From the far edges of the Empire, two women come to battle on the hot sands of the arena in Nero's Rome: Afra, scout and beast master to the Queen of Kush; and Cinnia, warrior-bard and companion to Queen Boudica of the British Iceni. Enslaved, forced to fight for their lives and the Romans' pleasure; they seek to replace lost friendship, love, and family in each other's arms. But the Roman arena offers only two futures: the Gate of Life for the victors or the Gate of Death for the losers.About the Author
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Faith L Justice has a deep fascination with the world of ancient Rome and her passion for this lost era shines through in her new novel, Sword of the Gladiatrix. Like most readers, I came to the book with mixed expectations, wondering if it was going to be a cross between Spartacus and Xena, Warrior Princess. Right from the start, however, I was gripped by Faith’s great writing style – and hardly put it down until I reached the end.
I remember being told once that no book was ever improved by a prologue. Faith proves this wrong, as she sets up a ‘cliff hanger’ which the reader spends the rest of the book hoping to resolve. I particularly liked the way two stories, of different culture (either of which could have carried the book alone), interchange and gradually merge in the melting pot of the Roman Empire.
The two heroines of Sword of the Gladiatrix are memorable and original, and Faith has achieved the difficult challenge of making me care even about the minor characters. The love scenes were handled sensitively and provide a counterpoint to the inevitable savagery of the gladiatorial arena. Highly recommended – and I’m hoping there is going to be a sequel, as I’m keen to know what happened next.
Faith L. Justice writes award-winning novels, short stories, and articles in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Salon.com, Writer’s Digest, The Copperfield Review, the Circles in the Hair anthology, and many more. She is a frequent contributor to Strange Horizons, Associate Editor for Space and Time Magazine, and co-founded a writer’s workshop many more years ago than she likes to admit. For fun, she digs in the dirt—her garden and various archaeological sites. For more information visit Faith L. Justice's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.