In the Galactic Roman Empire, eight noble houses fight for power. One gladiator fights for justice. This is Wolf's Empire: Gladiator, by Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan.
When her mother and brother are murdered, young noblewoman Accala Viridius cries out for vengeance. But the empire is being torn apart by a galactic civil war, and her demands fall on deaf ears. Undeterred, Accala sacrifices privilege and status to train as a common gladiator. Mastering the one weapon available to her - a razor-sharp discus that always returns when thrown - she enters the deadly imperial games, the only arena where she can face her enemies.
But Fortune's wheel grants Accala no favors. The emperor decrees that the games will be used to settle the civil war, the indigenous lifeforms of the arena world are staging a violent revolt, and Accala finds herself drugged, cast into slavery, and forced to fight on the side of the men she set out to kill.
Set in a future Rome that never fell but instead expanded to become a galaxy-spanning empire, Accala's struggle to survive and exact her revenge will take her on a dark journey that will cost her more than she ever imagined.
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Wonderful performance, weak characters
The plot would have been less shaky if the characters were less shallow. If you give the author the benefit of a doubt and presume that the main character acts and thinks the way she does because of her addiction or a weak willed person with ADD, then the main character is a creditable job.
I spent the last 60% of the book frustrated and a bit mad that the main character could not seem to maintain her course or reasons for pursuing it more than a chapter or so. Between that and the way, during combat scenes most frequently, one action that followed another would have been physically or anatomically impossible to perform, I did not enjoy the book.
If Wolf's EmpireGladiator was a $2-4 audio book, these lapses would have been forgivable. As it stands, I plan on skipping any other books by this author that are not touted as being excellent by the masses. Claudia Christian's performance was quite good.
No. There are many other books that go down the 'what if X had happened at Y point in time' that just one failure wouldn't cure me of my interest in it.
Her voice inflections gave a good solid break from one character to another so that I did not lose track of who was doing or saying what which sometimes plagues this format. I quite enjoyed the performance.
If this book is ever on sale for less than $5 and you really like the Roman setting in sci-fi, you might give it a shot. Till such comes to be, I would pass on this book because I can think of at least 2 other series that are alt-history sci-fi or fantasy/sci-fi which are leagues beyond this work. This is just my opinion though.
- D. Campbell
Excellent first audio book
- Hans Sassenfeld