|A marble relief of two female |
gladiators, at the British Museum
When Naoko invited me to contribute a review, I knew my first choice immediately. It is an extremely well-written, two-chapter historical piece which develops female-female relationships with great skill and sensitivity. In line with my personal reading preferences, the protagonist is a strong, smart, and capable female warrior. I think the official title of "Gladiator" might suggest a male-oriented story, but the historical note makes it clear that female gladiators were a part of Roman history.
Chapter One immediately sets up a dramatic scene that is irresistable. (Chapter 2 is here.) I just HAD to find out how our characters got there and how the situation would be resolved. The author smj54ap skilfully delivers a great background and eventual finish to the story. I would love to point out the high points in the great plot development, but I wouldn't want to spoil any of your own enjoyment in watching them unfold. If I had to identify the main arc of this story, it would be the protagonist's awakening to relationships in the midst of conflicted situations. Both the emotional and physical aspects of the relationships are enticing and flow naturally and seamlessly from the plot. I was repeatedly impressed at how the author created such steamy encounters using only very tasteful language and expressions that did sound like authentic Roman-period wordings.
Overall, I was deeply moved by the authentic emotions of struggle and triumph, loss and fulfillment. Happy reading!