Ancient Rome In Space | Wolf's Empire: Gladiator | Review

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Paper Bindings | Ancient Rome In Space | Wolf's Empire: Gladiator | Review | TITLE: Wolf's Empire: Gladiator AUTHOR: Claudia Christian, Morgan Grant Buchanan RELEASE DATE: June 28th 2016 PUBLISHER: Tor Books ★★★

TITLE: Wolf's Empire: Gladiator
AUTHOR: Claudia Christian, Morgan Grant Buchanan
RELEASE DATE: June 28th 2016
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“A sweeping science-fiction saga of revenge set in a future in which the Roman Empire never fell, by actress Claudia Christian When her mother and brother are murdered, young noblewoman Accala Viridius cries out for vengeance. But the empire is being torn apart by a galactic civil war, and her demands fall on deaf ears. Undeterred, Accala sacrifices privilege and status to train as a common gladiator. Mastering the one weapon available to her—a razor-sharp discus that always returns when thrown--she enters the deadly imperial games, the only arena where she can face her enemies.

But Fortune's wheel grants Accala no favors—the emperor decrees that the games will be used to settle the civil war, the indigenous lifeforms of the arena-world are staging a violent revolt, and Accala finds herself drugged, cast into slavery and forced to fight on the side of the men she set out to kill.

Set in a future Rome that never fell, but instead expanded to become a galaxy-spanning empire, Accala's struggle to survive and exact her revenge will take her on a dark journey that will cost her more than she ever imagined.”

I found Wolf's Empire: Gladiator by Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan to be:
  • Long
  • An Interesting Concept
  • A better ending than a beginning
When I was first contacted by the publisher to read and review a copy of Wolf's Empire: Gladiator, I was beyond excited. Ancient Rome in space, I mean how awesome does that sound?

Unfortunately, this book took a bit to get into it, and several hundred pages before I really got into it.

From the start, I loved the way the ancient culture was woven into the futuristic world. I had no problem imagining ancient looking gladiators jumping on spaceships and talking with aliens. It's just what they did. That is one of the greatest strengths this book has to offer. 

I have no more than a passing knowledge of Ancient Rome, but from what I do remember, the names and details in this book felt authentic.

So I knew a female gladiator in a male dominated would was going to cause problems. And I was right. But instead of immediately following her to the arena to confront the guys holding her back, we kept jumping in time to get her backstory. The constant shift between the action I wanted to happen and being told why she was on the path she was on was jarring. 

It was not until we left the planet that I started to get into the story.

This book messes with your head a lot.

Accala was stuck in enemy space, with supposed allies, and obvious enemies. There was danger all around her. Things weren't strictly how she thought they were, hell, things weren't entirely what I thought they were and I could see the overall picture clearer than Accala could.

This heightened level of intrigue was what kept me from wishing the book was over already and actually got me into the story line. 

Accala was an interesting lead character.

Overall I liked her character. Not only was she a strong fighter, she was a strong person. She was willing, although a bit hesitant, to put herself into situations for her family and her House that I'm not sure I would have the drive emulate. 

She was by far the greatest character in this book. But I loved how even the secondary characters and minor main characters were pretty fleshed out. And the bad guys in this book? Pretty scary and may I never meet them in real life is all I can say about them.

The ending of Wolf's Empire: Gladiator was what I wanted the beginning to be.

It was fast paced, high stakes, and full of turns I was not expecting the book to take. I really thought this book was a standalone at first, but that ending has me thinking otherwise. Things happened in this book that I'm still not over.


Overall, Wolf's Empire: Gladiator was a very entertaining book. Once I got over the initial slow period of the book, I became more invested in the story. I am very curious as to if there are going to be more book, and if there are, where they are going to take us next.


"Let them abuse you, let them visit every humiliation upon you, and all the while hide that you're burning away on the inside. Store it all away in your heart, hidden deep within your breast like a burning coal allowing ever indignity to stroke its heat until it is time to unleash the fire." (pg 85)

"We all have masters. That's how life is. Freedom is an illusion." (pg 242)

"Sometimes pain and suffering is the only path worth taking if it forges us into the person we are meant to be." (pg 402)

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