Amy Hearst - The Gladiator's Goddess

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

8. The Gladiator's Goddess by Amy Hearst (2014)
The Gladiators' Gifts Series Book 2
Length: 83 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started: 7 March 2017
Finished: 8 March 2017
Where did it come from? From Apple I-Books
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 19 September 2016
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed The Gladiator's Girl by the same author in the past.

Nardine has been a slave ever since her mother sold her at the age of eleven. Her master runs a school for gladiators in ancient Rome known as a ludus. Although she occasionally serves the master and his family whenever they travel to gladiatorial events; Nardine primarily divides her duties between the kitchens and the infirmary as both a cook and a physician's assistant.

She had always counseled her friend Celeste to be extremely careful about falling in love with a gladiator, as that sort of relationship could only lead to heartbreak in the future. Nardine knows this feeling from personal experience as she has lost her heart exactly twice in her lifetime - first to a gladiator named Matthias, then to another one called Gaius - and she has inevitably lost both men to the horrors of the arena. While losing Matthias was certainly heart-wrenching, Nardine is utterly devastated by the sudden death of Gaius.

Nardine privately believes that she has long been unlucky in love, so she truly cannot fault her mistress Cornelia for believing that she is actually cursed. However, despite suffering through such tremendous grief, Nardine also begins to believe that she has ultimately been blessed as well: she is finally pregnant. Yet a life of bondage is definitely no future for a child, so Nardine resolves that escape is the only viable option, no matter what the punishment will be if she fails.

Fleeing from his sorrowful past, Abedi has long wanted to be a gladiator. Now he is living his dream, and at one of the most prestigious schools in all of Rome. Yet despite relying on his strength, bravery and quickness while fighting in the arena, Abedi also cannot deny that there is always the possibility that he will be injured or worse.

Ultimately, Abedi will be tested to the very limits of his abilities and endurance. However, after meeting the beautiful Nardine working in the infirmary - the answer to his prayers - he will find the challenges that he has faced in the arena are only the beginning. Indeed, it is the promise of finally having a family of his own, an enduring love, and the prospect of freedom that will sustain Abedi throughout his time in the arena.

Actually, this book is quite a bit longer than the first book in the series. Although having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story as well. As I have said before, I usually enjoy reading anything having to do with ancient Greece and Rome, and it was intriguing to read more stories based in this particular historical period. In my opinion, this was a fast-paced and well-developed story despite its relatively short length and I would certainly give this novella an A!

 A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often