Whit's Reviews > Gladiatrix

Gladiatrix by Russell Whitfield
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Sep 22, 2009

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Read in September, 2009

There's one word for this book: TRASHY! But, I have to admit, it was exceptionally diverting trash. I imagine the author saw Gladiator the movie, and then shortly after saw some female mud-wrestling on pay-per-view and said, "Hey! There's a great idea for a book!"

Lysandra is a member of an unusual Spartan cult that trains its girls in hand-to-hand combat. Shipwrecked and enslaved by Romans, she is sent to one of the few gladiator-training "schools" for women. There, she has to: decide what it means to be a "true Spartan," learn how to kill others for the enjoyment of a crowd, and find her true love.

I was about to put the book down despite its engaging trashiness, but then a plot twist in the middle made it compelling enough to keep reading to the end. The author lets an entire plot line fall through (why they didn't edit it out, I have no idea), and another polt line is so predictable as to be eye-rolling, but the ending is still satisfying.

One very strong warning: there is severe sexual violence in this book.
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