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Wolf's Empire: Gladiator

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  30 reviews
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 t
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Tor Books
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Morgan Buchanan It is. We've already signed the deal for book 2 with Tor. Enjoy! Morgan Buchanan.…moreIt is. We've already signed the deal for book 2 with Tor. Enjoy! Morgan Buchanan.(less)

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Average rating 3.53  · 
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Jul 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-freebie, scifi
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator is a sweeping space opera in the tradition of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Set in a galaxy where the Roman Empire not only survived barbarian invasions but went on to conquer the world then the universe, the story faithfully portrays an evolved Roman civilization yet mixes in enough futuristic science fiction elements to create a perfect blend of history and high-tech; all of it setting the stage beautifully for the tale of one woman’s quest f
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Imagine the Roman Empire in space, still busy conquering the stars and holding their brutal gladiatorial competitions to sate the bloodthirsty appetites of the public, even thousands of years into the far flung future. This is the scenario presented to us in Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan’s Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator, a sci-fi space opera featuring a galaxy in which Ancient Rome never fell, instead remaining t
Lynn Williams
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wolf’s Empire is a space opera with, as strange as it may sound, the Roman Empire set at it’s heart. Imagine a world in which the Roman Empire continued to go from strength to strength dominating not only the known world but eventually branching out into space to eventually embrace an empire spanning the galaxy. This story imagines a Rome set 7,000 years in the future and yet still brings to us an empire with conflict at it’s core. The story is one of reve
Tudor Ciocarlie
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-my-best-of
This was a very good book, full of grit, with a very powerful central character and an interesting universe. It was great fun to read about Romans in space, but why would a 7000 years old Roman Empire still have gladii and legions? The Chinese Empire never fell and there are little resemblances between China today and Chinese Empire as it was 2000 years ago. As I've said about Stephen Baxter's Ultima, a great science-fiction book about Roman Empire needs to think more how the Empire would have e ...more
N.A. Brun
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keep, sci-fi
These are the signs that let me know I’m reading a good book:

I wonder what the characters are up to when I’m doing stuff other than reading (i.e. the day job or cooking dinner).
I dream about the characters.
Taking time away from the book is heart-wrenching and guilt enducing.
Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator, by Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan hits all three of these points easily and adds a few more to the list.

A couple of pages into this futuristic and yet historic tale, and the reader finds
Jessica De vries
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For me, a sign of a good book is being able to envision what I read, as I read it. I can see the story unfolding and can relate to many of the characters. There's no black and white, good or bad but everyone has a story and a reason for their motivations. The pace of the book ensured that I wanted to keep reading, alongside the depth of the characters. Even when I had to put the book down (mostly because I need sleep sometimes), I found it hard to stop thinking about the characters and what they ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was sent an advance copy of this by Claudia. I will admit I was at first a little dubious about the idea of a Space Rome setting, but it worked so well. When I started reading, it just felt so Roman that, when the technology aspects came in, I found myself jumping a little, as they reminded me that this wasn’t actually historical Rome but the far future. There was a big beautiful galactic tapestry as the backdrop, on the same scale as Dune: quarrelling houses, politics, murder, and war. But th ...more
Nerys (Bianca)
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Personally, I really liked the book. It was hard for me to put it down and found myself taking it everywhere I went just to continue reading (that also means standing in the check out line at the grocery store waiting for my turn). It is very well written, full of surprises and you can dive into the story and be a part of it.
Can't wait for the next book to come out.
Paul Byrne
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
I won this in a GoodReads Giveaway and to be honest was not expecting much.
However, I was pleasantly surprised.
Christian and Buchannan do a wonderful job of making you feel an entire galactic empire through the eyes of their characters.
Not since "Dune" have I read a book that filled me with a galaxy-spanning empire that only takes place on two worlds. In "Wolf's Empire: Gladiator" our heroine, Accala, is only ever on two worlds and one starship. But in these three locations, the authors lay a
Jul 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Very heavy in the first few chapters while it sets up a huge universe and history. Very heavy for after with lots of wordiness. Despite the triple barrell names, it is easy enough to keep track of who's who. Not what you would call a light read. ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
An interesting interpretation of an alternate futuristic Rome. The interpretation of the Roman gladiatorial games was interesting as well. I look forward to the next book in the series if there is one
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A little slow at first, but once the story starts rolling, the characters flesh out and the backstory starts to fill in so that we get both action and political intrigue. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the second one in the series. Come on Claudia! Hurry up and write!
Roy Jo
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow! What an adventure!

Deliciously Roman. It was like watching Spartacus again ^_^ just with a boatload more of Fantasy and epicness.

Thank you Claudia and Grant, your rocked it
Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Sometimes you swish the first few chapters of a book about your mouth and spit it out with revulsion.
But sometimes a poor rating is just two parallel paths- running next to each other but never touching. Reading Wolf’s Empire I turned the pages, and the book’s story carried onward but it was as impersonal to me as viewing fish in an aquarium.
I particularly think that the choice of first person narrative was ineffective since in telling the story it’s all done in past tense and so any suspense
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
The setting was fun, and the overall plot was enjoyable, but it felt like it needed an editor badly. I understand the challenge of setting up an alternate history space opera is going to lead towards infodumps, but it did that too often and in too much detail. Similarly, while the action was fun, often times it was just a bit overdescribed, or the motivations and feelings of characters were made redundantly clear. Enjoyable, but it felt like it could have been 2/3s as long and been a better expe ...more
IJdo Dijkstra
Barely a three star rating. I had to force myself to finish this book. Can't help but feel this setting could have been so much more. Not sure if I will buy the sequel.

I really liked the setting, an alternate history where the Roman Empire rules the Galaxy. Unfortunately, the characters never quite gelled with me. There seemed to be very little depth to them, very little on what makes them tick, other than what's convenient for the story. The storyline itself was too much of the same, without m
Blair Hodgkinson
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This adventure, set in an alternate universe where Rome's empire not only never fell but launched its influence to prominence over much of the galaxy, is entertaining and action-packed. It presents interesting and likeable protagonists, despicable antagonists and a fascinating universe. It is long on backstory and world-building and runs a little long, but if you stay with it, it has a rewarding conclusion. Repetition, exposition and backstory hurt the pacing and I have withheld a star on the gr ...more
Ted Wenskus
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A big Roman SF epic if there ever was one. Grand in scope and jam-packed with action (and not a small amount of bloodshed, so be warned -- I mean, this *is* an extrapolation of the Roman Empire), it clips along at a great pace from start to finish. Do yourself a favor, though, and listen to the audiobook version that Claudia Christian herself narrates -- an excellent performance through and through with dozens of characters for her to voice. Definitely worth your Audible credit!
Timothy Pitkin
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
I am sorry I really wanted to like this book but I really could not get into it and I really tried. But for me it got to confusing for me. To much politics and focus on everything else and it just seemed that it was focused a lot more on the setting the characters.
Andreas van Rooyen
The idea behind the book is great, but I just don't like the main characters, which made it hard to finish the book. ...more
Cody Black
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
There were certainly some creative ideas in the book. However, I felt that the characters and settings were not fully fleshed out.
Paper Bindings

I found Wolf's Empire: Gladiator by Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan to be:
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?


From the start, I loved the way the ancient culture was woven into
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Matthew Carson
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a difficult review to write. I was *really* looking forward to this book. The book is well-written, action-packed, and includes some interesting concepts as well as a very intriguing alien race, the Hyperboreans.

When I heard about the basic premise, I was super excited about it. What would 80th Century Rome look like? What might be the same, and what would be different? What trajectory would the society have followed?

Well, it appears that they are virtually unchanged since about 100 A.D
The best thing I can say is that I didn't HATE this book. But I certainly didn't like it.

The initial idea was interesting. The Roman Empire never fell and eventually created the Roman Galactic Empire. A girl from one of the noble families takes to the Gladiatorial Games to seek revenge for the deaths of her Mother and brother.

Sadly I found the main character to be a spoiled, self-centered teenage princess who always refused to look beyond her here-and-now, listen to the advice and council of oth
Oct 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really have no idea how many stars would be appropriate, simply because I didn't finish it.
Even though the world the story is set in, looks interesting and worth while spending one's time in, it however turned out that the story didn't go in a direction that I could find interesting or compelling, but rather that Accala continues to behave and think like a petulant, pubescent girl between 11 and 14. It was not so much that I disliked the story but I simply couldn't connect to her and I found i
Andreas van Rooyen
Aug 07, 2016 rated it liked it
The book is well written, the characters develop alot in the storyline. I honestly just didn't like how the story played out, I was expecting something else. The main Characters just didn't draw me into the book. ...more
Dan Dobler
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely Epic

One of the most thought out, well written, complex novels I've read in years. The research, historical connections and actions based on both of those things make this novel unique in the extreme. What an amazing adventure. Hail Claudia!
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Could have been better if it were 20% shorter- got repetitive and sort of belabored
John Petersen
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a well thought out and exciting read couldn't put it down once I started to read it. ...more
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Claudia Christian is an American actress, writer, singer, musician, and director, best known for her role as Commander Susan Ivanova on the science fiction television series Babylon 5.

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