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Gladiatrix (2008)

de Russell Whitfield

Séries: Gladiatrix (1)

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18553114,105 (2.89)12
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.
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    Mara, Daughter of the Nile de Eloise Jarvis McGraw (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: Gladiatrix is MUCH more graphic.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 54 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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 book to be so full of emotion. Love, lust, rage, loss, suffering, revenge. I found myself hoping, praying, crying, and sympathizing. This book seriously yanked at my emotions! Gladiatrix is so much more than just a bloody life of a gladiator. It follows the life of a slave — with all the hurts, dreams, and losses that that entails.

I felt every betrayal, every pain, and every loss so much more potently through the words of a book. I’ve seen them on screen in Spartacus and Gladiator, but Russell Whitfield magnificently weaved the story to tug at my emotions and really make me feel for the main character — even if I was annoyed with her. I felt like everything that happened to her was happening to me.

At the beginning, I fell in love with the main character, Lysandra. I completely sympathized with her situation. She was once an honoured Spartan warrior priestess but was captured and thrown into a world of gladitorial arts and slavery. That’s obviously a huge change and something that would be extremely difficult to adapt to. So I completely understood when Lysandra lost her will to fight and felt as if she shamed her people and her priesthood.

From there, I constantly flipflopped between being annoyed with her and admiring her and sympathizing with her. She proved to be arrogant and self important. It was an interesting form of arrogance though. It’s not like she ignored everyone because she thought she was better than them. She thought she was better than them so she felt obligated to walk around saying, “I’m more knowledgeable than you so it’s my duty to help you.” So I guess it was a bit of a double edged sword. She was a little annoying, but at least she was trying to be helpful.

But on the other hand, she is incredibly knowledgeable and strong, and I LOVE that in a character. And throughout all her hardships, I found myself wanting to reach out and hug her or something.

As a bit of a warning, this book is very sexual and very violent. That could turn people away from it. As for me, I love a good sex book and I like action movies so violence doesn’t bother me. But in addition to just having sex, Gladiatrix does have some pretty vulgar scenes (rape). So keep that in mind if you’re thinking about reading the book.

But back to the subject.. I thought the romance in the book was brilliantly crafted. I fell in love with Lysandra’s relationship with her lover and every word felt so genuine and real. At first I was kind of put off by the lesbian relationship, only because I can’t really relate and I thought I’d prefer something that catered more toward my own sexual orientation.. but after a while, I didn’t care any more. I loved the relationship and I could relate to their feelings completely.

My biggest gripe with this book was the ending. There was a huge build up but I kind of felt unsatisfied and let down, though it was obvious that the main character felt the same way — she didn’t like how things ended. Now the second book, Roma Victrix, takes place four years later, so I’m concerned that I may not get the satisfying ending I wanted from Gladiatrix. But I guess I’ll just have to read the next book and find out!

Thanks for a great read, Russell Whitfield! ( )
  tripsis | May 6, 2012 |
I was a little bit interested in the concept of female gladiators, and somewhat intrigued by the idea that Whitfield spun this story based on a marble relief from Halicarnassus dating back almost 2000 years. However, the combination of slavery, violence, sex, a protagonist who I didn't particularly like or empathise with, and the lack of a hook to draw me into this story made this both a disconcerting and a mediocre read. ( )
  seekingflight | Apr 14, 2012 |
Whitfield has certainly done his homework, and his research into such a little-known topic is compelling. However, the same cannot be said for his writing. The same phrases are repeated over and over again throughout the book, the character development is noticeably lacking, and the story is not particularly believable. While I commend the risk Whitfield took in writing about female gladiators, despite the fact that so little is known about them and even forming a story around the cryptic Halicarnassus stele, I would not recommend this book to anyone looking for a good story or a compelling piece of writing. ( )
  AuraNefertari | Apr 13, 2012 |
I just finished "Gladiatrix"...took me less than a week to eat it up. The plot moves very quickly throughout and the final 150 pages or so simply flew by. I'm very much looking forward to a sequel.

The first 30-50 pages were terrific. The initial character sketching of Lysandra was enticing and beautifully written. Whitfield hit on all cylinders to maximize the opportunity to draw in the reader. The opening sequences contain a strongly written battle and teasing back story.

Pieces of the story are a little melodramatic for my tastes - specifically some of the early interactions between the gladiatricies within their ludus.

I enjoyed Lysandra's training of the troops in preparation of two gladiatorial armies pitched in a large-scale battle (that never actually happens in the story), and I think Whitfield hit on something very strong by adding the broader army elements to the gladiatorial-focus story.

Whitfield managed to create a terrific Scarrow-Duffy super hybrid with plenty of depth and good character development. ( )
  JGolomb | Aug 4, 2010 |
This was a very interesting book that takes a look into the life of a gladiatrix. It is a fictional story, the author explains at the end of the book where he got the story from and how much is based in fact and fiction. Most of the book is fiction with the historical figures being accurate.

Lysandra is a Spartan priestess who is sold into slavery after her ship sinks and she washes up on shore. Her Spartan upbringing serves her well as a gladiatrice and she is quickly found to be ferocious fighter. She finds love where she least expects it and finds a trainer's hatred to be much more dangerous than anything she faces in the ring.

This was a well-written book. It was engaging, with well done action scenes. There is something for everyone here; love, hatred, revenge, action, politics. For some reason when I got the book from Amazon Vine I thought it was a young adult book...I don't know where I got that idea from but it is not.

This book is not for the faint of heart. The arena violence is described in detail, as is subjugation of the gladiatrix, rape, sex both between same sex and opposite sex partners. From time to time I was cringing at the bloody detail.

The author did a great job at weaving this story into what is known about Roman history. It was very believable sounding. The ending takes an ironic twist that was delightfully surprising and somewhat realistic.

I was a little disappointed that so much of the story was spend setting Lysandra up as the general of an army for an outlandish arena spectacle, and then nothing was really ever done with that. I guess maybe it was part of the irony of the story but it seemed like that was a waste of plot. Other than that I enjoyed the story.

Great book I look forward to more books from this author. ( )
  krau0098 | Feb 8, 2010 |
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For my mother, who I miss every day.
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Lysandra would never forget her first time.
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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.

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