The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus…
For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.
Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.
Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.
Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…
The story continues in Fire and Ash, coming in 2019 from Tor Teen.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 4 Stars
You know, sometimes I wish I lived in ancient Rome. Do you ever do that? Wish you lived in a different country and era? Let’s be honest though, I would be killed on like day one. With my sharp tongue and lack of fighting ability, I’d be cannon fodder. But it would be fun while it lasted! And hot gladiators in armor? Men in togas? Yes, sign me up.
While I may not be strong enough for ancient Rome, the main character in Blood and Sand, Attia, certainly was. The synopsis for this novel did not lie – that girl was a BEAST! Seriously, if I ever met her I think I would fall to the ground at her feet and beg her to teach me her ways. Attia’s POV was witty and fun to read while still maintaining her badassery. I really loved her backstory and in general the way that she handled herself. Attia actually reminded me a bit of Aelin from Throne of Glass – cunning and calculating, always one step ahead and just a little bit secretive.
Xanthus was her perfect companion in every possible way. If Attia was the best female warrior in Rome, then Xanthus was the best male. He was a prized Gladiator with an absolute heart of gold. He was also brutal and cunning but with a soft and respectful side that had me falling for him almost immediately. Oh! And did I mention he had green eyes? Swoon. I loved reading the book through his POV as well. It wasn’t as witty as Attia’s but his chapters had a personality all their own. I loved his supporting cast of fellow Gladiators and the tender moments between him and Attia.
Now, I know that authors don’t often read reviews for their own books, but on the wild and crazy off chance C.V. Wyk is reading this, I have one question. WHY? That ending! WHY WHY WHY? I am dying for the next book and as you can see above, it doesn’t release until 2019. So I’ll just sit here and stew for a year, while dying a slow and painful death wondering what Wyk has in store for me in Fire and Ash.
I did, unfortunately, have to rate this 4 instead of 5 stars. Y’all know my rule: if I find a book easy to put down, it isn’t a 5 star read for me. The beginning of the book was slow to pick up, something that I know is typical in the first book in a series. The rule still stands though – I was able to put it down for about a week before feeling the urge to pick it up. But! Rest assured, once the book gets going, it doesn’t stop. After about page 100 I couldn’t have put Blood and Sand down for anything.
My Takeaway: The moment I saw the synopsis for this one I knew I needed to read it. I love a fierce Warrior Princess lead and Attia absolutely delivered. Add in an interesting plot and a smoking hot Gladiator, and you have me hooked. I will ABSOLUTELY be ordering the next book in the series when it releases in 2019!