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The Valiant

(The Valiant #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  9,512 ratings  ·  1,556 reviews
Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her p
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Razorbill
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Nancy A lot less sexual content than, say, even the first three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Some kissing, nothing beyond that. Mention of brothels …moreA lot less sexual content than, say, even the first three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Some kissing, nothing beyond that. Mention of brothels and prostitutes, but nothing graphic. Swords and javelins killing or maiming, but more "action" style than gory, though there is some depiction of blood spurting from wounds and a hand cut off.

For me at 14 (or for my now-adult daughter), this would have been pretty tame. I bet the 14yo has seen worse depictions of violence on tv and in movies, but there is a lot of consideration of the emotions of the fighters, which puts the violence in context, unlike most tv/films.(less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
"Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once."
-William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar


I bloody freaking loved this book! ❤

The first book in this series/trilogy/dualogy is amazing!

Fallon is in training to become one of her father's war chiefs. She's in love with an awesome guy named Mael and everything is looking perfect. But it isn't and it all falls apart.

Fallon is taken and sold into slavery which ends up getting her into a school to train to become a
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
4.5 stars*
I thoroughly enjoyed this! It showed strong female characters in an interesting time period and seemed to be very well researched.
Review to come on publication date.

*received ARC for review from Indigo*
Helena Paris
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
“I would be the master of my own fate. Me and the goddess Morrigan. No one else—and certainly no man.”


THIS WAS GREAT! You are all sleeping on this book and what a grave mistake that is! :O This is everything that I wanted the faux-Roman An Ember in the Ashes to be!


Fallon is a kick-arse protagonist who is all about bravery, victory and honour. She has many chances to escape the life forced upon her as a slave...a gladiator, but she never takes it because she adamantly wants to fight her own battl
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A spark somewhere deep inside of me flared to life. The tiniest blue flame, with nothing of tinder to catch onto except the delusional hope that I could somehow fight my way back to freedom.

Female gladiators fighting in the arena in ancient Rome. It sounds like a myth - a completely made up tale. The truth is..there is actual evidence of female gladiators (gladiatrices). They really existed. The problem is there is very little evidence and we don’t actually know much. Especially in compariso
Wendy Darling
4.5 stars BADASS GIRL GLADIATORS. Does that sound amazing? Guess what--it's even more awesome than it sounds.

I was lucky enough to read an early galley, but review to come from the ARC. With any luck, this thing will be a monster success. It deserves it.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
I was reading a book earlier last week and while the plot was nothing impressive, I still gave it 4 stars because of the characters. I knew that good characters are more important to me than an exciting plot but I wondered, how can I be so sure? It's been a long while since I read a book that enjoyed without hating nor loving any of the MCs, a book solely based on a plot-driven story. Ironically, I read this book only a few days later.

Fallon, the daughter of a king in the Gaul, trained all her

Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-releases
4.5 stars. To round up, or to round down... let's see how my review goes. =)

EDIT: I rounded up. :D

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: February 14, 2017
Rating: 5 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss/ARC

Summary (from Goodreads):

Lost to history, the story of the female gladiator has never been told. Until now.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha. When Fallon w
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
“There is only forward. Only tomorrow. No yesterday, no going back. And nothing of value is left behind, so nothing is truly lost.”

The Valiant started out slow and frankly was quite boring in the beginning. The amount of development that happened was honestly amazing and I’m glad I pulled through the first few chapters that were literally killing me. The main fighting didn’t really start till late into the book but at least the middle wasn’t as boring as the first part.The plot was the main
I'm DNF-ing this. Maybe I'll pick it up in another moment but for now it's not doing it for me and, like some friends on here suggested, life's too short to spend it reading books you don't really enjoy.
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Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Personal rating: 3.5

“I will endure to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword.”

This was really enjoyable! If you’re looking for a book with fighting female gladiators then this is for you! I’ll be honest, the first 15 pages had me a little worried but after that I settled nicely within this story. Stories of Caesar, Cleopatra, even Spartacus are told.
I could easily picture everything and I feel like because I played and loved Assassins Creed Origin and Odyssey, I enjo
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-favorites
After sitting on my shelf for a year, I finally read this, and am so glad I did! Fallon, a Barbarian Princess, is sold into slavery and is forced to become a Gladiator for Julius Cesar's legion of female fighters.

Set against the backdrop of ancient Rome, Lesley Livingston does a great job of describing the cut-throat world of male and female Gladiators. She perfectly paints a world where slaves must fight for their lives, and entertain Romes citizens in the bloody process.

This book was action-p
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
RE-READ January 2019
4.5 stars!
In order to prepare myself for the buddy read of the Defiant next month, I really wanted to re-read the Valiant in January. I ended up doing a buddy read with a friend of mine - Marie over @mixed_matched_socks on Instagram - because she wanted to read the book and this way we could motivate each other and talk about the book whilst reading it. We finished reading the book yesterday and I couldn't pass up on the opportunity of telling you guys how I feel about it.

This author has no clue - NO CLUE - of how to build a romantic relationship between her characters. Both times came out of fricken nowhere, and the "main" one was the worst. A handful of conversations and then they're in love? Psshh, oh please.

This book has catchy hooks, no doubt about that. Female gladiators, being forced to fight for your enemy, forbidden love, revenge. ALL GOOD THINGS. But Livingston took all that awesome stuff and totally butchered it with her crappy writing style, uneven p
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

What an amazing surprise this was! Though to be honest, I had no idea what to expect at first, only that from the moment I saw the book description for The Valiant, I knew I had to read it. I make it no secret that I am fascinated with anything to do with Ancient Rome, and so historical fiction set in this time period is like an instant Mogsy magnet. And secondly, FEMALE GLADIATORS.

The story follows Fallon, daughter of a
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
"I will endure to be burned . . . to be bound . . . to be beaten . . . and to be killed by the sword."

This was a promising start to a new series, the fact that it was about the female gladiators of Ancient Rome made it even more interesting. I never knew that such thing existed.
The Valiant, was one of those books that once you started, you could never put down. You could easily get lost to the author's writing style and be absorbed by the world that you've been reading.

Fallon, was a
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was overall a ton of fun and super interesting. It takes place in Rome during the reign and Julius Ceasar and it was interesting to see Livingston's take on these historical figures. While I do question the authenticity of these interpretations, it was fun to see Ceasar and Cleopatra actually be characters in this book.

I did have accept the fact that this book was not the most historically accurate thing in the world and it has a lot of plot holes in my opinion. I felt like lots
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the idea of teenage gladiatrix, but beside unique premise, plot-wise this novel didn’t offer anything new. Some parts were okay, others dragged and it took forever to actually get to gladiator fights.

However, my biggest complaint is with „forbidden“ romance between Fallon and Cai. It was underdeveloped and unbelievable and for me it was the weakest feature of this novel. Story would probably work better without it. Female friendship and sisterhood
ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω
Let's see if I can keep this short n sweet 😁

My rating is 4.25 stars

I seriously loved this book! And it was just what I needed! The idea of female gladiators? Hell yes! I am here for that kind of badassery!! It is the sort of idea that enthralls the mind with its awesomeness!

And Fallon is just the right tough girl for the challenge. As well as her fiesty & fun cohort, Elka. I loved their friendship so much!! And Ajani when she became a part of their trio. There are so many good relationships in t
Katrin D
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was perfection and I will find the time to write a proper review, because I need to share everything I felt.
Cindy ✩☽♔
“Temper passion with control, conviction with cunning.”

Rating ~3.5

A promising start to a new series.

I received an ARC through Goodreads first to read program. Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing me with a copy.

*Review to Come*
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤

I'm not quite sure what I just read...but I both liked and disliked this book.

Overall?? Very underwhelmed. Boo.
⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess)
This was great!!! I flew through it and absolutely loved it! Definitely an underrated trilogy.

Lesley Livingston paints an interesting and colourful image of the ancient Rome, which made for a great setting for the story. That itself was fast paced and never got boring! There was action, romance, character development, and some unexpected twists!

I really liked Fallon, the MC, because she's not only a girl fighting for honor but also a young woman trying to find herself. And she was a badass sword
Jaime Arkin
4.5 stars

Let me just start by saying that I loved pretty much everything about this story. I had high, high hopes because of some of the raves I had seen floating around, and it truly didn’t disappoint.

Fallon lives in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha who died in battle against Julius Caesar… she strives to be the warrior that she was and hopes her father will appoint her to his royal war band, even pushing the boy she loves aside to attain this one honor. Her father however has other plans
Apr 06, 2017 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF. I'm sorry guys, I really did try. I was just so bored, and maybe this wasn't the right time for this book. I promise I'll try again sometime... ...more
4.5 stars

Honestly, this book had it all and the only complaint I have is that I want more. The open yet extremely satisfying ending was definitely a great place to end it though, and I read this basically in one sitting. I just wanted more sisterhood, more romance, more battles... but if you're a fan of these things - as well as amazing character development that continues from the start to finish of the book - then The Valiant is not one to miss. The exploration of honor and survival in Ancient
Carmen (Oh, the Book Feels!) Seda
Words cannot express how freaking much I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! Easily will be one of my favorite reads this year, and possibly of all time. I loved it so much that I emailed Lesley just to tell her. I can NOT wait for people to get this book in their hands!!! ADD THIS TO YOUR TBR LIST RIGHT NOW. DO IT. You won't regret it!!!! ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
An uncomplicated read with no surprises, but very enjoyable. I would have liked the story to have had just a bit more substance, but in spite of that I'm rating slightly up for the easy fun factor it provided.

I will definitely be reading the next book.
Sail ♛ A Wicked Reader
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

The gladiatorial parts of Rome is something that has always deeply fascinated me. There is very little to no historical fiction about it (especially in YA), which is just crazy because it's such an interesting topic. So this story was pretty original seeing as I've never read a book with this setting before. It was about female gladiators, so heck yeah for tough female characters. Sadly the first 1/3 of the book was kind of aggravating. Those parts seemed to be written li
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the premise. Loved the girl power. The actual story turned out to fall a bit flat compared to the hype that surrounded the book. The big twist was easy to guess because of obvious clues which was really disappointing.

It took a while to actually get to the gladiators, and the story dragged up to that point. The romance was a bit bizarre. Fallon goes from kind of liking someone to spending the rest of the book pining over his memory. The insta-love that comes later was a dud.

Overall, it wa
Well, that was totally bad ass.

I didn't love the start of this--in fact, this is by no means a perfect book, but it is bloody and breakneck and high stakes-y (so a word) and blockbuster-y (so also a word), and from the moment Fallon is captured I was hooked. I want this as a TV show. It's fast-paced and wicked, and full of ladies who kill and stab and punch and shout war cries and I WANT TO BE A BAD ASS GLADIATRIX SISTER WARRIOR, she says, lying in her bed eating a donut.

The characters aren't th
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