Audiobook Review – The Valiant

Posted April 17, 2017 by Kathy in 5 stars, Audiobook Review, Book Review / 2 Comments

Audiobook Review – The ValiantThe Valiant Series: The Valiant #1
by Lesley Livingston
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham
Published by Listening Library on February 14, 2017
Genres: Young Adult Historical
Length: 10 hours and 21 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble

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.


5 stars for The Valiant! I loved everything about this book!

The Valiant is a Young Adult Historical story that fascinated me from the start. Fallon is the daughter of a Celtic King. She has trained hard and dreams to join her father’s Cantii war band. Fallon’s dream is shattered when her father refuses to make her part of his warriors. The disappointment starts a series of events that leads Fallon to heartache and imprisonment.  But it also begins her journey to Rome where she meets her sworn enemy Julius Caesar and learns the true meaning of survival.

I loved the Starz series Spartacus because of the action and intrigue of the Roman gladiators. In the series, there were female slaves who trained to be warriors. Once I heard about The Valiant I was excited to find a story about female gladiators, called gladiatrix. Right away I loved Fallon. The book opens with her in training and I saw the strength in her. I also saw her vulnerability so I felt that Fallon was a well-developed character. There were times I was cheering her on but also times where I was frustrated with her mistakes. Her years of training did not take her compassion away but in Rome she must learn to be cruel. I loved how she held on to her honor and worked hard to be a gladiatrix. Along with Fallon are a unusual cast of supporting characters. Elka, Cai and Lady Achillea have a special role in Fallon’s journey and I can’t wait to see them again in the next book.

The Valiant has action, romance and treachery. I enjoyed the twists in the story and the mix of historical characters. The story is beautifully written and I want to read more from this author. This book has been getting a lot of hype and it deserves it. This is one of my favorite books for 2017 and I hope you all read this!!

Audiobook Review

I loved Fiona Hardingham’s narration. She brought the passion, emotion and excitement of the story to life. I loved her accent and she has an elegant tone that is perfect for the Princess Fallon. She also had distinct voices for the other characters which brought the characters to life. This is my first audiobook from this narrator and I can’t wait to listen to more from her.

Rating Report
Audiobook Performance
Overall: five-stars

About Lesley Livingston

LESLEY LIVINGSTON is a writer living in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of twelve books to date. Her first novel, WONDROUS STRANGE, was winner of the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year 2010, a White Pine Honour Book, shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Speculative Fiction, and in 2015 was named one of CBC’s “100 YA Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian”. DARKLIGHT, the second book in this series was a finalist for the Indigo Teen Read Awards. The concluding volume in the trilogy, TEMPESTUOUS, was a finalist for the Monica Hughes Award. These books have sold to more than ten countries to date, and WONDROUS STRANGE has been optioned for film/TV by Shaftesbury Films. Her other trilogies have both won the Copper Cylinder award for Young Adult fiction.

In addition to her books for teen readers, Lesley is also co-author of a Middle Grade series with Jonathan Llyr called THE WIGGINS WEIRD. The first book, HOW TO CURSE IN HIEROGLYPHICS was shortlisted for the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award and was longlisted for the Canadian Booksellers Association’s Young Readers Book of the Year award. It was also chosen as one of the selections for the 2016 First Book Canada All-Star Reading Challenge.

Lesley’s newest novel is a YA historical epic, THE VALIANT, which will be published in February 2017 by Penguin Razorbill (US) and HarperCollins (CAN) and tells the story of a 17-year-old girl’s journey from fierce Celtic princess to female gladiator and the darling of the Roman Empire.

For almost three years, Lesley hosted weekly late-night movie marathons on the nationally broadcast television show, SPACEBAR, as the Waitron-9000, a sparkly holographic waitress with an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure B-movie trivia. For almost two decades, she was a principal performer with Tempest Theatre Group, a Toronto-based Shakespearean theatre company.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Audiobook Challenge
  • 2017 New Release Challenge


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2 responses to “Audiobook Review – The Valiant

    • Kathy

      I hope you like this book. I can’t wait to read the next one. Thank you Sam for stopping by!