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Gladiatrix (Gladiatrix #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  679 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
The Ancient Roman public's hunger for gladiatorial combat has never been greater. The Emperor Domitian's passion for novelty and variety in the arena has given rise to a very different kind of warrior: the Gladiatrix.
Sole survivor of a shipwreck off the coast of Asia Minor, Lysandra finds herself the property of Lucius Balbus, owner of the foremost Ludus for female gl
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2008)
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Mr. Matt
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hf-roman, 2015
A story about half-naked women oiled up and forced to fight in the arena for the entertainment of the masses. Throw in some 'close' relationships between the women and you have yourself the recipe for a solid B-movie. Heck, I'm not sure why I even picked up the thing. (Maybe a bourbon soaked bad decision?)

Talk about exceeding expectations. I was ready for something else entirely. This book delivered. Gladiatrix is the story of a young Spartan woman, Lysandra, who is the only survivor of a shipwr
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
First of all, the book was well written.

I still didn't like it overly much. It had a good story, it had a catching plot and most of the characters were well defined and had a believable motivation.

Unfortunately, to the last page, I hated the main character.
I loathed her. She had a strong character story, but I did not like her. It spoiled my enjoyment of the story. I couldn't fall into the book like I like to do, and it was distracting.

Still, I would rate the book better if it had been only
Tara Chevrestt
Gladiatrix is a fantastic story!! It offers an incredible look at what life may have been like for gladiatrices in early Rome, but amidst the details is a story. An intriguing one at that, full of drama, love, revenge, and war. The reader gets to know Lysandra, a shipwrecked priestess now a gladiatrix slave and her friends as well as enemies thoughout the novel and there is a suspensful build up to a battle to beat all battles, keeping the reader literally on the edge of their seat....

Check out
Lance Greenfield
Action-packed and hot!

This is the story of a Spartan priestess called Lysandra, who, as the only survivor of a shipwreck is captured by the Romans, enslaved, and trained as a gladiatrix. However, her previous training in combat techniques, physical fitness and power, mind and spirit, put her way ahead of many of her rivals.

Lysandra is a strong and insular woman, but anyone who is lucky enough to become her friend can be sure to count on her loyalty. The opposite, of course, can be expected by he
Mar 01, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So this was a hard book to stomach through, but I was determined to finish it. I just didn't enjoy the story. It's based on a Spartan Priestess who becomes enslaved and forced to become a Gladiatrix. Because of her history, she is already a great fighter, very knowledgeable, and therefore absurdly arrogant. There is very little change in her character throughout the book. She starts out arrogant and ends up arrogant. The little change has to do with her faith and she is no longer the priestess s ...more
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I found this book and read the plot summary, my first thought was “Holy crap! It’s like Spartacus/Gladiator for girls!” Awesome! Since Spartacus is one of my favourite TV shows and Gladiator is an epic film, I had high hopes for this book. But despite my high hopes, I was not prepared for how much I would absolutely love this book!

When going into this book, I expected the violence, the fame, and the bloodlust — all expected when you’re reading a gladiator book.. But I didn’t expect this boo
Paul Weimer
Jan 25, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Gladiatrix, by Russell Whitfield.

Lysandra is, or was, a mission Priestess of Athena from the fallen city-state of Sparta, in the reign of Domitian in the Roman Empire. Now, after a shipwreck, she is not only a slave, but is being trained as a female gladiator. Thus, she embodies eponymous title of the novel, along with a group of other women also condemned to the same fate.

Gladiatrix shows us her story, starting in medias res, revealing how she was captured, and follows her story as she rises in
Mar 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gladiatrix was an enjoyable, distracting read. Russell Whitfield is well versed in Roman combat, but seems to stumble in the execution of the story of Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix. The purple prose was distracting at first: there was no noun or verb left un-adjectivized. The love story between the two gladiatrices was at best contrived and at worst purely written for the author's own entertainment. The characters, while entertaining in their idiosyncrasies, are slightly two-dimensional and a ...more
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fans of Steven Pressfield's "Gates of Fire" and/or Frank Miller's "300" will find much to admire in Russell Whitfield's debut novel, "Gladiatrix."

Whitfield's protagonist, Lysandra, is a Spartan priestess captured in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) after she is the sole survivor of a shipwreck in the Hellespont. She is sold into slavery and becomes the property of Lucius Balbus, owner of the first all-female ludus (gladiatorial school) in the region. Along with Lysandra, readers are introduced to
Andrea Haffly
Dec 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book. Actually, I'm really surprised that so many other people gave such positive reviews! (No judgement, just very different from my own experience).

I found the book to be poorly written, the author told the reader what was happening rather than showed through dialogue and action. I found the characters to be stilted, unlikable, and unbelievable.

What most disturbed me was the detailed and graphic nature of several scenes of sexual violence and assault, none of which I found necess
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. Historical fiction with strong women, bloody battles, sapphic love, sex, the works. Whitfield does a great job taking broad historical facts and little gems of untold stories and fleshing them out in fiction. Almost a 5, but I have a hard time with sexual violence, and there are a couple of scenes that were pretty hard for me to handle. Otherwise a fantastic read!
May 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started this, and made it 45% of the way through, before I just couldn't take any more of it. The protagonist Lysandra does not engage or connect with me, and the repetition of other characters' observations about how beautiful she is, "but not yet out of her teens", how skilled a warrior she is, etc. means there's a lot of telling going on, and not enough showing. Additionally, the character is difficult to empathise with: she is a one-trick pony with her character depth. "I am a priestess of ...more
Jun 17, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Some of the other reviewers hit this spot-on: reads like it was written by a guy who thought "girl gladiators! boobs! lesbians! blood! violence!"
Could have been good - but it wasn't. Read Last of the Amazons if you want a really great book about female warriors.
Paul Bennett
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
exciting, entertaining and dramatic... full review shortly

Well it took a while, nearly two years, from the time I decided I wanted to read this series to the actual reading thereof. My only regret in waiting so long is that by now I probably would have finished all three books but that is tempered by the fact that I still have two more to go. The author has created a very entertaining tale, one that grabs you on page one and doesn't let go. The subject concerns a gladiatorial school that special
May 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok so this is an exciting enough story. However, at times it was stereotypical to the point of being annoying. Sure, it is likely that some of the women would be lesbian or bi. However, to make the main characters in a story about female gladiators lesbian seemed to be saying that the author didn't even buy the pretext for his own story. Its as if he thought- female gladiators would make a good book...but wait, I don't think women wouldn't really be out there fighting like men, why don't I come ...more
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
"Lysandra would never forget her first time," Gladiatrix begins, and so began my journey through this lurid, often enjoyable book by Russell Whitfield.

I was pleasantly surprised that this book did not, ultimately, follow the formula I was expecting. Parts of it were very predictable but overall the book was a surprise. I slowly began to like the arrogant and standoffish main character, Lysandra, despite or perhaps because of her shortcomings. Her attitude of superiority towards the "barbarians"
Blood. Gore. Sex. And tragedy. As a highly anticipated release of 2008, it didn't disappoint (personally, I didn't like the ending but we'll get into that later). There's enough nudity for it to be rated NC17, leaves you wondering if a movie or tv series is in the works for this one, it'll be worthwhile.

Any self-respecting Gemmell reader would counter there's not enough description in action, thumbing through chapter I. Phrases like "spun about", page 4, could've been better. But if you think i
Sheepishly I admit what little I know of ancient Greece or Rome is from the big screen, ie. Gladiator, Alexander and Troy. So I began Gladiatrix, somewhat sceptical of what the title was trying to convey. Because really, with a title like Gladiatrix, whose to say if this would be little more than erotica fantasy playing with the word Dominatrix? Fortunately, that is NOT the case and from the first pages, I was captivated. (Yes, there were real female gladiator slaves!) This tale is about Lysandr ...more

Gladiatrix è il primo volume di una trilogia, dell'autore emergente inglese Russell Whitfield. La storia è ispirata al famoso bassorilievo trovato nei pressi di Halicarnassus (odierna Bodrum, Turchia) nel XIX secolo.
Buon libro d'esordio dell'autore. Il soggetto della storia è originale, e ben costruito, lineare, non si perde in dettagli solo per il piacere di virtuosismi stilistici e narrativi. L'autore ci regala uno studiato affresco storico, per quello che è possibile dal momento che ci sono r
Seth Kaefring
The book Gladiatrix was not what I expected it to be. I have to admit I was a little disappointed with this book because I had high hopes for it. Perhaps to high. It was a pretty graphic book involving violence, language, sex and rape. I can handle the violence and language but I don't like to read graphic stories on rape. It's just not my cup of tea. I would have also preferred a better story that revolved more around the life of a gladiatrix and not just this one person. Also this book comes t ...more
Feb 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Brooke
Shelves: first-reads
Overall, Gladiatrix is a quick and entertaining read. Though there is lots of action, as promised, there are also several meaningful and touching relationships.

The author has spun a good yarn, but the novel does not have the nuance of greater works. When a character feels an emotion or has a realization, it is spelled out in so many words when a more subtle treatment would add more depth. Lysandra, in particular, can entertain nothing beyond obvious black or white outcomes, and her repeated (ad
May 22, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book centers around a Spartan named Lysandra, and how she is forced into slavery to fight for her life in the gladiatrix games. Personally, I could not STAND the extra verbage the author uses. He had the ability to stretch one sentence into an entire paragraph to explain one simple thing. He must have an enormous thesaurus.

I had THOUGHT that I got this book in the YA section of Barnes & Noble, but apparently not. The book has A LOT of graphic violence and sex scenes. The main character
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the historical and technical detail, but the ending left me scratching my head. That was IT?

I found the eventual resolution totally out of character and in fact, most of the characters actions at the end to be unbelievable.

But, it was a nice change of pace from the usual chick-lit out there and it left me wondering who the intended audience was. It didn't surprise me to see that the author is a man, I didn't think his characterizations of women rang true, but rather as a male fantasy.

Aaron Advani
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a 5 Star review all the way for this one!!!!
Even though this was a re read for me and I knew what to expect it felt a more accomplished book 2nd time round than it did the 1st.
The characters are well rounded and believable, the action is well described and gritty with great pace and construction.
The 2nd book will be a re read in eager anticipation for book 3, which I know Russell won't disappoint on (no pressure) :)
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vulkan
Na nekoj ploci isklesanoj u doba rimljana nalaze se dve sukobljene gladijatorke Amazona i Ahileja. Pisac je ispirisan time 'isklesao' potresnu pricu o zivotima i borbi ove dve mocne i hrabre zene. Jedna je bila varvarka iz Dakije - Amazona, a druga je bila spartanka - Ahileja.
Jason Mair
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked that this could have possibly happened. A good example of historical fiction. Albiet, there were some parts I found gruesome and made me a little sick to my stomach. But I really liked it, glad my friend recommended it to me.
Lisa Lemus
Jun 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ugh
A book written about a women's perspective, by a man. And not in a good way.
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book. <3
Jun 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruby Ridge
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, this is one of the few books I have ever lost sleep reading. The characters are real and the story is just so good.
Whatever your taste in books you should read this (OK maybe not if you think sparkly vampires are good literature) This book is up there with C. P. D. Harris - Domains of the Chosen series and that is high praise.
I am not going to say anything about the story as I don't want to give away any hints, but please read this book. I am not a reader of historical fiction
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