, I was really impressed with this. There is a bit of a cliffhanger ending that has left me chomping at the bit. Let’s hope the release happens in 2019!!!