Published January 16th 2018 by Tor Teen
FORGED IN BATTLE… FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA… A LEGEND WILL RISE
3 out of 5 stars.
It seems that I am going against the current of good reviews that this book had. Unfortunately, it was not the book for me. I love historical fiction and I think the YA genre needs more of it, but here we are.
Attia was as dry a character as Katniss Everdeen. She’s a warrior princess who loses her entire family and ends up a slave in Rome. She’s fierce and brave despite what she’s been through, but for some reason I wasn’t cheering for her. I was watching her, but I wasn’t connecting with her. I felt like I cared more about Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, who is a gladiator and the man Attia is given to as a “prize”. As a slave himself, he goes through the same heartbreak and sorrow as Attia, but he got more empathy from me just for the fact that he treated Attia so gently when he really didn’t have to.
There is some sexual abuse that didn’t pertain much to the story other than making us hate Attia’s master which I really didn’t since he seemed like an okay guy at the beginning in spite of being a slave owner.
For me, the plot wasn’t going in a set direction. It was kind of all over the place almost as if the author was pushing her characters through to move the story along. I knew Attia’s main objective, but it wasn’t really clear and precise. The romance could have been a little more fleshed out. I trudged through it just to finish it since I was committed by then. It doesn’t make me excited for the sequel. This just didn’t do it for me.