[FRIDAY FIRST] the Valiant by Lesley Livingston (the Valiant #1)

On Friday I always have this bookish meme in which I feature my current read and dive into it a bit more. I came across this article over at Tenacious Reader’s blog and fell in love at the spot, and I’ve loved writing this article so far.

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| What kind of article is Friday First? |

It will feature the first few sentences/paragraph of my current book and my first impressions as well. It’s meant to be a quick and easy way to share a bit about what I am reading, and I would love to hear others join in sharing their current reads as well.

The format is really simple. Include a quote. Include first impressions, it will not be a long drawn out analysis of the text or grand speculation of what is to come. Just a brief overview of how I’m feeling about the beginning of the book.

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| Today’s Book |

the Valiant by Lesley Livingston
#1 in the Valiant trilogy
Genre: young adult, Historical fiction
Published by Razorbill
Pages: 372, hardcover

About the Valiant:

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 place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

| First Paragraph|

The steam rising off the backs of the cantering horses faded into the morning fog. Our chariot raced toward the far end of the Forgotten Vale, and Maelgwyn Ironhand- my charioteer, constant companion, and frequent adversary- pulled back on the reins.
“No!” I shouted. “Faster! Make them run faster!”
Mael didn’t bother to spare a glance over his shoulder at me. He knew any argument would be futile. Instead, he gave the ponies their head and let them run. We flew over the ground like ravens diving over a battlefield. The horses snorted and strained, hooves drumming the grassy track and sending mist billowing in our wake.
I stood behind Mael with a spear gripped tight in my right fist and my feet braced against the swaying motion of the chariot’s suspended deck. The wind screeched in my ears, and the ground was a blur beneath our wheels. We’d never gone so fast before, and my heart hammered in my chest. I shifted and moved past Mael, stepping out in front of the chariot’s platform to balance on the square-sided draft pole that ran between the horses.
“Fallon- be careful!” Mael called as one of my feet slipped on the wood.

| First – or Second, actually – Impressions |

At the moment I’m at page 143 out of 372 and I’m loving this book just as much now as I did the first time reading it, back in 2017. It’s so fast-paced and I love the Historical fiction elements with the Rome settings, gladiators and things like that. There’s a lot of girlpower in the mix as well. Lesley is so good in creating a badass female lead character. But the supportive characters are just as interesting I think.

There’s a bit of romance woven into it without the book really focusing on a romance, you know? It’s slow burning and it fits this story perfectly I think. There’s an interesting story-line, there’s action and just plain right addictive writing.

I’m so happy to be doing a re-read of this book. I’m buddyreading this with a friend I met through Instagram, Marie from @mixed_matched_socks . And she’s loving the book so far as well, so that makes talking about the book even more exciting.

I’m planning on reading book 2 next month and then book 3 in March – book 3 releases in February. If book 2 is as good as this one is, this trilogy is going to be an all-time favorite, for sure!

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What are you reading right now and did it start out good or not? What are your first thoughts about your current read? Love to hear from you.

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