Gladiatrix by Russell Whitfield


Well it took a while, nearly two years, from the time I decided I wanted to read this series to the actual reading thereof.  My only regret in waiting so long is that by now I probably would have finished all three books but that is tempered by the fact that I still have two more to go.  The author has created a very entertaining tale, one that grabs you on page one and doesn’t let go.  The subject concerns a gladiatorial school that specializes in female arena fighters, Gladiatrices, and the struggle to survive in a harsh environment, one in which there is very little hope for a long and prosperous life.  Enter the protagonist, Lysandra, a Spartan Priestess of Athene and a trained warrior.  She is arrogant and is condescending to anyone not from Hellas, to her they are all barbarians.  The tension and drama that emanates from her abilities and her mindset fuels this tale of survival, hate, revenge and even love.  I like the way she is characterized, from the depths of her despondent moods to the heights of her triumphs.  A wonderful tale indeed.  5 stars.

About the author:
I’ve had an (almost) life long fascination with ancient Greece and Rome, sparked by seeing the The Three Hundred Spartans on ITV in the seventies.

I was educated to A-Level, but did not complete college, preferring instead to seek fame and fortune in a heavy metal band.

Sadly, fame and fortune were not forthcoming and a career in telesales beckoned. A series of jobs followed culminating in the heady heights of ‘content editor’ for a large multi-national. Its not brilliant, but it’ll pay the bills until I get that call from Angelina Jolie demanding to option my books.

Gladiatrix is my first novel, but the sequel, Roma Victrix is due out in March 2011 and at the time of writing, I’m at work on a threequel.

I’m a bit of a geek (all right, a lot of a geek), I love watching DVD’s, reading comic books and historical fiction novels. And I used to play Traveller and Dungeons & Dragons…but that was a very long time ago.

In an attempt to stave off an ever increasing beer-gut, I’ve taken up Silat – a Malaysian martial art, but in all honesty, I’m rubbish.

Still, in a strange quirk of fate, I’m actually training with the person who inspired me to write the Gladiatrix novel! A few years ago, I saw a documentary on the telly called “Gladiator Girl” which was about “Great Dover Street Woman” – purportedly the only physical remains of gladiator uncovered at the time, a “fact” (its contended) made more unusual because the fighter was a woman. Anyway, the lead actress in that is also a Silat Guru – Cecily Fay is her name – and now, years later, I’m training with the Gladiatrix herself.

I love Heavy Metal. As a child of the 80s, I’m into all the old stuff, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Manowar, Judas Priest et al. However, these days my favourite band are called Hysterica – Gladiatrix Metal, believe it or not (I didn’t till I went to their website, but the proof in in the pictures.An all-female five piece, they sound great, look great…And they have swords – what’s not to love).

Thanks for looking at my page – I should add that its a privilege to be in a position to have one of these sections on Amazon. If you’re reader AND a writer, don’t give up! Believe me when I say that despite all the knocks and rejection letters, if you keep at it you’ll get there in the end

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