A Glimpse Back in Time (#8): The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Glimpse Back in Time is a feature where I talk about the interesting history behind the books that I read! If you want to see previous posts for this feature, look here!

Today I will be chatting about...

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
The Valiant #1
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: February 14th, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

For Women's History Month, I clearly needed to use a book with a strong female main character. I think The Valiant definitely delivers this with Fallon! After being denied a place in her father's war band and being sold into slavery, Fallon is still fierce as ever. She's determined to win enough battles to buy back her freedom. She even refused an offer from someone to buy her contract because she wants to earn it herself, for her honor.

Clearly the way to go with this post would be to talk about female gladiators in ancient Rome. But there really isn't that much information on them that I could find. It just didn't feel like enough to write one of these posts with.

Then I stumbled across a post, possibly by the author. I don't know where I found it, I just have a screenshot on my phone of the important information. In the post, they talk about the Celts and how they were cool with their women battling, ruling tribes, and owning property. Then the post goes on to talk about how Boudica, Celtic queen of the Iceni Tribe, is an example of these badass ladies.

So I am going to use this post to talk about Boudica!


Boudica was the famous Celtic queen of the Iceni Tribe who led a rebellion against Rome in 60/61 AD.

It is believed that Boudica was born to an elite family around 30 AD. She was around 18 when she married the King of the Iceni tribe, Prasutagus. Prasutagus was allowed to continue his rule with some independence from Rome after they conquered southern England, but when he died with no male heir, the Romans came in an took everything.

Boudica was thought to have objected to this and as a punishment, she was publicly stripped and beaten and her two daughters were raped. Other tribes suffered similar fates, which led to a growing rebelliousness among the tribes.

Boudica promised vengeance and united the tribes to revolt against the Roman occupiers. She led her rebellion to modern-day Colchester, defeating a Roman Legion along the way. Upon arrival they destroyed the city and massacred its inhabitants. What is now modern-day London and St. Albans suffered similar fates. In these three cities alone, it's estimated that over 80,000 people were killed by the rebelling Britons.

The Roman governor had been leading a military campaign in Wales at the start of the rebellion. After his return, he gathered his army to meet the rebels. The Britons had far superior numbers, but the battle between the two armies occurred in a narrow location, which benefitted the Roman army. The Britons could not use their numbers and the Romans had superior weapons. 

By the end of the battle, only about 400 Romans had fallen, while up to 200,000 Britons had perished. It is thought that Boudica and her daughters either took poison to avoid being captured by the Romans or died from their wounds.

Her rebellion almost forced the Romans out of England. Despite the failed rebellion, Boudica is recognized as a national heroine, the embodiment of the struggle for independence.



Have you read The Valiant? What do you think of Boudica and her rebellion?


  1. Wow, this was super interesting! I love this feature, Cyra! And you know I love The Valiant as well :D Absolutely fabulous post :)

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. I'm so glad that you love this feature! I love putting it together, it's so fun to look up these historical people and events! Thanks so much for reading them!


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