[Swift Reviews] ‘Blood and Sand’ by C.V. Wyk

“She wanted to run and run until her breath was spent, until the ashes of her bones mingled with those of her people.”


Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…

 Title: Blood and Sand

 Genre: Historical Fiction; Retellings

 Author: C.V. Wyk

 Rating: 4/5 stars

I read this book because I wanted to get it off my TBR, but I was surprised by how good I found it. It was really enjoyable. A quick, spunky read with good characters and an engaging plotline. It brought back my fond memories for Roman-inspired series like The Winner’s Curse (which is sorely underappreciated in my opinion.)

At only 380-ish pages, it is a really quick read for most. It absolutely flies by. Attia is a loveable heroine, kind yet also fierce, and other characters like Xanthus and Lucius are sweet. But what stood out to me were the women. Attia knew so many different women in different roles, and I loved how they interacted – and how most were often really supportive of the others. Rory, the young girl, was also the real MVP of the novel.

A good plotline plus good characters and a great ending make me ready for the sequel already, and where the story will go next. I’m really excited!

As a side note, I listened to a majority of the novel on audiobook and I have to say I loved the narrator. She had such a pleasant reading voice, and she was so so talented at making different voices for the various characters, which was brilliant.

TL;DR: A fun and fresh Roman-inspired novel based upon the tale of Spartacus. 

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