Series: The Valiant #3
Also by this author: The Valiant
Published by Listening Library, Razorbill on February 12, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Also in this series: The Valiant
The final book in the Valiant series takes Fallon and her warrior sisters on an epic journey from the corrupt Roman Republic to the wonder of the ancient world: Alexandria, Egypt.
“You are from a world, Fallon, that values honor over everything else. Rome is not that world.”
In the wake of their victorious fight to win back the Ludus Achillea, Fallon and her gladiatrix sisters have become the toast of the Republic. Only for Fallon, glory turns to ashes when she learns that Cai has been stripped of his Decurion rank and declared infamia, cast down to serve as one of Caesar’s gladiators. All because he chose his love for her over the life of his treacherous father during the ludus uprising.
But treachery in Rome runs far deeper than Fallon ever suspected. While she is fighting for Cai’s freedom, the unthinkable happens and the Republic begins to tear itself apart at the seams. In the chaos that follows, the Achillea gladiatrices lose any protection they might have had once and for all. They’re not the only ones.
When Fallon discovers that Cleopatra is in grave danger, she and her sister Sorcha rally their war band in an attempt to spirit the Queen of Aegypt out of Rome, embarking on a remarkable journey that will take them to Alexandria—the wonder of the ancient world—and beyond. Far beyond. Along the way, Fallon will have to decide where her heart truly lies, as well as what—and who—she is willing to sacrifice to get there.
This has been such a fun series and this final installment was not a disappointment. Fallon continues to be a fierce warrior and leader, I love her and her fellow gladiatrices . We also get to see more of Cai in this book, which is always a plus.
Speaking of Cai, some time has passed between the end of the second book and the beginning of this one. During that time, Fallon has felt rejected by him, and while she doesn’t understand what happened, she accepts it even though she obviously still cares deeply for him. When Fallon learns that Cai is in trouble, she will do whatever it takes to help him without hesitation.
This is one of the characteristics that I love about Fallon, her unwavering support for those she loves as well as what she believes is right. After a very catastrophic event in Rome, she she learns that Cleopatra is in grave danger, so of course takes on the mission of ensuring Cleopatra’s safety as they journey to Egypt where she will be safe.
This is a book that really tests allegiances and friendships. There are some great twists of both betrayal and unexpected support. It makes you realize you can’t always know who to trust, but sometimes trust is the only way forward.
Between working to save Cai , the events leading up to the need to escort Cleopatra to Alexandia, as well as the journey itself, the book provides ample (and well utilized) opportunity for a good deal of action and fighting and danger. Then there is an additional threat towards the end of the book that leads to even more action. If there is one thing this book is not lacking, it is conflict. There’s plenty of it, and when one threat gets resolved something else is immediately there to endanger Fallon and those she loves.
My only concern with the book is that it felt like a lot happened, so much that it seemed rushed at points. It’s that fine line of keeping a fast pace and the level excitement up and feeling like major events are just flying by so quick it was hard to fully appreciate everything. This is the reason that I gave this book a slightly lower rating than the first two in the series. I feel like in sections, particularly the end, it was so much, so quick that it was all over before I realized. I couldn’t help but wonder if this could have been expanded to be a 4 book series (or maybe I was just sad it ended).
I do want to stress that overall, this is an amazing series, and while I may feel this is the weakest book of the three, it is still an incredible journey that has a magnificent ending. Highly recommend all of the books and I can’t wait to find out what Livingston writes next.
Audiobook Note: This is a series that I love listening to. As I mentioned in my review of The Valiant, I started this series in print, but I hesitantly switched to audiobook for the second book and was so impressed with the performance I knew I would want to stick with audiobook for the third and final installment. Fiona Hardingham does such a fantastic job, if you are an audiobook fan, I highly recommend listening to this series.