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Review: Heart of the Gladiator By Lydia Pax

This is a book about a gladiator and a Healer. The gladiator has sold himself back into slavery while our Healer is a woman with very little options in a world ruled by men. Sold by her father to the arena she dreams of being a free woman and choosing the life she wants.

It is a well-researched book which is always appreciated when people set their novel in the past. And when I say well-researched I mean it as my minor is Ancient History.

A really good look at the life of the gladiators and slaves though I thought in some spots it got a little tedious when they went into too much detail about their lives. Though I must say fairly accurate.

The characters are easy to like and the book is written in a style that is very accessible. Though with some interesting turn of phrase, this writer is not about to stumble on a cliche easily. They could have gone a little easier on the Thesaurus. Though I must say it is nice to be able to dust off my vocabulary but it might be too good for our vocab deficient world.

It would pass the Bechdel test. What that really means is that there is a range of characters of all genders and though this story has a love interest it isn't the only thing happening in the story. All good things.

The pace of the story really lets it down. Way too much exposition to allow the story to flow properly. It doesn't help that there are other elements that slow the pace. The flash backs slow the story down a bit. But they are essential to know the complete back story. Though I thought they could have been done more succinctly.

Over all a good read with interesting and three dimensional characters.

I would give it 3.5 stars but I'll be nice and round it up for sites that don't allow half stars.

You can check out her other books in this series on her website.


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